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Employment and Further Education: Young People

Question for Department for Education

UIN HL2582, tabled on 9 September 2021

To ask Her Majesty's Government what assessment they have made of research into young people's views on COVID-19 conducted by the Co-op, The Ghosted Generation, published 9 on September, which found that (1) two-thirds said job competition had increased during the pandemic, and (2) almost one third felt less likely to continue with futher education due to it; and what steps they intend to take to reverse this trend.

Answered on

23 September 2021

At the end of 2020, 57.2% of 16 to 24 year olds were in education and training, the highest proportion on record. Whilst 11.5% of this age group were not in education, employment, or training (NEET), at the end of 2020, it is one of the lowest rates on record, the lowest being 11% at the end of 2017.

Ministers at the Department for Education are aware of, and addressing, the issues highlighted by the Co-op report. The Department for Education and the Department for Work and Pensions are working jointly to monitor NEET rates, considering ways to support young people to continue developing the skills they will need for the future.

Local authorities have a statutory duty to identify and support young people who are NEET. All 16 and 17 year olds are entitled to an offer of a suitable place in education or training under the September Guarantee, regardless of qualifications gained.

A range of provision is available for young people aged 16 to 24 to equip them with the skills and experience they need to progress. This includes traineeships that prepare young people for apprenticeships and work through a combination of sector-focused skills development and work experience, and supported internships offering tailored support for young people with special educational needs and disabilities.

The Apprenticeship Support and Knowledge for Schools and Colleges programme provides targeted local and regional support on NEET prevention, to raise aspirations of young people in areas of disadvantage and support their post-education progression. It also offers support for local authorities to help them support young people during this time. This includes support activities for staff, teachers, and careers advisors to engage young people, and training workshops to develop knowledge.