Number of NEETs at lowest level since 1994: report

According to a new report from the National Audit Office (NAO),16-to 18-year old participation in education and training’, the overall value for money of the £7 billion spent each year on this age group’s learning has increased.

Additionally, the percentage of 16- to 18-year olds in education and training has increased and the number of NEETs is now at the lowest level since comparable records began in 1994.

However, the Department for Education needs better information on which of its reforms are most effective at encouraging 16- to 18-year olds into education and training and improving the learning they receive.

Amyas Morse, head of the National Audit Office, said: “The Department has made significant reforms aimed at encouraging more 16-to 18-year-olds into education and training, and the overall value for money of the annual £7 billion spent on this age group has increased. Although this is encouraging, the Department now needs better information about which of its reforms are effective so that it can decide which to keep, stop or change.”

Stewart Segal, chief executive of the Association of Employment and Learning Providers, said: “AELP is pleased that more young people are engaged in education or work with training representing a positive development as the NAO has recognised.  The NAO has also recognised improved value for money and training providers have played a large part in this by delivering more for less.  We should not underestimate the challenge of delivering further improvements, especially in respect of the hardest to help.”