Could 18-24-year-olds become the new NEETs?

Ofsted has warned that too many courses for school leavers in England are not up to scratch, which is stopping teenagers from getting a job, an apprenticeship or going on to university.

The education inspectorate’s annual report on further education (FE) and skills said: “too many learners were not progressing from their prior attainment to a higher level of study to meet educational and career aspirations.” It says that by keeping teenagers in education until 18, the fall into becoming a NEET will just be delayed and will label the 18-24 age group instead.  It says providers and employers should work together to ensure that their education and training leads to secure employment.

The Ofsted report warns:

  • too many education providers are not ensuring their programmes meet the needs of learners
  • too much teaching of English and mathematics is not good enough
  • too few students progress to an apprenticeship, employment or higher levels of learning
  • too much careers guidance is weak, not giving teenagers a clear idea of the paths available to them.

Ofsted’s director for further education and skills, Lorna Fitzjohn, said: “As the participation age for education and training rises to 18, it needs to be acknowledged that the 18 to 24 age group could fast become the ‘new Neets’. It is simply not enough to keep young people in education and training longer if they still fail to gain meaningful qualifications and experience that will help them achieve their career goals. Instead, all this will do for many is delay their inevitable fall into the Neet category. This is why we need clear and combined action by the government, local authorities and employers to overcome these failures.”