The department for business, innovation and skills (BIS) has revealed the lowest statistics since records began for people not in education, employment or training (NEET), with close to 900,000 people undertaking an apprenticeship between 2014 and 2015.
Statistics from the government department show that the proportion of 16-24 year olds in work or education of some kind has increased, especially between the months of July and September of this year.
This has had a major impact upon NEET levels, with BIS revealing falls across all age groups with the proportion of 16 to 24 year olds NEET down 1.6 percentage points (-103,000) compared to the same quarter last year.
The figures show:
- The proportion of 16 to 24-year-olds who were NEET had fallen by 1.6 percentage points to 13.8%, down 103,000 and at its lowest July to September rate since consistent records began in 2000
- The amount of 19 to 24 year olds NEET who were unemployed for more than 6 months also fell, by approximately 62,000
- 19 to 24-year-olds who were NEET had fallen by 2.3 percentage points to 15.4%, down 92,000 to the lowest July to September rate since consistent records began in 2000.
- There are more people doing an apprenticeship than ever before with 871,800 in the 2014 to 2015 academic year.
How has the government achieved these statistics?
Since the coalition government in 2010, a number of measures have put in place to improve employment figures across the UK, including:
- Raising the age of participation in education or training to 18
- Improving the quality of technical and professional education so it’s increasingly seen as a proper alternative route
- Ensuring minimum standards for apprenticeships and announcing legal protection to put them on an equal footing with degrees
- Introducing degree level apprenticeships to offer in-work training with university-class qualifications
- Introducing traineeships for 16 to 24 year olds to provide them with the skills and experience they need to get apprenticeships and sustainable employment.
Speaking at the annual Skills Show in Birmingham, business secretary Sajid Javid is delighted with the latest youth employment figures:
‘‘We are committed to helping all our young people gain the skills they need to fulfil their potential and have a successful career,’’ commented Javid. ‘‘Today’s figures show, once again, the excellent progress that is being made. We want to build on this good news so that more young people get the opportunity in life they deserve.’’
The show provides a wide range of career options from engineering to creative arts, and has had a positive impact; with 83 per cent of those who attended said they were inspired to seek work experience or placements.