Not In Employment, Education or Training (NEET)


The term NEET refers to young people who are Not in Employment Education or Training.


Local Authorities have statutory duties to support young people to participate in education employment or training which are set out in “Statutory Guidance on the Participation of Young People in Education Employment or Training”[1]  issued by the Department for Education in March 2013 and in the “Education and Skills Act 2008”


It is a requirement that local authorities have regard to the guidance when deciding how to organise and resource their service.


Duties on local authorities relating to Participation:

  • Secure sufficient suitable education and training provision for all young people aged 16-19 and for those aged 20 to 24 with a Learning Difficulty Assessment in their area[2].
  • Make available to young people aged 13-19 and those aged 20-24 with a learning Difficulty Assessment support that will encourage enable or assist them to participate in education or training[3].
  • Ensure that its functions are (so far as they are capable of being) exercised so as to promote the effective participation in education or training of 16 and 17 year olds belonging to its area whom Part 1 of ESA 2008 applies (RPA Cohort), with a view to ensuring that those young people fulfil the duty to participate in education or training[4].
  • Make arrangements to enable it to establish (so far as it is possible to do so) the identities of young people belonging to its area to whom Part 1 of ESA 2008 applies but who are failing to fulfil the duty to participate in education  or training.


The following responsibilities relate to local authorities’ existing duty under Section 68 of ESA 2008 and applies to all young people aged 13-19 and those aged 20-24 with a Learning Difficulty Assessment.

  • Collect information to identify young people who are not participating, or who are at risk of not doing so, to target their resources on those who need them most.   The information collected must be in the format specified in the Client Caseload Information System (CCIS) Management Information Requirement.
  • Have arrangements in place to confirm young people’s current activity at regular intervals.  This may be through exchange of information with education and training providers and other services as well as direct contact with young people.


Local Authorities have a statutory duty to provide a monthly return to the Department for Education showing the current activity of all young people in the academic years 12 to 14  (16-18 year olds) Adviza  currently undertake this duty for Wokingham


Jobcentre Plus takes lead responsibility for reporting on young people 19 to 24 who are NEET.



[1] Statutory Guidance On the Participation of Young People in Education Employment or Training DfE March 2013




[2] Sections 15ZA of the Education Act 1996




[3] Section 68 Education and Skills Act 2008




[4] Section 10 ESA 2008



Wokingham 16-18 NEET has been consistently lower than national, regional and local figures for several years and the borough performs well against its statistical neighbours, regularly having the lowest percentage of NEET and Not Knowns.  Wokingham also has one of the highest percentages of young people 16-18 participating in learning.  Having said this however, the percentage of Not Knows within the borough has been rising, which has been identified as an area of concern and raised with Adviza, the service contracted to undertake tracking on behalf of the borough.


The vast majority of young people remain in full time education once they have completed their statutory education, with only a handful taking an apprenticeship or a job with or without training. 


The number and percentage of NEETS in academic year 14 (18 year olds)spikes, with 18 year olds making up 50% of the entire NEET cohort in March 2015.


Traditionally three wards have had a significantly higher percentage of their 16-18 cohort NEET: Norreys, Bulmershe & Whitegates and Winnersh.  Over the last year however due to a range of factors these wards have seen their NEET cohort reduce and have been overtaken by Shinfield North, Shinfield South and Swallowfield.


A significant number of young people who are NEET have vulnerable characteristics with those with LDD and care leavers making up the largest group.

There are a range of national guidelines and strategies which are used to inform and support work with the NEET.  These include

  • The September Guarantee (the offer of a suitable training place for every 16 and 17 year old by the end of September each month)
  • Raising the participation Age (requiring all young people to be in learning until their 18th birthday
  • City Deals (locally known as Elevate)
  • Narrowing the Gap
  • Annual Activity Survey ( Destination Measure)
  • RONI (Risk Of NEET Indicator)
  • Working Together (information sharing and partnership working to support vulnerable young people)
  • Youth Contract (additional support for 16&17year old NEETs
  • Apprenticeships.

Wokingham has a local NEET reduction strategy which is multi agency and uses data analysis to inform and target resource.  There is now considerable overlap between this strategy and the Elevate strategy and over the coming months it is likely that they will merge into one.  There are 2 strands to NEET strategy:    
1.Prevention – working with schools and colleges to identify those at risk of becoming NEET and targeting support at individuals through interventions ranging from formal IAG sessions to specialist drug counselling or YOS prevention services.  Work and resource is also targeted at known vulnerable groups – those with LLDD, Children in Care and those involved in youth offending

2 Reduction – Working with those who are already NEET to move them back into employment education or training. 


Elevate Wokingham is developing a number of strategies which will impact on NEET including Work experience placements and Apprenticeships, in particular targeted at children in care and care leavers and young people with LDD.

From February 2014 to February 2015 the average number of young people NEET in any one month was 109.  On average, 23 of these young people were not available to the labour market because of parenting responsibilities, ill health or other issues.  As a result on average, there were fewer than 100 young people looking for employment education or training, at any one time within the borough.


The chart below shows the three year falling NEET trend in Wokingham. 

Three year neet

 This downward trend reflect national performance  The 'NEET statistics quarterly brief: October to December 2014' was published on 26 February and shows that the proportion of young people NEET fell across all age groups (16-18, 19-24, 16-24) although none of the changes were statistically significant; the 16-18 NEET rate of 7.0% is the lowest comparable figure since consistent data began in 2000; and participation rates rose for both 16 and 16/17 year olds to 97.1% and 94.3%, respectively. Both are the highest comparable participation rate since consistent records began in 2000.

Wokingham has also seen in increase in its participation rates with 94.6 percent of 16 year olds participating in January 2015 compared to 94.2% in 2014.   96.6% of 17 year olds were participating in January 2015 compared to 91.6% in 2014.

The table below shows the destination trend of those competing year 11 and year 12 over the last three years.  Whilst the percentage of young people opting to remain in school has remained generally static, there has been in rise in those choosing to go to college.  The percentage who become NEET has reduced year on year for both year 11 and 12.


NEET destination

  • On the whole Wokingham is performing well and has generally low numbers of young people who are NEET.
  • The vast majority of 16-18 year olds are in full time education
  • The majority of those who are NEET will reengage in employment or learning within 6 months and will not become long term.
  • The percentage of young people who are long Term NEET has fallen over the last two years and on average is now around 22% (approximately 30 young people)
  • Post 18 the Number of NEET young people increases, which suggests there is still a lack of employment opportunities for those who do not chose to go into higher education, or do not achieve the grades to do so.
  • The number of 18 and 19 year olds who are known to the local authority to be NEET is much lower than those who register with Job Centre Plus so there is hidden unemployment within the borough

  • Care leavers and those with LDD continue to be over represented in the NEET figures.
  • Those living in certain wards are more likely to be NEET than others.

  • The majority of NEET young people have reported issues with anxiety and emotional well -being
  • With the reduction in the Adviza contract there is a risk that the percentage of not known will increase and some young people may find it harder to access support