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Neet levels for 16-18s fall to record low, new figures reveal

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The proportion of young people classed as Neet (not in education, employment or training) in England fell across all age groups in the last quarter, and has reached the lowest level on record among 16- to 18-year-olds.

New figures published today show the 16-18 Neet rate fell by 0.6 percentage points to 7.5 per cent in April to June 2015, compared with the same period last year. It is the lowest figure for the April-June period since comparable data was first collected in 2000.

The proportion of young people aged 19-24 who were classed as Neet in the same period fell by 0.3 percentage points from last year to 15.7 per cent, and the overall 16-24 Neet rate decreased by 0.4 percentage points to 13.1 per cent.

The latest figures come in the wake of statstics released last week, which show that overall unemployment in the UK rose by 25,000 in the three months to the end of June.

Kirstie Donnelly, UK managing director of awarding body City & Guilds, said that although the latest Neet figures were positive, the situation was still a concern.

“The reality is that more than 15 per cent of young people are still out of work and not in education or training. On top of last week’s disappointing unemployment figures, this remains incredibly concerning.”

She said that although many young people were celebrating their GCSE results today, others remained in danger of “falling through the cracks”.

“We need to get far better at using labour market information and up-to-date data on skills gaps to shape careers advice, in order to make the term ‘Neet’ a thing of the past,” she added.

Earlier this week it emerged that unemployed young people could face losing out on benefits if they fail to get a job or start an apprenticeship or traineeship, as part of a new "no excuses" approach to welfare being unveiled by the government.

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