The number of 16- to 18-year-olds labelled as Neet (not in education, employment or training) has increased in the past year, according to government figures.
Statistics show that 191,000 young people were Neet in the three months to June, up from 186,000 in the same period in 2011. Despite the double- dip recession, the number of 16 to 18-year-old Neets is down compared with five years ago.
The figures also show that almost a million (968,000) 16- to 24-year-olds were Neet in the three months to June, down slightly on last year. The full data published by the Department for Education also highlights significant regional variations in the number of Neets.
The government has said it is investing #163;7.5 billion to improve education and training, but was criticised by Labour for not doing enough to stop the talents of young people going to waste.