The number of 16 to 18-year-olds out of school and unemployed has fallen for the second year in a row, new figures revealed this week.
Welsh Government statistics show that 11 per cent of 16-18s (12,700) were classed as Neet (not in education, employment or training) at the end of last year, compared with 12.2 per cent (14,400) at the end of 2009.
Of the rest, 80 per cent were engaged in some kind of education or training, compared with 78 per cent in 2009, and 32 per cent were in full or part-time employment, compared with 33 per cent in 2009. The percentage of Year 11 school-leavers known to be Neet has also fallen.
However, while most local authorities have seen an improvement, several deprived areas in the south Wales valleys - Merthyr Tydfil, Rhondda Cynon Taff and Blaenau Gwent - have seen a marked increase in the number of school-leavers becoming Neets.
The figures also show the number of 19 to 24-year-old Neets has risen again to a new high of 22.8 per cent (58,000). Earlier this year, the Welsh Government launched a four-year youth engagement and employment action plan to tackle the problem.
Under the strategy, teachers will be trained to identify pupils who are at risk of dropping out of school early. Schools will also be expected to improve their transition arrangements for pupils moving from primary to secondary.