Back on track

In light of the recession, NPC’s latest piece of research deals with a highly topical issue: supporting young people not in employment, education or training (NEET).

With mass youth unemployment on a scale not seen since the early nineties, and a government campaign committing £1bn to tackling the issue, it’s a hot topic at the moment, and one where charities’ work can have a significant impact.

The report, Getting back on track, is intended to help donors make informed decisions about their giving, and to provide charities with a context for thinking about their work.

Some interesting findings highlighted in the report include:

  • Government services to tackle the problem are failing the most at-risk children. Even before the recession, the proportion of young people who were NEET had remained stubbornly unchanged for more than a decade.
  • While evidence of what works to help young people is limited there are certain characteristics of good programmes, which donors can look for when choosing a charity. These include providing one-to-one support; helping young people work towards defined goals; and cultivating good relationships with families and schools.
  • Charities play an important role in not only supporting children who aren’t in education or work, but also in stopping them from getting into that situation in the first place. A number of charities, for example,  tackle the problem early by proving mentoring or emotional support to children in primary schools.

 Our research shows there is a hardcore group of young people who have been out of school, work or training for over a year. This 4% is the group of greatest concern.

Sarah Keen, report author