The number of young people in England who are not in education, employment or training (Neets) has increased to nearly one million in the first three months of this year, the latest official statistics show.
According to the figures from the Department for Education (DfE) published today on May 24, 954,000 people aged between 16 to 24 in England have been classed as Neet in the first quarter of the year, compared with 925,000 in the same quarter a year ago.
The figures also showed a total of 183,000 were out of school and work in the first three months of this year, compared to 159,000 for the same period in 2011.
Shaks Ghosh, chief executive of the Private Equity Foundation, said, “Sadly there's no sign of respite from the difficult job market for our young people.”
Meanwhile, describing the statistics as "very worrying,” Karen Buck MP, Labour's Shadow Education Minister, said, “By choosing to ignore the NEETs crisis, this Government is kicking away the ladders for the next generation.”
Saying that the figures were almost certainly an underestimate, Martin Freedman, of the Association of Teachers and Lecturers (ATL), said, “We think the real figure is closer to one and a quarter million.”
However, remarking on the figures, a spokesman for the Department for Education said, “The number of young people not in education, employment or training has been too high for too long. We are driving up standards right across the schools system to bring the numbers down.”