Keep youngsters on job track, urges Wales Audit Office

9 July 2014

Young people need to be kept on track in the search for jobs into their mid-twenties, a government auditor warns. A report into youngsters not in education, employment or training (NEET) said help for 19-24 year olds was not as good as for 16-18 year olds. The Wales Audit Office (WAO) urged the Welsh government to get the best value from £200m spent on NEETs in a year. Deputy skills minister Ken Skates said more work would be done to share best practice and track progress of schemes.

The report found that between 2008 and 2012 the proportion of 16-18 year olds classed asNEET fell from 12.4% to 10.2%, around 11,600 young people. But for 19-24 year olds it rose from 17% to 23%, a total of nearly 60,000 young people not working, training or studying.

Many of these older NEETs had family or caring responsibilities or a long-term health problem or disability, the report found. It also noted that the Welsh government’s strategy to tackle NEETs was focused on the 16-18 age group, but that research had shown that positive results for 18-year-olds did not always carry over into their early twenties.