Skills and Science Minister, Julie James, has welcomed new figures showing a decline in the number of young people not in education, employment or training (NEET) during 2016.
Figures published today [27/04/17] from the Annual Population Survey (APS) show that in the twelve months ending 31 December 2016, 8.5% of 16-18 year olds were estimated to be NEET compared with 9.6% at the end of 2015. This represents 9,100 young people compared with 10,200.
During the same period ending 31 December 2016, 17.1% of 19-24 year olds (42,000 people) were estimated to be NEET, against 18.6% (46,600) at the year ending 31 December 2015.
The figures also include data recently published by Careers Wales which shows the number of Year 11 leavers from schools in Wales known to be NEET also decreased between 2015 and 2016 and now stands at 2.0% (619) compared to 2.8% (911) in 2015.
Welcoming the results the Minister said: “Reducing the number of young people not in employment, education or training is a key priority for this government and we are committed to ensuring our policies and programmes continue to support young peoples’ educational and employment needs.
“For example, our Youth Engagement and Progression Framework supports local authorities and other organisations to put systems in place to reduce the number of 16-18 year old NEET young people in Wales and today’s report shows we are producing good results.”
A number of Welsh Government schemes help young people into work, such as Jobs Growth Wales. Supported by the European Structural Fund, Jobs Growth Wales provides unemployed young people aged 16-24 with a job opportunity for six months.
Since launching in 2012, almost 15,000 job vacancies were filled through scheme 1 of the programme, with a further 2,365 filled under scheme 2 by March 2017.
The Minister added: “While we are always looking at ways to improve our approaches to ensure they remain responsive to changing needs, these figures clearly show our focus on supporting young people into training or further education and into work are proving effective and we are delivering for Wales.”
The figures are published on the Welsh Government’s website and can be accessed here: http://gov.wales/statistics-and-research/young-people-not-education-employment-training/?lang=en