The number of young people in Surrey registered as not in education, employment or training – the so-called NEETs - has hit a national low.

For provisional figures from the Department of Education (DfE) have shown that only 1.8% of people aged 16 to 19 in the county are not studying or working.

The total means that Surrey has the fewest young people classed as NEETs in the country, alongside Harrow and Rutland.

The provisional figures will be confirmed by the DfE in the summer.

Surrey's figure is far lower than the national NEETs average of 5.3%.

Surrey County Council has over the past two years prioritised the local NEETs total.

Citing the national low per centage figure, a county council spokesman said: “The county council has contributed to this by incentivising businesses to hire 500 apprentices in just ten months, creating a chain of county-wide centres to equip young people with basic skills, and providing extra support in youth centres for those at risk of becoming NEET. “The number of young people diverted away from crime has also been dramatically cut through work with the police.”

Linda Kemeny, Surrey County Council’s cabinet member for schools and learning, said: “Having the lowest number of NEETs in the country bears testament to the work being done in Surrey to give young people the opportunity to make the most of their future.”

Coun Kemeny said: “That work has seen the county council play its part through incentivising businesses to hire 500 apprentices in less than a year, giving community groups cash for initiatives that improve learning and boost career prospects, and opening a chain of skills centres.”

She added: “But there’s no room for complacency and we’ll continue to explore every possible avenue to ensure all Surrey’s young people have the best possible chance of finding work.”