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"NEET trick" in Surrey
5:00pm Tuesday 5th November 2013 in Local News
The number of young people not in education, training or employment (NEET) in Surrey has more than halved in just over four years.
The latest annual figures from the Department for Education show there were 449 so-called NEETs aged 16 to 19 in the county in September.
That figure contrasts with a total of 1,080 in April 2009. Surrey County Council stated the current total means that around 1.5% of the 30,000 16 to 19-year-olds in Surrey fall into the NEET category.
Nationally, 5.7% of 16 to 18-year-olds are classed as such.
The county council hailed the fall as “dramatic” and pointed to initiatives it has spearheaded as helping cut the number of local NEETs.
The series of initiatives designed to boost young people’s job prospects has included incentivising businesses to hire more than 760 apprentices by next April.
The council also set up a chain of county-wide centres to equip young people with basic skills, and extra support in youth centres for those at risk of becoming NEET.
A county council spokesman said: “At the same time, the council has saved £4.5 million – or 25% of its 2009 youth services budget – by transforming young people’s services through working more closely with voluntary and community groups.”
Surrey County Council’s cabinet member for schools and learning, Linda Kemeny, said: “It’s fantastic news that the number of NEETs has halved in four years, while we’ve also saved local taxpayers £4.5 million by doing things differently and better.”
Coun Kemeny said: “This is real proof that our initiatives, such as encouraging businesses to hire more than 760 apprentices and opening a string of skills centres, are paying dividends, and giving young people the opportunity to make the most of their futures.”
However, 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 chance to find a job.”