Who is NEET and their status?

NEET, an acronym for “Not in Education, Employment, or Training”, refers to a person who is unemployed and not receiving an education or vocational training. The “NEET” concept’s popularity stems from its perceived ability to address a wide range of vulnerabilities among youth, including issues such as unemployment, early school leaving, and labor market discouragement. Young people are still dealing with the effects of the economic crisis, especially in developed economies, thus all of these challenges call for more attention. The prevalence of NEET is recognized as a major problem in all of the Organization of Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD,2015) countries. NEET status may prove to be a considerably greater issue for young adults’ future growth and life possibilities than just being a significant current issue for them.

Globally in 2020, more than one in five (22.4 per cent) young people aged 15–24 are neither in employment, education or training (NEET). What is more, two out of every three of these NEETs (67.5 per cent) are young women, who thus outnumber men two to one. 

Recent ILO research, which will be published in the forthcoming Global Employment Trend for Youth 2020, indicates the presence of major imbalances in a number of countries’ tertiary education systems. This suggests that not enough jobs have been created in the last decade for more educated young people. As a result, some caution is required in encouraging participation in tertiary education, which must occur in the context of strong job creation for this group. NEET are thought to be at risk for failing to successfully transition to the labor market and experiencing subsequently lower employment and other consequences. Understanding the underlying causes of people continuously becoming NEET and the possible long-term effects are therefore of great interest as governments work to create and execute well-informed policies and programs that can support young people in preparing for life after school.

Outreach to NEETs in EU

Outreach work is defined as educating young people, particularly but not exclusively those who are considered “hard to reach” and those facing multiple barriers, about the resources available to them as they make the transition from school to the workforce and the steps they must take to take advantage of those resources.Depending on the setting, the extent of implementation, and the characteristics of the NEET population, outreach strategies vary among European nations.The practical experience also shows that a successful outreach practice reflects the principles and ethos of youth work, particularly when it comes to the relationship between practitioners and young people, voluntary engagement, and a non-judgemental approach that does not exclude anyone. Targets must be carefully selected, giving room for small achievements and taking into account the target group’s history and place in the process.