One in six 18-24-year-olds are 'Neets'

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The Independent Online

Over one in six 18-to-24-year-olds are not in school, college or work, official figures showed today.

In total, 837,000 youngsters in this age group (17.6%) were classed as so-called "Neets" - not in employment, education or training - in the first quarter of this year, up from 825,000 for the same period last year.



The Government statistics reveal that almost a million 16-24-year-olds are Neet.



Some 927,000 fell into the category in the first quarter of this year - up from 895,000 in the final quarter of last year. Compared to the first quarter of 2009, the number of Neets has fallen by 6,000.



The numbers of 16-24-year-old Neets hit a record high in the third quarter of last year when they topped a million for the first time.



The figures also reveal that the proportion of 16-18-year-olds that are Neet has fallen slightly to 195,000 from 222,000 in the first quarter of 2009. This still means that one in ten (10.1%) youngsters of this age fall into the Neet category.



Young people are still facing heavy pressure on jobs and education due to the recession and a squeeze on university places.



Youth unemployment among 18-24-year-olds hit 734,000 during the first three months of this year, up 9,000 on the previous quarter.



And with a record 570,000 people applying to start degree courses in the autumn by the end of January alone, hundreds of thousands of would-be students are at risk of missing out on a place.



A spokesman for The Prince's Trust said: "Too many young people are still facing the devastating aftermath of the recession. One in six 18-to-24-year-olds are now not in employment, education or training, which is a huge waste of talent and potential at a time when Britain needs both.



"All too often unemployed young people face a downward spiral towards a loss of self-confidence, or even crime, homelessness and drug-use. If we fail to help them into work, all of us will feel the impact."

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