NEETs: who are they? Being young and not in employment, education or training today

23-03-2017

'NEET' is an acronym used to refer to young people who are not in education, employment or training. The expression, which first emerged in the mid-90s in the United Kingdom, has been eagerly adopted by the media, policy makers and researchers due to its usefulness in describing the disproportionate effects of the economic crisis on the education, training and employability of young Europeans and, in the long term, on their social inclusion. In 2015 in the European Union, 12 % of 15- to 24-year-olds (6.6 million people) were not in a job, training or an internship. If we include young people up to the age of 29, the number of NEETs increases to almost 14 million, or 14.8 % of that age group. This social group is highly diverse, including short- and long-term unemployed people, young people in transition, young people with family responsibilities and people with disabilities or medical conditions. Statistically, young women are over-represented and the probability of being a NEET increases with age; that figure is also inversely proportional to the level of education reached and varies widely from one Member State to another. In response to the worsening of the NEET situation following the crisis, the European Commission drew up an EU Youth Strategy for the 2010-2018 period, whilst the European Parliament defended the NEET cause. The Youth Guarantee scheme created as a result is the European Union's key measure to provide support to NEETs.

'NEET' is an acronym used to refer to young people who are not in education, employment or training. The expression, which first emerged in the mid-90s in the United Kingdom, has been eagerly adopted by the media, policy makers and researchers due to its usefulness in describing the disproportionate effects of the economic crisis on the education, training and employability of young Europeans and, in the long term, on their social inclusion. In 2015 in the European Union, 12 % of 15- to 24-year-olds (6.6 million people) were not in a job, training or an internship. If we include young people up to the age of 29, the number of NEETs increases to almost 14 million, or 14.8 % of that age group. This social group is highly diverse, including short- and long-term unemployed people, young people in transition, young people with family responsibilities and people with disabilities or medical conditions. Statistically, young women are over-represented and the probability of being a NEET increases with age; that figure is also inversely proportional to the level of education reached and varies widely from one Member State to another. In response to the worsening of the NEET situation following the crisis, the European Commission drew up an EU Youth Strategy for the 2010-2018 period, whilst the European Parliament defended the NEET cause. The Youth Guarantee scheme created as a result is the European Union's key measure to provide support to NEETs.