NEET | Boltons Health Matters
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Pre 2014 - The percentage of young people who were looked after on 1 April in their 17th year (aged 16), who were engaged in education, training or employment at the age of 19. Post 2014 - The percentage of children now aged 19, 20 and 21 who were looked after for a total of at least 13 weeks after their 14th birthday including some time after their 16th birthday, who were engaged in education, training or employment.

Values reported are an average of the percentage for November, December and January - thus the 2014/15 figure is the average of snapshots taken in November 2015, December 2015 and January 2016

This briefing was commissioned by PHE and written by the Institute of Health Equity. It is a summary of a more detailed evidence review on the same topic and is intended primarily for directors of public health, public health teams and local authorities. This briefing and accompanying evidence reviews are part of a series commissioned by PHE to describe and demonstrate effective, practical local action on a range of social determinants of health.

You can view the briefing by clicking here:

The associated evidence summary is: Local action on health inequalities: Reducing the number of young people not in employment, education or training (NEET)

1. Spending time not in employment, education or training (NEET) has been shown to have a detrimental effect on physical and mental health. This effect is greater when time spent NEET is at a younger age or lasts for longer.
2. The link between time spent NEET and poor health is partly due to an increased likelihood of unemployment, low wages, or low quality work later on in life. Being NEET can also have an impact on unhealthy behaviours and involvement in crime.
3. These negative health effects do not occur equally across the population, as the chance of being NEET is affected by area deprivation, socio-economic position, parental factors (such as employment, education, or attitudes), growing up in care, prior academic achievement and school experiences. Being NEET therefore occurs disproportionately among those already experiencing other sources of disadvantage.
4. Because the chances of becoming NEET follow a social gradient, reducing the proportion of people NEET could help to reduce health inequalities.
5. Local authorities have specific responsibilities and accountabilities for those who are NEET, particularly those aged 16-18. The raising of the participation age gives local authorities new roles, opportunities and challenges in supporting young people who are NEET.
6. Evidence of what works to reduce the proportion of young people NEET suggests that a successful strategy requires early intervention, tackling the barriers that young people face when attempting to move into education or employment. It also requires working across organisational and geographical boundaries and the involvement of local employers.
7. Tracking people, monitoring progress and programme evaluation can also help to drive improvements. Best practice from other successful programmes should be borne in mind when commissioning new services. For example, it is important that courses are accredited, not like school and developed in partnership with young people.

This paper first describes the relationship between being NEET and health; inequalities in prevalence of being NEET; and the scale of the problem. It shows that being NEET, particularly for prolonged periods, is associated with negative effects on health and a range of other outcomes. Furthermore, the chances of becoming NEET are not equally or randomly distributed throughout society – those who are relatively disadvantaged, from poor backgrounds, or who have had negative experiences at school are more likely to spend some time being NEET.

This evidence review was commissioned by Public Health England and researched, analysed and written by the UCL Institute of Health Equity. These papers show evidence for interventions on social issues that lead to poor health, including ways to deal with health inequalities. You can use them to get practical tips for dealing with these issues. They also show examples from local areas showing interventions that have been used to improve health. The series includes eight evidence reviews and 14 short briefing papers.

The documents can be used by:

  • local authority professionals whose work has implications for health and wellbeing, such as children’s services and planning services
  • local authorities - particularly directors of public health and their teams - to build health and wellbeing strategies and Joint Strategic Needs Assessments
  • public health teams making a case for action on health inequalities
  • health and wellbeing boards making local public health strategies, including those covering service areas with health implications such as Local Plans and Growth Plans

This evidence summary can be accessed by clicking here:

The full list of resources can be viewed on this page:

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