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Young People Not in Employment, Education or Training (NEET)

The data below pertains to 16 to 18 year olds estimated by local authorities as not being in employment, education or training.

The table above shows the number and proportion of NEETs across a three year period for Somerset, neighbouring top-tier authority areas, the South West region and England. The cluster bar chart shows the proportion NEET for each of these geographies.

About the data

The majority of young people succeed in education and make a positive transition to adult life and the world of work.  But there remain a small proportion who do not, and who become NEET (not in education, employment or training). One of the many reasons attributed to becoming NEET is a lack of information about employment, education and training opportunities post-16.

Under Section 68 of the Education and Skills Act 2008 (ESA 2008) LAs have a duty to encourage, enable or assist young people’s participation in education or training. Therefore, LAs collect information to identify young people who are not participating, or who are at risk of not doing so, and aim to target their resources on those who need them most.

Historically, LA responsibilities for tracking extended from ages 15-19, and to 20-25 year olds with a statement of educational need and disability (SEND). However, from September 2016 DfE relaxed the requirement on authorities to track academic age 18-year-olds. LAs are now only required to track and submit information about young people up to the end of the academic year in which they have their 18th birthday (i.e. academic age 16 and 17-year-olds).

Average NEET figures for December 19/January 20/February 20 show that 870 16-18 year olds (or 7.8%) were thought to be NEET. This is a 1% decrease from 960 (or 8.8%) compared to the previous year. However, this is notably higher than in other areas and indeed the national average of 5.5%.

As clearly stated, the figures include both those whose activity is ‘not known’ to the local authority, in addition to those who are known by the local authority to be NEET. For each of the geographical areas identified above, roughly half of those considered NEET are typically known to be NEET and roughly half not known, with the exception of Somerset, for which there is greater proportion of not knowns. Indeed, of the 7.8% NEET in December 19/January 20/February 20, only 3.3% were known to be NEET, whilst 4.6% were ‘not known’. This compared to the national average, where of the 5.5% thought to be NEET 2.7% were known to be NEET and 2.8% were ‘not known’.

See the following link for full details and data:

Source:, NEET and participation: local authority figures, June 2020