The term NEET (Not in Employment, Education or Training) is an unusual method of identification as it refers to what a person is not doing.

NEET is a way of categorising the un-categorised and must not be thought of a derogatory term. These young people may be disengaged from society in the eyes of a government (which, values people by their ability to pay taxes) but over the past number of years we have worked with thousands of NEET’s and in my experience they are incredible human beings. They are loving sons, daughters, sisters and brothers. They are often humorous, ingenious and shrewd. They can survive in violent surroundings and they can demonstrate fantastic teamwork.

They are by no means angels but if we are really going to support them and enable them to contribute into the economy there is one thing we need to check before we explore the first step. How we are viewing them. If you can’t see the good in them, then this course is probably not for you. If however you believe that these young people are amazing and you would like to understand a methodology to tap into their potential, please read on.

1259330_3869-300x225Who Are These NEETS?

NEET is an acronym for ‘not in employment, education or training’, used to refer to the situation of many young persons – typically aged between 15 and 24 – in Europe and beyond.

This acronym first emerged in the UK in the late 1980s, reflecting an alternative way of categorising young people following changes in unemployment benefit policies. Since then, interest in the NEET group has grown at EU policy level, and NEET-equivalent definitions have been created in almost all Member States. The aim of the NEET concept is to broaden understanding of the vulnerable status of young people and to better monitor their problematic access to the labour market.

The definition of NEET agreed by the European Commission Employment Committee (EMCO) includes young people aged 15–24 years who are unemployed or inactive, as per the International Labour Organization (ILO) definition, and who are not attending any education or training courses. The definition was applied by Eurostat in its statistical data and the indicator subsequently used in the context of the Europe2020 strategy.

Youth unemployment is one of the major challenges of EU employment policy: the average rate of youth unemployment in the EU is currently well over 23% (23.5% in the EU27 according to Eurostat figures for February 2013). In 2011, the share of young people in the NEET group (often referred to as NEETs) was 12.9% of the population of those aged 15–24 in the EU27, which corresponds approximately to 7.5 million young people. For those aged 25–29, this figure stood at almost 20% in 2010, amounting to 6.5 million young people.

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