Headlines: March 17th, 2010

Local authorities can have a big impact on reducing the number of young people who are not in education, employment or training – the so-called NEETs – according to a report from Ofsted. It highlights how 12 local authorities have successfully attracted some of the most difficult young people to reach into work or learning.

“Reducing the numbers of young people not in education, employment or training: what works and why”, says the proportion of young people in the category is still rising but the most effective local authorities are working with various partners, including some in the voluntary and community sectors, to understand the young people’s needs.

Ofsted inspectors spoke to more than 700 young people and visited 28 schools, 18 colleges and 84 voluntary sector, training and other providers across the country. Her Majesty’s Chief Inspector, Christine Gilbert, said the report showed clearly what could be done to help even those young people with the most complex needs. “I hope local authorities and their partners learn from the examples featured in this report so that they can fully contribute to creating better life chances for all young people,” she said.

Today’s report details how councils have worked in close collaboration with schools, community organisations and voluntary groups to reach out to young people by setting up interview and CV workshops, organising opportunities for volunteering and facilitating work-placements and management training programmes. Alongside opportunities to gain relevant vocational qualifications such initiatives had succeeded in opening doors for young people to move onto college, apprenticeships, or jobs.