Criminal waste of young talent exposed by CBI report into ‘NEETs’

Failing to get young people off the streets makes them more likely to get involved with crime and leaves them vulnerable to ill health, a report claims.

Towards a NEET solution: tackling underachievement in young people, published by the CBI, said the UK could save £250m per year if it halved the number of young people claiming benefit who were ‘not in education, employment or training’ (NEETs).

The report also said employers would have to play a role in providing support, guidance, and eventually jobs to NEETs.

John Cridland, the CBI’s deputy director-general, said the problem would not be solved by throwing more money at it.

“This is not just an issue of so many school leavers failing to achieve the expected minimum of five good GCSEs after 11 years of full-time education. This is about the UK churning out thousands of people without the basic skills and attitudes they need to make their way in the world,” said Cridland.

“Tackling the NEETs problem need not involve spending more money, but rather spending it more wisely and efficiently.”

Government figures show that 20% of men and 8% of women who had been NEET between the ages of 16 and 18 became involved in crime between the ages of 17 and 30 – three times the rate among all young people.

Despite low unemployment rates nationally, the UK is 23rd out of 28 countries in the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development’s table of young people not in education, employment or training.

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