NEET blackspots mapped: youth drop-out rates highest in the North

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Town and cities in northern England have the highest proportion of 16- to 24-year-olds not in employment, education or training – so-called “NEETs” – according to research published today.






NEET map

Great Britain urban average: 16.1%
Source: The Work Foundation analysis using Labour Force Statistics 2009/2010


A report by the Work Foundation and the Private Equity Foundation, Off the map? The geography of NEETs, reveals the blackspots of the UK’s 979,000 NEETs across the largest towns and cities in the UK.

Shaks Ghosh, chief executive of the Private Equity Foundation, said: “This report has highlighted the great disparity in opportunities for young people across Great Britain. The fact that nearly a quarter of 16- to 24-year-olds are disengaged from education or employment in certain cities is not only shocking but very sad.

“Children from deprived areas urgently need the right support to continue in school, go to college or get a job. To neglect these NEETs, risks a crisis in too many of our communities.”

Among the chief blackspots identified are cities such as Grimsby, Doncaster and Blackpool. Parts of London, such as Hackney and Newham, also have high NEET rates. Cities with relatively low levels of NEETs include Oxford, Aberdeen and York, with cities such as Portsmouth and Plymouth also performing well.

The report argues that without effective, targeted action from government and business, a generation of young people in these cities will face a bleak future in the job market.

Neil Lee, senior economist at the Work Foundation, said: “The number of young people who are NEET is one of the UK’s most serious social problems. For a young person, being out of education, employment or training can have major ramifications, including long-term reductions in wages and increased chances of unemployment later in life, as well as social or psychological problems arising as a result of sustained unemployment.”












NEET town/city ranks


Highest NEET levels


Lowest NEET levels


1. Grimsby – very high: almost 25%

2. Doncaster – very high: almost 25%

3. Warrington and Wigan – very high: almost 25%

4. Blackpool – high: around 20%

5. Rochdale & Oldham – high: around 20%

6. Wirral & Ellesmere Port – high: around 20%

7. Birmingham – high: around 20%

8. Barnsley – high: around 20%

9. Swansea – high: around 20%

10. Newcastle – high: around 20%


1. Oxford – very low: less than 10%

2. Aberdeen – very low: less than 10%

3. York – very low: less than 10%

4. Plymouth – very low: less than 10%

5. Cambridge – very low: less than 10%

6. Guildford – low: around 10%

7. Bristol – low: around 10%

8. Luton and Watford – low: around 10%

9. Southampton – low: around 10%

10. Milton Keynes – low: around 10%

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