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Neet ‘black spots’ highlighted

Youth dropout black spots have been highlighted across the UK, with high levels of young people not in education, work or training (Neet). Grimsby, Warrington, Wigan and Doncaster were revealed as places with almost 25% of all 16-24 year olds Neet.

The Work Foundation report, conducted for the Private Equity Foundation, used data from the 2009-10 Labour Force Survey to investigate this trend. Northern cities tended to have higher percentages of Neet youths, although areas of London were also badly affected.

The report reads: “In a difficult labour market, young people often find it harder to gain a foothold in work – and there is a real danger that youth unemployment could soon reach one million. Alongside this, public sector cuts mean youth services and 16-19 education face reductions of around 20%.

“The combination of these two pressures means that unless urgent action is taken, the levels of young people who are Neet is likely to increase further still.”

Skills Minister John Hayes told the BBC: “We are acting to bring the numbers down. Government departments are working together to ensure that all those aged 16 to 24 are provided with the support they need to get the skills for work.

“Data indicates that apprenticeship starts for academic year 2010-11 have risen by more than 50% on last year's figures.”

Report author Neil Lee said: “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.”

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