chapter  6
The NEET debate
ByJade Murden
Pages 16

This chapter explores: when a young person is considered to be Not in Employment, Education or Training (NEET); the difficulties with labeling a group of people; the NEET data and the challenges they present; the 'prevention versus re-engagement' debate; and the 'supply versus demand' initiatives. To understand the correlation between youth unemployment and NEET it is helpful to reflect on the origins of the NEET category. The NEET concept has been described as a 'negative umbrella' under which to neither place young people and one which is neither a helpful concept nor correct. In addition to prevention versus re-engagement there is a distinction between NEET policies; this is the 'supply versus demand' debate. Under the Labour government, education was perceived as a key mechanism to address social exclusion with NEET initiatives reflecting this. Labour also introduced a holistic approach to NEET with the introduction of learner-centered services.