The Young Person's Guarantee


In this new report, the Youth Employment Group (YEG), where Learning and Work Institute is a Co-Chair, propose a new Young Person’s Guarantee. If adopted by policymakers in England, young people under the age of 25 will receive support to access employment, training or education within four months of leaving employment or formal education. This would provide extra support if they have not found other employment or education opportunities before this.

More than 790,000 young people are currently NEET, a 23% rise over the last two years. This equates to 12.5% of all British young people across the UK, a figure that rises to 13.8% when looking at England alone. According to new YEG calculations, reducing the number of young people not in education, employment or training (NEET) to the same levels as the Netherlands (4.4%) could generate £69 billion in GDP.

There is strong evidence that being NEET has a scarring effect on young people’s outcomes. Spending time unemployed under the age of 23 has been linked to lower wages even twenty years on and those who are NEET between the ages of 18 to 19 are 20% more likely to be unemployed even ten years later. Troublingly, young people from disadvantaged backgrounds are significantly more likely than their better-off peers to be NEET. This means the negative effects of time spent neither learning nor earning are disproportionately borne by this group, with clear consequences for social mobility.

Underpinning its Young Person’s Guarantee, the Youth Employment Group calls on the government to implement five policies:

  1. Proactively support young people in education who are at high risk of NEET.
  2. Re-commit to Youth Hubs and extend their services to all economically inactive young people.
  3. Establish a new joint ministerial brief between the Department for Work and Pensions and the Department for Education.
  4. Pilot a targeted placement scheme for young people who are long-term NEET.
  5. Strengthen and broaden the range of Level 2 and Level 3 pathways available to young people.