16-17 year olds who are not in education, employment or training (NEET) or with unknown status

This measure is the proportion of West Sussex resident young people of academic age 16 and 17 who are not engaged in some form of education, employment or training. It is consistent with the Local Authorities duties to encourage, enable and assist young people to participate in education or training (Education and Skills Act 2008, S.68).
We aim to be in the top quartile of Local Authorities nationally by 2022

Combined NEETS and Unknown

June 2020 performance

The County Council’s target is to reduce the number of NEET young people to 1.9% by 2022. The cohort (currently 16,558) was reset as at 1st September so all young people were classed "not known" *.
 Our current status, as at the end of April 2020, is that we are seeing a decrease on last year’s NEET figures (improvement of 0.2%) but an increase in Not Knowns of 2.1%, versus the same period last year. Comparatively, the current NEET figure of 2.5% is better than the national average of 3.0% and the South East (2.7%) and in line with our statistical neighbours (2.6%). Compared to our statistical neighbours we have the fourth best figure in terms of NEETs, out of 11, with only Hampshire, South Gloucestershire and Gloucestershire having a better NEET %.
Whilst we have identified more young people who are NEET, we are able to ensure we can offer support in a far more targeted way to help young people struggling to fulfil their career potential. Around 500 young people who are NEET are currently being supported by our team of careers advisers and many are gradually re-engaging with education and training, many building up their confidence and skills by starting on short term employability courses before moving on to more full time education, training or employment opportunities. There remains a number of young people with complex issues for whom we are working with our partners to ensure the right support is made available for them so that they can also progress.
 With regards to the unknown figure, this is 2.1% worse that this time last year and is 6.3% worse than the national average, however we have been improving month-on-month during 2019 and into 2020 (see table below). We are working to improve our tracking process, putting in place a year-long programme of tracking, and making better use of social media and technology to reach more young people. This is one of our key priorities for 2020/21.
Note: At each September 1st, all the cohort is set to "not known" and the process of changing statuses to employment, education or training (EET), NEET or still unknown starts. Therefore, the picture in each authority, depending on how far the process is along, will have wildly different percentages during September, October and November. This is the reason that the average of December, January and February is used in the DfE publicly available data.
NEET & Not Known % (year 12 and 13)

NEETs

% of NEETs (Year 12 and 13)

Not Known

% of Not Knowns (year 12 and 13)

Actions

Whilst we have identified more young people who are NEET, we are able to ensure we can offer support in a far more targeted way to help young people struggling to fulfil their career potential. Around 500 young people who are NEET are currently being supported by our team of careers advisers and many are gradually re-engaging with education and training, many building up their confidence and skills by starting on short term employability courses before moving on to more full time education, training or employment opportunities. There remains a number of young people with complex issues for whom we are working with our partners to ensure the right support is made available for them so that they can also progress.
Every young person who is NEET remains a concern for the Council and we continue to focus a significant amount of time and resource in helping them find appropriate education and training. We commenced a new European-funded NEET project in the summer and so far we have signed up over 100 NEET young people onto the programme.   

We have made great strides over the last year to improve the accuracy of our data collection. We now have significantly less 16-18 year olds for whom we do not know what their current education, training or employment status is (5.6% compared to 8.0% last year). So whilst we have identified more young people who are NEET we are able to ensure we can offer support in a far more targeted way to help young people struggling to fulfil their career potential.

Over 250 young people who are NEET are currently being supported by our team of careers advisers and many are gradually re-engaging with education and training, many building up their confidence and skills by starting on short term employability courses before moving on to more full time education, training or employment opportunities. There remain a number of young people with complex issues for whom we are working with our partners to ensure the right support is made available for them so that they can also progress.