Review recommends more support for youth jobs and education

Cabinet receives report into barriers to opportunity for young people and how they may be overcome.
Group of people. Two standing, one in a wheelchair and one crouching down

Newcastle City Council’s Cabinet have been presented with recommendations to improve the support available to help young people into education, employment, and training.

A Task and Finish Group was formed to explore what can be done by the council and its partners to support those who are not in education, employment, or training in Newcastle and to understand how to best prepare young people for the world of work.

Cllr Stephen Lambert, Chair, Task and Finish Group said: “The issue of young people who are not in education, training, or employment, or are at risk of becoming so, is a great tragedy for both our city, due to wasted talent and potential, and for the young people themselves.

“We welcome the work the council and its partners are doing, however we believe more is needed to support young people who are most in need.

“We are very grateful to everyone who has given us their time to contribute to the work of the Task and Finish Group and we look forward to the feedback from Cabinet.”

The work of the group drew upon a wide range of sources and found that there are a number of barriers young people are facing in accessing education, employment, and training.

The review highlighted that due to the cost-of-living crisis, increasing numbers of young people need a job due to low household incomes and that they cannot consider an unpaid study programme or education place.

Other barriers were the location of providers, their access, and associated costs such as travel as well as study programmes being mostly full time.

In response to their findings the group have made a range of recommendations including;

•    An increase in the number of Level 1 post 16 study programmes.
•    An increase in the number of part-time study programmes.
•    Increased funding to support Newcastle City Learning.
•    fund mentoring for young people and support those at risk of becoming NEET
•    More opportunities for apprenticeships, work experience and supporting internships.
•    More careers advisors especially for young people with Special Educational Needs.

Cllr Alex Hay, Cabinet Member for a Thriving City, Newcastle City Council said: “It is of upmost importance that we support young people with education and employment opportunities that best meet their needs. We would like to thank the Task and Finish Group for their hard work on this important area, and we will continue to work with them and our partners to support our future generations.”

Young people aged 16 to 19 are required to be in some form of full-time education, to have started an apprenticeship or traineeship, or spend 20 hours or more a week working or volunteering while in part-time education or training.

In the UK there has been an increase in the number of young people who are aged 16 to 24 years and not in education, employment, or training (NEET).

For 16 to 24 year-olds in October to December 2022 the North East had the highest NEET rate of all the regions at 17.2%.