Young women NEETs - the untold story

Friday 30 May 2014

As we reported last week, the Office for National Statistics published the latest figures on the numbers of young people who are currently not in education employment or training (NEET). This is a subject at the core of the work of Young Women’s Trust and we are currently running an Inquiry focusing on young women who are NEET because, despite common assumptions, there are far more young women than young men in this position.

Last Thursday we issued our press release which set out the facts and waited for the world to take notice. Nobody did. Of the few publications that gave this subject any attention at all, every single one focussed on the numbers of young men who are unemployed and completely ignored the young women.

So our work continues.

The figures released last week showed that between January and March this year 82,000 more young women than young men were NEET. This is consistent with figures from the last decade which show, quarter on quarter, the numbers of young women who are neither earning nor learning being significantly higher than the numbers of young men, and always near the half a million mark.

Our Inquiry is looking at how to reduce this number overall and how to reduce the long term impact of being NEET because we are fearful for these young women’s futures.

Next week we are off to Manchester and surrounding areas.  We will be setting up a stall in the streets on Wednesday, speaking to young women and other members of the public about their experiences of being NEET.  And we will be talking to charities running vital projects, supporting young women to find work, as well as to staff in the job centres.

We hope that by doing this work we can let young women know that they are not invisible.  Judging by the stories in the press, it would be easy for them to think that they are.