Generation NEETS

Young at riskFor some years, the term "NEET" (not in education, employment or training) has been increasingly present in the educational policies of some European Countries, particularly in the UK, where some local and national studies have been implemented; none are comparative though, with a different insight of the phenomenon or in consideration of the features of the EU Countries.

NEET is a pure category of young people that are not in education, employment or training; their inactivity is economic and seemingly total; their social position is poorly constructive and potentially threatening.

Not in Education, Employment or Training – a new generation. In Italy, Neets are a mere generation, about 2 millions young people in 2009 (15 – 29 aged). Following the European Commission (April 2009), more than one third of young people aged 15-24 are NEETs (Not in Education, Employment or Training).

The unemployment rate of young people aged 15-24 considered economically active was 15.4 % in 2008, almost three times as high as for the older economically active population. 26 % of unemployed 15-24 year-olds and 35 % of unemployed 25-29 year-olds have been unemployed for more than 12 months.

The end of compulsory education is a critical time for individuals. "Being NEETS between the ages of 16-18 is a major predictor of later unemployment, low income, teenage motherhood, depression and poor physical health" – UK Government Department for Children, Schools and Families. One of the most important consequences: lack of confidence in learning and teaching. They were unwilling and unmotivated to participate in the educational, training process and social activities. As in a UK survey of 2008 (2004 16 to 25 year olds, which 152 of respondents were NEETS), quarter of Neets say life has no purpose. 41% of NEETS said they were less happy now than when they were child (compared with 29% of the overall sample).

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