More than one in 10 UK teenagers has been left without a job or college place, despite 11 years of compulsory education, figures show.
The number of 16- to 18-year-olds branded as “Neet” – not in education, employment or training – has risen amid growing fears that school-leavers are bearing the brunt of job shortages in the recession.
Some 261,000 young people had no job or training place, according to official data. The figure rose to 1,082,000 among 16- to 24-year-olds.
The Conservatives branded the figures “shocking”.
David Willetts, the shadow skills secretary, said: "It is a damning indictment of the Government's failure to help young people during the recession.
“Despite all Gordon Brown's guarantees and pledges, the number of young people neither earning nor learning is increasing at a rate of more than 9,000 a week. Ministers must stop making empty gestures that do so little to help young people.”
The Government has a target to reduce the proportion of young Neets to 7.6 per cent by next year.
The latest annual data from the Department for Children, Schools and Families put the figure at 10.3 per cent by the end of 2008.
The percentage of 16 to 18-year-olds who fall into the same bracket remained higher in the past year than in the previous 12 months, it was revealed.
In a further disclosure, figures for the third quarter of this year show almost a fifth of 16 to 24-year-olds were in the category – more than at any point since 2005.
Iain Wright, the Schools Minister, said: "We are giving all 16 and 17-year-olds the opportunity to stay in education or training so they can gain the skills they need to succeed in an increasingly competitive labour market.
"We must not repeat the mistakes that were made in recessions of the past and abandon a whole generation of young people. We recognise that we need to carry on helping young people through this tough economic climate."
He said the Government would offer every Neet 16 and 17-year-old a place on an “Entry to Employment” course in January.
2009-11-23 17:09 编辑：kuaileyingyu
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