Not so NEET? A critique of the use of “NEET” in targeting interventions with young people
There is a widespread current perception that being ‘NEET’ (not in employment, education or training) presents a major risk for young people of becoming socially excluded. One of the key foci for combating social exclusion thus aims at reducing the numbers of young people who are NEET. This is reflected in the ‘programme theories’ of the Connexions service, whose effectiveness is measured in relation to targets for reducing the numbers of NEET young people. This paper argues, however, that ‘NEET’ is a problematic concept that defines young people by what they are not, and subsumes under a negatively-perceived label a heterogeneous mix of young people whose varied situations and difficulties are not conceptualised. Additionally, research evidence suggests that adherence to NEET-reduction targets encourages a ‘fire-fighting’ approach to working with young people rather than focusing support and intervention on areas where they may be most productive.
Citation : Yates, S. and Payne, M. (2006) Not so NEET? A critique of the use of “NEET” in targeting interventions with young people. Journal of Youth Studies, 9 (3), pp. 329-344
ISSN : 1367-6261
Research Institute : Institute of Health, Health Policy and Social Care
Peer Reviewed : Yes