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Helping young people get a foot on the career ladder

1 March 2017

There are fewer unemployed young people in Essex thanks to the work being done by the Essex Employability and Skills Unit.

For the third year in a row the number of young people not in employment, education or training (NEET) has fallen; now just 2.6% of 16 and 17 year-olds are not working or learning.

The Unit has also seen huge success in tracking and making contact with young people in need of advice, reducing the number of 16 and 17 year-olds identified as NEET and not receiving advice from 4.1 per cent in 2013-14 to just 1.7 per cent this year.

In the last five years the team has helped in excess of 6,899 young people into education, training and employment. 

This success is estimated to save taxpayers over £900 million in the long term. Young people who are NEET in their formative years require extra help throughout their lives because they are at a higher risk of unemployment and have lower job security and rates of pay. They are also more likely to experience teenage pregnancy, youth offending, insecure housing and homelessness, mental and physical health issues and drug use.

Suzanne Jude, Chair of the ESB, has said of the unit’s recent achievement: "This is a great success and one which will not only benefit young people today but will pay dividends throughout their lives and even carry on into future generations.”
“Essex is a fantastic place to live and work and by helping young people find jobs, or get vital training, we are working to create a brighter future for the whole county.”

The share of people of working age in employment in Essex is higher at 76.4 per cent than the UK’s 73.5 per cent average, a key point raised in the Essex Economic Commission’s independent report published last month.

On Thursday, Commission members will meet with the county’s business leaders and academics to discuss how to utilise their findings to transform Essex into the UK’s fastest growing economy outside of London.