2008 volume 26(1) pages 243 – 259
doi:10.1068/c0654

Cite as:
Pemberton S, 2008, "Tackling the NEET generation and the ability of policy to generate a ‘NEET’ solution—evidence from the UK" Environment and Planning C: Government and Policy 26(1) 243 – 259

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Tackling the NEET generation and the ability of policy to generate a ‘NEET’ solution—evidence from the UK

Simon Pemberton

Received 12 July 2006; in revised form 13 November 2006; published online 11 June 2007

Abstract. Both within the UK and in a wider international context, there is an increasing concern with young people who are not in education, employment, or training (NEET). The author details research undertaken within Greater Merseyside (UK), which has relatively high levels of young NEET and where a ‘culture of worklessness’ has developed within the poorest areas. A focus is placed on the degree to which intergenerational factors influence NEET status, as opposed to peer influence, (low) educational attainment/disaffection, poor labour-market experience, or a lack of (place-specific) employment/education or training opportunities. Through reference to Hodkinson’s pragmatic rational decision-making model, it is suggested that the success of policy interventions has been limited because of the diversity of influences on an individual’s NEET status. However, a greater emphasis on addressing intergenerational issues through a focus on activities such as positive parenting, raising aspirations, and addressing family breakdown would make a greater impact, in conjunction with addressing disaffection through the provision of alternative forms of education, removing barriers to employment, and subsidising involvement in further/higher education.

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