WARWICKSHIRE County Council (WCC) is one of the most successful local authorities in the country for ensuring 16 and 17-year-olds are either in education, employment or training, according to a recent publication from the Department for Education (DfE).
The DfE require all local authorities to collect and report information about a young person’s post 16 activity on a monthly basis. Recent figures show that Warwickshire is performing strongly in comparison to other parts of the West Midlands and the country as a whole.
All local authorities are required to collect and report information on a young person’s post 16 activity on a monthly basis, so that the government can publish a national scorecard. The DfE can then monitor those 16 and 17 year olds who are not taking part in education, employment and training, (known as NEET). The department also introduced a new headline measure in 2016 to include those young people whose activity is not known.
In 2017/18 Warwickshire reported a significant improvement in the reduction of the numbers of young people who were NEET, including those 16 and 17 year olds whose activity is not known. Of Warwickshire’s 16 and 17 year olds, 3.8% were NEET or not known in 2017/18. This figure represents a 2.2% reduction since last year when 6% were in this category and shows that Warwickshire is performing well in comparison to other authorities, with the national figure at 6%. The percentage of NEET and not known in the West Midlands is 6.4%.
The Skills for Employment programme has been one of the major contributory factors in this figure decreasing, with schools reporting that the activities implemented as a result of the grant funding have enabled them to reduce the number of students who are NEET. The programme has received an investment of £3 million from Warwickshire County Council over the period 2015/20 in order to improve the employability skills of young people.
Councillor Colin Hayfield, portfolio holder for education and learning, said: “Ensuring young people in Warwickshire have a bright future is one of the county council’s key priorities. This supports our ambition of building an appropriately skilled workforce for our new and existing businesses that are so vital to the economic growth of the region.
“So I’m delighted that the government’s most recent scorecard shows we have such a low proportion of 16 and 17-year-olds who are not participating in education, employment or training. It shows our systematic approach, our robust tracking and our excellent partnerships with schools, colleges and training providers is proving successful. “