EMPLOYMENTINFOGRAPHIC02(2)Youth employment is a major concern facing UK society today. Next Steps has contributed significantly to our understanding of young people’s experiences of the labour market.

At age 19, 37 per cent of Next Steps study members were in employment, while 45 per cent were still in education. A further 4 per cent were in government-supported training, such as apprenticeships, and 14 per cent were not in education, employment or training (NEET).

A major focus of Next Steps has been to help researchers and policymakers understand the factors that affect young people’s entry into the labour market after they leave compulsory education, and why young people from disadvantaged backgrounds are most likely to become NEET.

Research based on Next Steps has found that:

  • At age 14, around one in five of you didn’t know what you wanted to do when you left school. Those of you from less advantaged backgrounds were more likely to be uncertain about your career aspirations.
  • Just over one in five of you got your first job at age 16.
  • Among 19-year-olds that moved from being NEET and into employment, about one in five said that they had help from friends or family – but the same amount said that their own motivation helped them get a job.
  • Young people whose parents were unemployed faced a higher risk of being NEET in their later teenage years. Having parents with low income and low levels of education also increased the likelihood of being NEET.
  • Young people who become NEET at an early age were more likely to remain NEET or to earn lower wages when they did find work.