By Max Clarke

Figures released today have revealed that the number of young people who are NEETs - not in education, employment or training - hit a record high of 15.6% at the end of last year.

“As the number of NEETs rockets to 15.6%, a growing number of vulnerable young people disappear from the system.” Said leading public sector union UNISON General Secretary Dave Prentis.

“Savage cuts to public services, university fee hikes, job losses and youth service cuts are wrecking the lives of those struggling to start out in work or education. 70 per cent of students currently receiving the Education Maintenance Allowance will be forced to drop out of college when it is removed. This will result in thousands more vulnerable young people at risk of falling into the NEET trap.

“The Government must take urgent action. These young people need our support, they rely on public services and they deserve a fairer future.” Concluded Prentis.

A spokesperson from the government issued the following statement about the figures:

Government departments are working closely together to widen the opportunities available to young people aged 16-24 and to ensure that they are provided with the support they need. We will fund 75,000 more adult Apprenticeship places than under the previous Government’s plans. From this summer our new Work Programme will provide personalised support and training to help unemployed young people into work.