Research calls for employers to work closer with schools to reduce NEETs

New research, administered by YouGov, suggests the more frequently an employer engages with schools, the less likely students are to become NEET (Not in Education, Employment or Training). The results illustrate a strong correlation between the number of occasions a student recalls engaging with an employer during their school life, and the percentage of young people with NEET status.

The stark results show that for students who can recall four or more occasions of engaging with businesses during school, only 4.3% of them are likely to be NEET. That figure rises sharply to 26.1% for students that can’t recall engaging with businesses at all.

Sue Addison, skills lead at Opportunity Peterborough, is keen to encourage more local employers to work with schools, she said: “The results of the survey demonstrate the increasing importance of employer engagement. With the growing number of NEET 16-19 year olds, both nationally and in Peterborough, we need to do everything we can to help young people get their feet firmly on the career ladder.”

The research is particularly timely as the Peterborough Skills Service, a new brokerage programme that links schools with employers, is currently organising a series of interactive workshops, networking events and one-to-one meetings with students and employers in Peterborough.

City firms including Thomas Cook, cba group, Buckles Solicitors and Meridian Network Solutions have been visiting local schools to help students with their preparations for employment. During the series of ‘Meet the Professionals’ events which are offered to students in years 10 to 13, employers have provided guidance on career paths, CV development and interview techniques. The programme is intended to inspire students and build confidence in their transition to employment.

Rob Facer, chairman of Barnack UK Ltd, is pleased to support the initiative, he said: “The interactive sessions are a great way to boost students’ confidence. We’re helping to raise awareness of the workplace and show students the huge range of job roles and paths to success. The more we can do to support young people into the workplace the better.”

The results of the YouGov research are aligned with the outcome of the 2011 Peterborough Skills Survey where a staggering 80% of local businesses said they would like young people between 14 and 19 to improve their employability skills.

Sue continues: “The results of a national survey show the benefits of employer engagement and the results of our local survey tell us businesses want young people to be work-ready. The Peterborough Skills Service is here to address both of these issues so I’d urge any local employer keen to get involved, to contact us to outline how they can provide support.”

Employers wishing to get involved in activities with Peterborough’s schools can register their interest in the Peterborough Skills Service at: