Final Comments

Once the survey was completed respondents were provided with the opportunity to add additional comments (survey question 57).  Respondents emphasised that the range of factors resulting in someone becoming NEET requires support to be bespoke, as identified in the literature review (Maguire, 2015), and in respondent comments, and that a one size fits all approach is not viable. This highlights the issue with the term NEET, it provides no indication on underlying factors or support required.  It was recommended that more needs to be done to encourage employers to engage with NEETs, dispelling the myths often portrayed in mainstream media, and in understanding where barriers stem from. 

 

The use of client mandated targets for NEET engagement was suggested as a way to secure employer buy-in. It was also proposed that funding be provided to employers who engage with NEETs directly, not to third parties or training providers, with a suggestion that employers signing up for such schemes gain access to public projects. As with previous comments respondents highlighted that the bureaucracy attached to such projects acts as as a barrier to SMEs. It was felt that NEET engagement was easier for larger companies with the resources to support. To address this, it was suggested that government has to do more to in supporting SMEs to engage with NEETs. 

 

Industry awareness was identified as a barrier, the roles and opportunities not being apparent to NEETs. It was proposed that industry needs to do more to promote itself, and it should take responsibility for this. A lack of direct employment within the industry was also highlighted, with the use of labour agencies common within the industry which may exclude NEETs without the relevant experience. 

 

Positive comments regarding the employment of NEETs included one stating that as far as they were concerned there were no barriers that could not be addressed. This view was supported by responses to the survey and the questions regarding the factors that indicate a risk of becoming NEET. Another commented that many contractors did not have a problem employing NEETs, and once in a working environment the individual will thrive. It was suggested that, prior to introduction to the industry NEETs need to be developing the personal and employability skills employers’ value. The literature identified that a lack of these skills presents a barrier to securing employment. 

 

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