'Neet' youths figure rise

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The number of 18 to 24-year-olds in England not in employment, education or training (Neet) has risen to 18.4%, according to the Department for Education.

Nearly a million (979,000) 16 to 24-year-olds were Neet between April and June this year, making this year's figures the highest for the second quarter since comparable data was first published in 2006; the previous was 17.6% in 2008. The figure is even higher for 19 to 24-year-olds, with 19.1% considered Neet.

A spokesman for The Prince's Trust youth charity said: "We know that unemployment can have a brutal impact on young people, with thousands suffering from mental health problems, feelings of self-loathing and panic attacks."

The charity said it was charity deeply concerned that the Neets figures were rising again.

Shadow education secretary Andy Burnham said: "The figures show the government is being far too complacent and risks leaving the next generation behind.

"By scrapping Labour's guarantee of an apprenticeship place for young people who want one, scrapping the Education Maintenance Allowance and cutting careers services, this government is making it harder for young people to get on."

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