Disadvantaged teens in the North East may be struggling due to a “youth jobs gap” finds report

A recent study by the charity Impetus found that disadvantaged teens in the North East are 50% less likely to go into higher education or employment than disadvantaged teens in London.

The main study was focused around a “youth jobs gap” between wealthy and poor families which found, due to this gap, children from poorer families were twice as likely to not have a job after education.

The charity also found that one in four who were eligible for free school meals were not in education, employment or training, “NEET” as they referred to in the report.

Impetus deem that education alone cannot explain the gap, as those who do get high grades but are from a disadvantaged background are still worse off than those who aren’t from a disadvantaged background, with teens who score similar results to their better off classmates, still more likely to be NEET in early adulthood.

In an interview, Sam Windett, Impetus’ director of policy, said the charity always “wanted to focus on disadvantaged young people.” In regards to the recent report they published, Impetus was “driven to find the answers not available previously.”

Going into more detail, Sam revealed that the reason why we haven’t seen a report like this before is due to the lack of information on the Labour Force Survey (LFS).

“The Labour Force Survey works for some results but it couldn’t answer many of our questions,” he said.

Impetus then searched for more information on people who were NEET.  Working with the National Institute of Economic and Social Research (NIESR), Impetus was able to access and use the Longitudinal Education Outcomes (LEO) database.

“LEO gives us access to the National Pupil Database and HMRC (Her Majesties Revenue and Customs) in one place.  It doesn’t find new data, it just brings already existing data into one place, where we were able to analyse it.

“With the research, we wanted to publish it for other organisations to use, not to provide a figure for money needed.  We need to work with other charities and organisations now and its our turn to listen and find out what they have.”

The report is the first of a series that Impetus plans to release, with regional reports for the North West and East Midlands already in the works.

In regards to the North East, Sam agreed that the findings were shocking. The plan is to eventually make a report for each region, tackling the specific problems there, with Impetus “looking at GCSE and A-level outcomes and those in apprenticeships.”

Impetus partners with several charities across the country, more specifically in the North East, such as Action Tutoring and Dallaglio Rugbyworks.  Sam hopes more organisations, such as schools, universities and local governments, will  get involved with Impetus in the future.

Impetus can be contacted at info@impetus.org.uk or on 020 3474 1000, to find out more go to impetus.org.uk.

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