Case study - Targeted support successfully reduces NEET

Two young menC&K Careers uses locality-based model to cut NEET figures.

Background

To reduce NEET in Calderdale:

  • In July 2009, 10.1% of 16-18 year olds in Calderdale were not in education, employment or training (NEET). Since then, local targeting has successfully reduced the figure annually to reach 5.9% in March 2014.
  • The challenge was to improve the current delivery model to help young people overcome the barriers to employment, education and training, and to ensure this was sustainable by deploying resources more effectively.
  • It was decided to dedicate the NEET personal adviser (PA) resource in a more effective way and work more closely with other local partners offering services to young people, aligning service delivery with Calderdale Council’s youth support strategy.

Solution

To focus on NEET by ward:

  • NEET data is continuously analysed to identify NEET ‘hotspots’ by ward.
  • Mapping local Youth Service provision and attending the Council’s Area Forums and Early Intervention Panels developed working relationships with youth workers in strategic areas across the borough.
  • NEET PA caseloads were re-allocated to provide a better balance, based on the ward distribution of NEET.

Benefits

Clear responsibilities, effective relationships:

  • Each NEET PA has ownership of a defined NEET caseload, reinforcing responsibility and relationships.
  • Referral process for NEET by colleagues is made easier as there is a clearly designated NEET PA.
  • A clearer allocation model also allows prompt pick up by PAs of NEET and those at risk of becoming NEET.
  • NEET PAs become familiar with local area issues and priorities, such as transport and concentrations of social housing.
  • NEET PAs build up a network of individual working relationships with partner agencies, especially youth workers, maximising joint working on addressing needs of young people, especially those with complex barriers to employment, education and training.

Results

Successful reduction in NEET:

  • The target of 6.4% for Calderdale NEET was achieved by November 2010, with further improvement to 5.6% by March 2014.
  • A reduction of 45% in NEET figure in less than five years.
  • Not Known also reduced from 4.6% in July 2009 to 2.5% by March 2014 (just over 45% reduction).

These figures are even more impressive, as the cohorts NEET PAs were working with increased over this period.

Future

To continue locality-based caseload model:

  • A strong network of practitioner contacts has been established.
  • Effective joint working continues, maintaining low level of NEET and Not Known.
  • An added focus since 2013/14 is the Raising of the Participation Age (RPA).
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