Overall March 2013 shows an increase of young people who are NEET (Not in Employment, Education or Training) to 7.6% compared with a national average of 5.6%. This difference is in the main attributable to 18 year olds in Swindon. For 18 year old group, the NEET level was at 12.4% (331 young people) in Swindon compared with 7.9% nationally and 10% in Swindon in March 2012.

Overall March 2013 shows an increase of young people who are NEET (Not in Employment, Education or Training) to 7.6% compared with a national average of 5.6%. This difference is in the main attributable to 18 year olds in Swindon. For 18 year old group, the NEET level was at 12.4% (331 young people) in Swindon compared with 7.9% nationally and 10% in Swindon in March 2012.

This follows news that Swindon has 4,500 people jobless, with 1000 new benefit claims every month.

These figures were produced for Swindon Borough Council’s Children’s & Young Peoples Overview & Scrutiny Committee.

The Swindon Labour Group’s Children’s Services Shadow Lead, Councillor Cindy Matthews, who sits on this committee, said: “This news is obviously disappointing and needs to be urgently rectified. With a town that has a higher than average number of jobs within it, I think these figures show that there are not enough training, work experience and apprenticeship opportunities in Swindon.

At the last budget round, Labour had proposed to reallocate money currently going towards consultants and using it to create more apprenticeship opportunities. This was rejected by the Conservative administration and the Liberal Democrats, but we would still welcome more money being reallocated for apprenticeships. It is also important for the Council to work very closely with Jobs Centre Plus to try to encourage these young people back to work. Either way, I would support any swift action to get these young people back re-engaged, as we don’t want  a lost generation of young people in Swindon.”

Cllr Cindy Matthews
Labour Group Shadow Lead for Children’s Service