Press release: Number of teenagers in education and training hits all-time high

The number of teenagers in education or training is at its highest since consistent records began more than 2 decades ago, figures reveal today (25 June 2015).

At the end of 2014, the proportion of 16- to 18-year-olds in education or work-based learning rose by 1 percentage point on the previous year, an increase of almost 9,000 to 1,590,000.

Meanwhile, the proportion in this age group who were not in education, employment or training (NEET) fell by 0.4 percentage points to its lowest level since 1994 – a fall of almost 10,000 in 12 months.

The annual figures are further evidence of the government’s ongoing success in bringing down NEET levels. Last month, quarterly statistics showed the number of 16- to 24-year-olds who were classed as NEET fell to a 10-year low.

Skills Minister Nick Boles said:

These figures are the strongest seen in more than 20 years and emphatically show that our plan for education is working. This positive trend shows that we are on track to fulfil the government’s aspiration of building a nation of full employment and ensuring every young person has the world-class skills they need to fulfil their potential and succeed in modern Britain.

The figures also showed the highest proportion of 17-year-olds in education and work-based learning since 1994, rising by 2 percentage points to 87.2%. This age group was the first required to continue in education or training for an additional year at age 16.

The government has undertaken a number of reforms since 2010 to engage young people over the age of 16, including:

Notes to editors

  1. These are the Department for Education’s definitive measures of participation for 16- to 18-year-olds and draw together data from various post-16 sources including schools, further education, work-based learning and higher education. Read the participation in education, training and employment: age 16 to 18, end 2014.
  2. The figures show:
    • participation in full-time education by 16- to 18-year-olds rose by 1.6 percentage points between 2013 and 2014 to 71.5%, the highest level since consistent records began in 1994
    • the proportion of 16- to 18-year-olds NEET fell by 0.4percentage points from 7.7% in 2013 to 7.3% in 2014 – the lowest level since consistent records began.

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