Council chiefs have called for more powers to help young people into work as figures reveal a dramatic increase in the number of young people not in education, employment or training.
Official figures, published today, show that there are 792,000 young people not in education, employment or training (NEET) in the UK – an increase of 28,000 over the last quarter.
The Local Government Association (LGA) argues that the Government should devolve more power and funding to local areas so that councils can help support young people into work.
Councils and local partners should have the power to deliver their own apprenticeship offer, local careers advice and guidance, according to the LGA.
Whitehall should also give more support to schools to assist with post-16 pathways.
The LGA also said that the Government should use next month’s Spending Round to devolve sufficient funding to co-ordinate and commission support for all young people into work or education.
‘With more than 790,000 young people not in education, employment or training it is vital that more young people have the opportunities to increase their skills and retrain, so we can drive up productivity and start to close local skills gaps,’ said chairman of the LGA’s People and Places Board, Cllr Mark Hawthorne.
‘Behind every number is a young person failing to realise their full potential.
‘By devolving careers advice and post-16 skills budgets and powers to local areas, councils can work with schools, colleges and employers to improve provision for young people so that they can get on in life.’