Understanding and Reducing NEET: Perspectives of Schoolteachers and Career Advice Service Providers

Andrew Holliman, Ingrid Schoon, Jane Hurry, Daniel Waldeck

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There are growing concerns about the number of children and young people who are “Not in Education, Employment, or Training” (NEET). The literature suggests that further research is warranted to help understand what can be done to reduce the number of pupils at risk of NEET, to enable a successful transition into education, employment, or training. In this study, the views of schoolteachers (who provide careers support in schools and make NEET referrals) and career advice service providers (who receive NEET referrals from schoolteachers) are gauged to gain better insight regarding existing careers provision in schools and the efficacy of NEET referral processes. Using a qualitative interview approach, two schoolteachers from the West Midlands (UK) and three career advice service providers were recruited for the study. Thematic analysis of the interviews with schoolteachers identified four superordinate themes: Pupil Contact and Support; A Whole-School Approach to Careers Guidance; Broadening Horizons and Creating Opportunities; NEET Identification and Referral: When, How, and What Happens Next? The interviews with career advice service providers distinguished three superordinate themes: Navigating a Dynamic Landscape; Integration and Affiliation with Schools; Reaching Pupils at Risk of NEET. Taken together, the findings indicate that providing improved and continued communication, collaboration, and coordination of different services appear to be key leverages to address the multiple service needs of young people at risk.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)579-595
Number of pages17
Issue number2
Early online date20 Apr 2023
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 20 Apr 2023

Bibliographical note

© 2023 by the authors. Licensee MDPI, Basel, Switzerland. This article is an open access article distributed under the terms and conditions of the Creative Commons Attribution (CC BY) license (https:// creativecommons.org/licenses/by/ 4.0/)


The research was funded by Coventry & Warwickshire Local Enterprise Partnership.


  • careers
  • education
  • employability
  • school
  • thematic analysis


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