The future of the left since 1884

Out of Sight: How we lost track of thousands of NEETs, and how we can transform their prospects

There are many more young people than we thought who are not in eemployment, education or training. It is time to give them the support they need.


Almost nothing would have so great an impact on our society and economy in the long term as seriously reducing the number of young people who are not in education, employment or training. But in order to crack the problem, we need to know who they are and where they are. We have lost track of over 150,000 young people nationally, including over 50,000 NEETs, and are in thrall to a profoundly misleading idea that they are troubled, excluded and even dangerous.

NEETs are not a ‘wicked’ issue, but one that can be tackled successfully. This does not require major new resources or far-reaching changes to national legislation or policy. It does require a proper count, at both local and national level, to reflect the true scale of the problem and push the issue up the political agenda. It also requires proper accountability and determined leadership, especially at the local level, to bring together schools, colleges, employers, careers advice services and third sector organisations to ensure many more young people develop the skills and qualifications they need.

Download now

How to purchase

Copies are available, priced £9.95, from the Fabian Society. Call 020 7227 4900, email or send a cheque payable to The Fabian Society to 61 Petty France, London, SW1H 9EU.


Richard Brooks

Richard Brooks was Research Director of the Fabian Society and co-author of Narrowing the Gap, the report of the Fabian Commission on Life Chances and Child Poverty.


Fabian membership

Join the Fabian Society today and help shape the future of the left

You’ll receive the quarterly Fabian Review and at least four reports or pamphlets each year sent to your door

Be a part of the debate at Fabian conferences and events and join one of our network of local Fabian societies

Join the Fabian Society
Fabian Society

By continuing to use the site, you agree to the use of cookies. more information

The cookie settings on this website are set to "allow cookies" to give you the best browsing experience possible. If you continue to use this website without changing your cookie settings or you click "Accept" below then you are consenting to this.