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Brighton and Hove is a Neet hotspot
Brighton and Hove has been identified as a hotspot for out-of-work young people.
A new report has highlighted the city as having one of the highest percentages of neets, 16 to 24-year-olds not in education, employment or training, in the south.
About one in five 16-24-year-olds in Brighton and Hove were recorded as being neets in a report by the Work Foundation.
The figure, derived from the 2009-10 Labour Force survey, was above the national average of 16.8% and much higher than neighbours Portsmouth, Southampton and Bournemouth which were all ranked in the low category of between 14% and 16%.
Worthing was also included in the report’s survey of 53 towns and cities in England with 16% of youngsters categorised as neets.
A Brighton and Hove City Council spokesman said between April and August this year the number of 16 to 18-year-olds classified as neets averaged just below 8%.
Kevin Grist, music and learning manager at the Crew Club in Coolham Drive, Brighton, said there was a massive demand from young people to volunteer at the centre because training and work opportunities were at a premium.
He added that the loss of the Education Maintenance Allowance and rising tuition fees were adding to the problems of youth unemployment.
Mr Grist added: “Being out of training, education and employment, means people’s self-worth goes down, they feel separated from society and stuck in a rut.
“In some cases this can lead to crime, to drugs, to drink and some turn to having children at a young age to have a sense of worth.
“This generation of neets then grow up with this long-term damage which they then pass on to the next generation.”
The Brighton and Hove City Council spokesman said the council was responsible for working with neets aged between 16 to 18 or 16 to 24 if they had special needs.
After that responsibility lay with the Job Centre.
Sue Shanks, cabinet member for children and young people, said the council ran a number of successful apprenticeship schemes with CityParks, the Royal Pavilion and Mears.
She added: “Brighton and Hove is performing well through a raft of initiatives including the new Youth Employability Service set up specifically to support young residents of the city and currently we are comfortably hitting targets.
“There are challenging times ahead as we face a massive public spending squeeze but we are determined to help our younger residents improve their future prospects and at the same time tackle inequality.”
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