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5 Tips for Engaging NEET Young People

NEET stands for not in education, employment or training. The latest statistics published suggest that West Sussex has a significant number of young people who are classed as NEET. Therefore the question is, how do we engage these young people and help them reach their potential? Programmes like Make Trax and Future Focus are available at asphaleia for all young people who want to study and gain accredited qualifications that will provide a stepping stone into an apprenticeship, job, or further/higher education. But how specifically can providers engage those young people who are not currently studying or working in any capacity? Here are five key approaches to take when working with NEET young people.

  1. Listen to their needs

Many NEET young people believe that further education or training is something they are forced to do, or they may have had bad experiences with it. The first step to engagement should always be to listen to their needs. Admittedly, these are not always known, but it is paramount that the young person feels listened to, respected and that they have a voice in any re-engagement activities.

  1. Be flexible

Some young people who have not had a routine for some time may not be able to start at 9am, at first. Recognising this is part of setting an achievable goal for them right from the get-go. Equally, if you suggest an hour-long appointment and halfway through this seems to be difficult for them, encourage them to take a break, or allow them to leave early. Reinforce that the biggest step is often the first step.

  1. Use creativity

Whether this is through music, art, writing, mindfulness, or even just taking a walk or being outside, encouraging a creative outlet can aid engagement. Using creative activities in further education alongside the formal study can help to keep the engagement fun and varied. Having a good relationship with a young person depends partly on your commitment to letting them engage you. I often ask a young person to teach me something – this helps with their confidence and creativity.

  1. Use positivity

Positivity is infectious. Rewarding a young person for a small step helps them to believe they can achieve that bigger goal. For example, a young person who has the main aim of being confident enough to go for a job interview may set a target for themselves of talking on the phone to a professional for the first time. Show that you believe in them by being positive about their achievements, strengths, and potential.

  1. Always relate the work they are doing to their next steps

Relating every progression to a destination in a positive way can help to keep that goal in focus and remind a young person of the reason behind the effort they are putting in.

Make Trax and Future Focus project workers are available to work with young people aged 16-24, on barriers to becoming EET, employability skills, work experience and much more. Please see the below flyers for further details and if you know anyone who may benefit from our projects, contact us today.


T: 01903 522966


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