There has been a further decline in the number of youngsters not in education, employment or training (NEET) in Wales.
New figures from the annual population survey (APS) reveal that in the 12 months ending December 31st 2014 8.1 per cent of 16-18 year olds were estimated to be NEET, compared with 11.9 per cent at the end of 2013. This means 8,800 young people were NEET in 2014 compared with 13,500 in 2013.
There was a smaller decline in the number of 19 to 24-year-olds who were NEET. During the same period ending December 31st 2014, 19.7 per cent of this group (50,900 people) were estimated to be NEET, against 20.4 per cent (51,500) at the year ending December 31st 2013.
Deputy minister for skills and technology Julie James said: "We launched our Youth Engagement and Progression Framework in 2013 to encourage and support local authorities and other organisations to reduce the number of NEET young people in Wales. [This] report indicates that we are already producing good results."
She added that the government's efforts to boost numeracy and literacy in schools and support people into training or further education will lead to the development of a stronger, more sustainable workforce.
According to APS data, there has been a continued reduction in the percentage of young people who are NEET and aged between and 16 and 18 over the last few quarters.
The annual Statistical First Release on Participation of young people in education and the labour market, which is released in July, will provide a more robust estimate of NEET figures.
Posted by Tim Colman