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Barriers to education,employment andtraining for young people in rural areas

It is clear that as a nation we are experiencing the most difficult economic climate in 60 years. One of our greatest challenges is to address the rising levels of young people who are not in education, employment or training (NEET) in England. In its response to the 2010 Children, Schools and Families Committee report on young people NEET, the Government stated:

“We cannot afford this waste of human potential that blights the lives of the individuals concerned. We know that being NEET at this age is associated with negative outcomes later in life, including unemployment, reduced earnings, poor health and depression. These outcomes each have a cost attached and so being NEET is not just bad for individuals but also for our economy as a whole.”

Since the onset of recession in 2008, the number of young people NEET in rural areas has increased from 84,000 to 123,000, or 9.4% to 12.9% of all young people living in rural areas1. In producing this report, the Commission for Rural Communities (CRC) has looked at whether there is a rural dimension to the issue. Moreover, we have explored whether there are any rural barriers to education, employment and training for young people in rural areas, in the context of changing Government policy. We have also tried to identify possible solutions to the problems facing rural young people.