Catching the tide: New directions for youth NEET policy after Covid-19
The employment crisis will especially impact those young people already trapped in patterns of Not in Employment, Education, or Training (NEET). Since 2014, between 70,000 to 90,000 young New Zealanders have been NEET in a given year.2 Of those, around 10 percent are long-term NEET—having been disengaged for six months or longer.3 In June 2020 alone, the proportion of people aged 15–24 years who were NEET increased by 2 percent.
Overall, we need to focus on the pastoral care of youth entering—or returning to—the workforce. Pastoral care provides the crucial bridge for young people entrenched in patterns of NEET, to overcome shortcomings in current government approaches, and achieve long-term employment outcomes.