Supporting young people who are not in education, employment or training (NEET) has been a major government focus for many years. Researchers in the Centre for Technology Enhanced Learning have undertaken studies in this field since 2007, exploring how digital technologies are used by young people who are NEET, and how they can be used by those supporting them.
Recent work by Don Passey (with Prospects UK) focussed on how different groups of young people seeking employment, education and training use digital technologies. This research was presented to a policy and practitioner audience at the National Careers Guidance Show in London in March 2013.
A report in 2008, commissioned by the government agency for e-strategy, focused on ‘Assessing the potential of e-learning to support re-engagement amongst young people with Not in education, employment or training (NEET) status’. A key finding of that report was that young people who are NEET use the range of digital technologies that many other young people use, but their uses for learning tend to be more restricted. As the Head of E-Strategy Coordination and Assurance at the commissioning body said:
“.. the research found that there is potential for ICT to be used as a tool to re-engage this specific group of young people but used at the right time and in the right way, for example, to facilitate practical and creative types of learning or to assist young people in making decisions about their lives. The report produced was thorough and concise, and based on the very specific and well researched findings from Lancaster University, we aim to carry out an intervention study which will put these findings into practice.”
As a consequence of this report, the government agency for e-strategy commissioned further work from researchers in the Centre for Technology Enhanced Learning, through an ‘Independent evaluation of the intervention study in Sunderland Local Authority (LA) with young people who are not in employment, education or training (NEET)’. This development and research work explored how online multimedia facilities could support young people in developing their skills, experiences and integrating these into a multimedia CV.