The youth unemployment rate in the UK could potentially cost the economy £7 billion in 2022. These costs can be seen in lost productivity, tax revenue, and additional welfare costs. And this is not going to stop any time soon. Over the next 7 years, it is forecast to cost another £14.4 billion in lost earnings and damage to employment prospects.

It’s clear that employers need to begin employing NEET candidates so that we can curb the youth unemployment rate in the UK.

What is a NEET Candidate?

NEET stands for Not in Education, Employment or Training. This most commonly refers to a young person who has left full-time education and is looking for work but has so far been unsuccessful.

It’s quite common for young people to take a gap year or some time to themselves after finishing formal education. However, many don’t realise that this can make employers apprehensive to take them on further down the line.

The number of people in the UK classed as NEET has risen steadily since the end of 2021. From January to March 2022, 10.4 % of young people were NEET. Before this, it had been in steady decline since the year 2012.

This has particularly affected the class of 2020 graduates. As they emerged from education with no substantial work experience into a market in flux, they have been the hardest hit group of individuals. The impact on youth employment is so significant, that many economists are already referring to them as Generation COVID. They believe that the negative impact will likely be felt throughout these young people’s lives.

However, we can avoid this outcome. The reality is that these young people have a list of benefits that employers may be overlooking.

Benefits of Employing a NEET Candidate

We’ll take a look at just some of the advantages of employing NEET candidates and how it can be good for business.


Technology is now an integral part of education. This means that young people will be able to pick up new tools easily. With very little training, NEET candidates can master the corporate tools used in the company and perhaps even provide insight into new tools or techniques.

If your business has an online presence, young people’s tech skills could pay off even more. With most young people using social media daily, it’s likely that they are far more skilled than your older employees. Now mix their insight into current social media trends with the experience of other members of the team and you could tap into a whole world of possibilities for your business.


We all go through education in the hopes that the higher we go, the more likely we are to secure ourselves a good job down the line. However, for many NEET young people, their hard work and dedication to their education have not yet paid off. They want to put their qualifications to good use and just need an employer who’ll give them that opportunity. As such, NEET candidates will be determined to prove themselves through their work. They’re more likely to value their job and be willing to go above and beyond.

Massive Potential

With many NEET candidates being so young or without experience, they have tonnes of untapped potential for employers to utilise. With the right training and employee development programmes, NEET candidates will be able to fill any skills gap emerging in your company much quicker than older workers.


The longer someone is out of work, the more they will appreciate a job when they get one. This generation of young people is more aware of the precariousness of unemployment. So much so that they are far more likely to remain loyal to your organisation. Employers who spend time on the training and development of NEET employees are making a smart investment in the future of their business.

Brand Recognition

Diversity and inclusivity are integral parts of any successful business in today’s world. Taking on people who are NEET shows that your business is committed to solving the UK’s employment problems. In turn, this will label your brand as socially responsible which is important for UK consumers.

Final Thoughts

One of the most effective ways of reducing the number of people who are NEET is during education. In fact, students who gain four quality employer interactions at school are 86% less likely to become NEET. However, the current situation regarding people young people who are NEET requires employers to stand up and do their part.

There are many benefits of recruiting NEET candidates. With an investment in training and development, you’ll get an employee who is loyal to your company and quick to learn. Recruiting NEET candidates could potentially bring your business to the next level thanks to their tech-savvy mindsets and untapped potential.

Refreshing a Career has a range of useful resources and guidance for employers when it comes to hiring NEET candidates.

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