Calendar Year 2020

Participation in education and training and employment

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  1. Updates to "Headline facts and figures" section relating to compulsory participation and age 18 NEET rate

The Department for Education's official measures of participation and NEET (not in education, employment or training) for 16 to 18 year olds.

  • 16-17 year olds are required to remain in education and training in England following raising the participation age legislation in 2013.
  • 18 year olds in this release are in the first year post compulsory education.

Much of the narrative focuses on these two age groupings but individual ages are discussed where appropriate. Other key analyses is by gender, type of learning (e.g. full-time/apprenticeships), institution type, highest qualification level being studied and labour market status (e.g. employed/unemployed/inactive).

Information is drawn together from various post-16 data sources to give a coherent and comprehensive picture of participation and employment. Sources include administrative data from schools, further education, apprenticeships and higher education. Wider training and employment rates are estimated from the Labour Force Survey (LFS).

Participation estimates for the 2020 cohort impacted by COVID-19 may not fully reflect engagement and attendance. 


Headline facts and figures - 2020

Overall ages 16-18

  • Participation in education or apprenticeships is the highest on record
  • The age 16-18 not in education and training (NEET) rate remained stable and is still one of the lowest on record.
  • 4.1% in wider training and 7.0% in employment.

Ages 16-17 (in compulsory education or training)

  • 91.2% participating in education or apprenticeships, a record high.
  • 3.9% NEET,  a record low.
  • 2.8% in wider training and 2.1% in employment.

Age 18 (first year post compulsory education or training)

  • 64.0% participating in education or apprenticeships, a record high.
  • 12.0% NEET, an increase compared with last year and the highest level since 2014 resulting from falls in employment and falls in participation in wider training.
  • 6.9% in wider training and 17.0% in employment.

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