Skills, Knowledge and Organisational Performance

Dept of Education Public Seminar ¦ Professor Sue Maguire – If “Youth of the Country are the Trustees of Posterity” (Benjamin Disraeli, 1845), do we need to do more to support young people who are NEET in the UK?

15 Norham Gardens, Oxford OX2 6PY

From 17:00 until 18:30

At Seminar Room G/H, Department of Education, University of Oxford

15 Norham Gardens, Oxford OX2 6PY


Speaker: Professor Sue Maguire, University of Bath

Convener: Professor Ewart Keep

While some nineteenth century commentators pointed to the social divide that existed, in terms of children’s access to a basic education and their predisposition to experience early labour market exploitation, the challenge currently facing policymakers is to reduce unacceptable levels of social and economic exclusion that threaten to blight many young people’s lives. The purpose of this seminar will be to provide a greater understanding of the label ‘NEET’ (not in education, employment or training), with regard to why the term was first adopted in the UK and why an increasing cohort of young people are assigned this status. It will examine policy initiatives, in terms of early intervention programmes in schools that are aimed at preventing young people from becoming NEET, reintegration or ‘remedial’ programmes, and active labour market policies. Ongoing research undertaken at the University of Oxford highlights a disparity across the four countries within the UK, relating to the support and intervention currently offered to young people in the NEET group. Finally, the continued relevance of the term ‘NEET’ and whether it is helping to disguise, rather than highlight, present levels of youth disengagement will be discussed.


Sue Maguire is Honorary Professor at the Institute for Policy Research, University of Bath, Associate Fellow at the University of Oxford’s Centre on Skills, Knowledge and Organisational Performance (SKOPE) and a Visiting Fellow at the Centre for Social and Economic Research (CASE) in Poland. She has been engaged in policy-related research focusing on education, employment and training since 1988. Her research expertise in youth transitions, and specifically the needs of disadvantaged and disengaged groups of young people, has made a significant impact on academic thinking and policy formation nationally and internationally. In the UK, she has provided written and oral evidence to select committees in the House of Commons and House of Lords and is regularly invited to advise on policy development e.g. Cabinet Office, HMT, Department for Education, the former Department for Business, Innovation and Skills, and the Welsh Government.  She has published widely, including journal articles, book chapters and over 40 reports for government departments and other agencies.

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