Are we failing young people not in employment, education or training (NEETs)? A systematic review and meta-analysis of re-engagement interventions.

Lauren Mawn, Emily J. Oliver, Nasima Akhter, Clare L. Bambra, Carole Torgerson, Chris Bridle, Helen Stain

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    48 Citations (Scopus)
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    Abstract

    Background: Youth comprise 40% of the world's unemployed, a status associated with adverse wellbeing and social, health, and economic costs. This systematic review and meta-analysis review synthesises the literature on the effectiveness of interventions targeting young people not in employment, education or training (NEET).
    Methods: Randomised and quasi randomised trials with a concurrent or counterfactual control group and baseline equivalence are included. Cochrane collaboration tools are used to assess quality and a narrative synthesis was undertaken. The primary outcome is employment; secondary outcomes were health, earnings, welfare receipt, and education.
    Results: Eighteen trials are included (9 experimental and 9 quasi experimental), sample sizes range from 32 to 54,923. Interventions include: social skills, vocational, or educational classroom-based training, counseling or one-to-one support, internships, placements, on-the-job or occupational training, financial incentives, case management, and individual support. Meta-analysis of three high-quality trials demonstrates a 4% (CI: 0.0 – 0.7) difference between intervention and control groups on employment. Evidence for other outcomes lacks consistency, however more intensive programs increase employment and wages over the longer term.
    Conclusions: There is some evidence that intensive multi-component interventions effectively decrease unemployment amongst NEETs. The quality of current evidence is limited, leaving policy makers under-served when designing and implementing new programmes, and a vulnerable population neglected.
    Systematic review registration: PROSPERO CRD42014007535
    Original languageEnglish
    Article number16
    JournalSystematic Reviews
    Volume6
    DOIs
    Publication statusPublished - 25 Jan 2017

    Keywords

    • Unemployment
    • effectiveness
    • education
    • health
    • wages

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