Youth employment and social policies

NEET prevention in Australia


Youth Banner - Supporting implementation of youth policies


Project: "Identifying effective pathways and transitions to work via education and training for young people, especially for youth not in employment, education or training (NEET)"  


 Outputs and activities


New publication from April 2023: Release of Adolescent Education and Pre-Employment Interventions in Australia: Keeping Young People in Education, Employment and Training


Mapping of preventative education interventions
Mapping of preventative pre-employment interventions
Identification of improvements to data collection and evaluation
  • Identification of international education/pre-employment interventions, targeting students in the 12-16 year old age bracket that been observed to smooth the transition between different levels of education and reduce the likelihood of students becoming NEET after leaving school
  • Identification of a subset among these interventions that have successfully targeted at-risk adolescents 
  • Review of how applicable these interventions are to the Australian context, including an analysis of the characteristics of teenage Australian NEETs and the education and employment system
  • Identification of  improvements to data collection, tracking and program evaluation systems that could facilitate interventions in the Australian context

The work is carried out through desk research drawing on OECD expertise on policy interventions, existing OECD data and publication and academic and other types of publications.   


Context and objectives

The Australian Department of Education, Skills and Employment (DESE), now replaced by the Department of Education and the Department of Employment and Workplace Relations, had a mandate to ensure that Australians could experience the well-being and economic benefits that quality education, skills and employment provide. Since experiencing periods of NEET status can harm well-being of young people, the Department was interested in learning which good international practices in education and employment preparation interventions targeting 12 to 16 year olds could be applied in the Australian context to reduce the risk of young people becoming NEET after leaving school.

DESE tasked the OECD Directorate for Employment, Labour and Social Affairs’ Youth and Diversity Team and the Centre for Skills’ Skills Analysis Division with investigating these good practices, with a particular focus on evidence-based practices. The project was funded by DESE.

The aim of the project is to close the evidence gap concerning interventions for this age group that can contribute to reducing their likelihood of experiencing periods of NEET status at older ages. In particular, the project aims to provide policy recommendations on education and pre-employment interventions that have been observed to reduce the likelihood of students becoming NEET after leaving school, and on data collection and evaluation systems that facilitate the implementation and evaluation of interventions.  


Relevance for other countries

The systematic overview of the existing evidence on preventative education and pre-employment interventions for young people in their mid-teens can help other countries identify potential programmes and policy changes that can help reduce the risk of later-in-life NEET periods. The report will be written in such a way that it is not only interesting for Australia, but also for other countries that are interested in NEET prevention.

Related work

-  Investing in Youth country reviews of Slovenia (2021), Korea (2019), Finland (2019), Peru (2019), Norway (2018), Japan (2017), Sweden (2016), Australia (2016), Lithuania (2016), Latvia (2015), Tunisia (2015), Brazil (2014).    






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