Background paper on Early school leaving (drop-outs and NEETs)

Today in Europe there are more than 14 million people below 30 years old who are Not in Employment, Education or Training (NEETs). NEETs cost society millions of euros every year through tax losses, inactivity and the costs of measures targeted at NEETs. It is estimated that in 2011, the cost of youth unemployment was the equivalent of 1.21% of GDP, i.e. an annual loss of €153 billion for the EU . However, the situation also costs the individual, as young people remain continuously at risk of further exclusion and other social and financial difficulties in their lives.

This document brings together a background paper on early school leaving and a case study by our Member Volunteering Matters from the United Kingdom. Volunteering Matters has founded in 2009 the ‘Grandmentors Programme’ with the aim to mobilise older volunteers age 50+ to use their lifetime of skills and experience to support NEET young people (age 16-24) who also lack positive adult role models.