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Council falls behind in unemployed target for 16-18 year olds
COUNCIL bosses are falling behind in their target to reduce the number of school leavers in Bucks not in jobs, training or education.
By the end of the financial year, in April, Buckinghamshire County Council aimed for just 3.8 per cent of 16 to 18 year-old residents to be categorised as NEETS (Not in Education, Employments or Training).
But it has fallen short in its goal in the three quarters of 2012/13 so far.
The latest figures are 4.3 per cent, while the previous two quarters were 4.4 per cent and 3.9 per cent.
Cllr Mike Appleyard, Deputy Leader at BCC, said: “There's a lot of work going on in this area. The current economic climate is making it very difficult.
"We are mildly pleased that we are just about hanging on. We think by the end of the school year things will look better.”
Leader Cllr Martin Tett said unemployment amongst this age group was a structural problem across Europe and is 'horrific' in some countries.
The council said it is focused on creating more apprenticeships.
Meanwhile, the National Apprenticeship Service have announced 2,770 apprenticeships started in Bucks in 2011/12 - growth of 3.2 per cent from the previous year.
David Way, Chief Executive of the National Apprenticeship Service said: “I am pleased that new data confirms that apprenticeships overall are increasingly popular.
"Apprenticeships have much to offer and by working closely with employers, we have come a long way in raising quality standards.”
There were over half a million new apprenticeships nationwide.
Business Secretary Vince Cable said: “Whenever I speak to businesses, a lack of trained workers is a frequent concern.
"These figures mean we are starting to turn the tide. Over half a million people took up an apprenticeship last year, showing that our investment in vocational skills is paying off.”