The Link Between Characteristics of School Pupils and Labour Market Outcomes

An estimated 12% of young people aged 16-24 years old are Not in Education, Employment or Training (NEET). While there is significant geographic variation in these statistics, our research found that young people from disadvantaged families are 50% more likely to be NEET than their more affluent peers, irrespective of their education outcome.

We now extend our research to investigate whether personal characteristics such as gender, ethnicity, English as an additional language (EAL), and special education needs and disabilities (SEND) have an equally important role to play in a young person’s success in transitioning to education, employment or training.

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Summary & aims

Our research aims to provide a thorough description of the effect of personal characteristics in determining whether a young person makes a successful transition to education, employment or training following the completion of their compulsory education. Given previous findings that average NEET rates mask significant geographic variation, we aim  to investigate this issue at the level of small geographical areas (“Upper Tier Local Authorities”) based on linked administrative data from English education and employment registers. Specifically, we aim provide a full set of statistics on NEETs for young people aged 20-24 years old, using the most recent data available in these areas.


Our empirical analysis exploits “Big Data”: the universe of all young people in England completing their secondary school education between 2007 and 2014. These cohorts were selected because they are of the age range 18-24 in the recent years, for which we can observe both education and employment outcomes with available data.

We then use National Pupil Data, Individualised Learner Records, data supplied by the Higher Education Statistics Agency (HESA) and earnings from income tax records provided by HMRC linked at individual level (“Longitudinal Education Outcomes”, LEO) to understand what proportion of young people find themselves in a NEET status, and what social or personal characteristics are associated with being NEET.

Principal Investigator

The Link Between Characteristics of School Pupils and Labour Market Outcomes


Larissa Marioni
Principal Economist