This paper offers novel evidence and a discussion of the main measurement issues associated with the complex phenomenon of youth not in employment, education or training (NEET) in Italy. The problem is quite relevant for Italian youths, and it is characterized by important gender differences. We use data from the European Union Statistics on Income and Living Conditions (EU-SILC) and estimate correlated random effects probit models with endogenous initial conditions by gender for the 2017–2020 period. Our findings suggest a relevant persistence in this condition for both males and females. As for the determinants, we note that educational attainment is a protective factor against the risk of being NEET, as is the presence of employed individuals in the household. All in all, our findings suggest the need for additional policy interventions aimed at reducing both the risk of being NEET and the consistency of the phenomenon.
The not in employment, education or training (NEET) category is now widely used in many contexts to refer to young people who are not studying, not working and not in training. However, this category is very broad and its delimitation does not always allow for successful interventions and policies. This paper aims to psychologically profile the diverse groups of NEETs (as proposed by Eurofound) in order to provide qualitative aspects in terms of different variables. This research employs data collected by the Osservatorio Giovani of the Istituto Toniolo di Studi Superiori (Milan, Italy) for a sample of 1257 NEETs. Chi-squared and ANOVA tests were conducted on demographic, psychological and soft-skill variables. The results consist of an accurate description of each NEET category that takes into account these variables.
This article discusses the not in education, employment, or training (NEET) construct used in public policies to identify vulnerable young people and respond to their needs but which is actually incapable of grasping their heterogeneity and diverse life conditions. We critically reflect on the shortcomings of the NEET indicator and its risk of essentializing a category that does not exist as such in reality. The underlying assumption is that these policies contribute to reinforcing these shortcomings and fail to intercept the most disadvantaged youngsters. Furthermore, the article provides some suggestions to go beyond the NEET category and proposes new approaches and research paths to understand and explain youth vulnerability, highlighting the social-cultural construction of youth vulnerability, the importance of the temporal dimension in youth marginalization and the usefulness of an intersectional approach that highlights young peoples’ personal resources, social resilience and capability to exploit social and economic life chances.
Data on young people not in education, employment or training (NEET) in European countries can be understandably worrying. However, looking closely at this condition enables social sciences to understand how trajectories to NEETification emerge inside the complex and wider ecology of education/work transition, that is a path along which youths transit in and out of the labour market several times before finding their final occupation. Giving value to several – working or non-working – experiences youths make in this “interstitial” phase, can be helpful to contrast risks of becoming NEET. The purpose of this paper is to analyse the impact of a social policy launched in 2014 by the Region of Lombardy aimed at enhancing youths’ self-activation by valorising a place where they traditionally volunteer: the (Catholic) oratory. To this aim, we draw on data collected through quali-quantitative research conducted in 2019/2020 by the Osservatorio Giovani, ODL and the Region of Lombardy.