• Are we failing young people not in employment, education or training (NEETs)? a systematic review and meta-analysis of re-engagement interventions

      Mawn, Lauren; Oliver, Emily J.; Akhter, Nasima; Bambra, Clare L.; Torgerson, Carole; Bridle, Christopher; Stain, Helen J.; ; Newcastle University; Durham University; et al. (BioMed Central Ltd., 2017-01-25)
      Background: Youth comprise 40% of the world's unemployed, a status associated with adverse wellbeing and social, health, and economic costs. This systematic review and meta-analysis review synthesises the literature on the effectiveness of interventions targeting young people not in employment, education, or training (NEET). Methods: Randomised and quasi-randomised trials with a concurrent or counterfactual control group and baseline equivalence are included. Cochrane collaboration tools are used to assess quality, and a narrative synthesis was undertaken. The primary outcome is employment; secondary outcomes were health, earnings, welfare receipt, and education. Results: Eighteen trials are included (9 experimental and 9 quasi-experimental), sample sizes range from 32 to 54,923. Interventions include social skills, vocational, or educational classroom-based training, counselling or one-to-one support, internships, placements, on-the-job or occupational training, financial incentives, case management, and individual support. Meta-analysis of three high-quality trials demonstrates a 4% (CI 0.0-0.7) difference between intervention and control groups on employment. Evidence for other outcomes lacks consistency; however, more intensive programmes increase employment and wages over the longer term. Conclusions: There is some evidence that intensive multi-component interventions effectively decrease unemployment amongst NEETs. The quality of current evidence is limited, leaving policy makers under-served when designing and implementing new programmes, and a vulnerable population neglected. Systematic review registration: PROSPERO CRD42014007535