male tutor and student working together
Students & Youth

Resources for career professionals working with NEET youth

Reading Time: 5 minutes

Young people who are not in education, employment or training make up the NEET population. The age bracket of this group includes people under 30 who struggle to enter or remain in the labour market because of multiple barriers. The International Labour Organization reports that youth have been disproportionally affected by the pandemic and face lingering impacts of supply chain disruptions and rising inflation. According to Statistics Canada, about 11% of Canadians aged 15 to 29 were not in employment, education or training in 2022. Here are a few resources on contextual data, government programs and organizations that career professionals can use to help young jobseekers succeed.

Finding Their Path: What Youth Not In Employment, Education or Training (NEET) Want (Labour Market Information Council) [Report]

Among the findings of this report:

  • Most Canadians aged 16 to 29 who are not in employment, education or training (NEET) are typically in transition as they look for work or wait for school to start.
  • One out of every five NEET youth wants to figure out what career to pursue within the next 12 months.
  • The main challenges NEET youth face in finding suitable work is lack of experience and an absence of job opportunities in their area.
  • Family-related obligations are why close to one-third of women aged 16 to 29 (32%) are NEET compared with 5% of men.
International Labour Organization (ILO) [Report]

The Global Employment Trends for Youth sets out the youth labour market situation around the world. It shows where progress has or has not been made, updates world and regional youth labour market indicators, and gives detailed analyses of trends and issues facing young people in the labour market. Its 2022 edition discusses the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on young people and their labour market prospects during the recovery and beyond.

Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) [Data]

The OECD’s data indicator provides a global perspective by including populations from the Americas, Europe, Africa and Australasia. It presents the share of young people who are not in employment, education or training (NEET) as a percentage of the total number of young people in the corresponding age group, by gender.

Statistics Canada [Data]

The data presented is part of headline indicators that intend to provide a high-level assessment of overall quality of life in Canada. It shows the percentage of the NEET population in Canada from 2018 until 2022. It also has other resources on the labour force and impact of the pandemic on the proportion of youth not in employment, education or training.

Youth Employment and Skills Strategy (YESS) – Funding programs (Government of Canada)

The YESS initiative aims to help young people develop the skills and experience they need to successfully transition into the labour market. It provides funding for programs across various sectors, as cited in other resources below.

Employment programs for people under 30 (Government of Ontario)

Ontario’s Ministry of Labour, Training and Skills Development provides links to summer jobs, paid internships and skills training.

Digital Skills for Youth Program (Government of Canada)

While the call for proposals for 2023 is now closed, this program connects underemployed post-secondary graduates with small businesses and not-for-profit organizations where they can gain meaningful work experience to help them transition to career-oriented employment. It is part of the YESS program.

First Nations and Inuit Youth Employment Strategy (Government of Canada)

The strategy supports initiatives to provide First Nations and Inuit youth with information about career options and opportunities to develop skills to help gain employment and develop their careers. It is a component of the YESS initiative.

Green Jobs in Natural Resources (Government of Canada)

To help young Canadians start their career, Natural Resources Canada is investing in green jobs in natural resources through the Science and Technology Internship Program, which is also linked to the YESS program.

International Youth Internship Program (IYIP) (Government of Canada)

IYIP is another component of YESS. It offers Canadian youth, especially those facing barriers to employment, the opportunity to gain professional experience abroad in the field of international development and to acquire skills that will prepare them for future employment or further their studies.

Ontario Works Training Programs in Toronto

This list on the City of Toronto’s website includes training courses to help jobseekers prepare for employment, self-employment or career advancement. Program participants receive $250/month for training-related expenses and may quality for technology supports and/or transportation funds for online or in-person training.

ReBrand: Career & Employment Initiative for Youth in Alberta

The initiative, featured on MCG Careers website, provides youth in Alberta with an opportunity to develop essential life and career skills. Participants work through a series of program modules that aid in career planning, education planning, stress management, job search, networking and much more.

SEED Youth Employment Program (Douglas College)

SEED (Sustainable Employment & Environmental Directions) is a program funded by the BC government to help unemployed youth in the lower mainland find and keep a full-time job.

Youth Entrepreneurship Program (YEP) (Job Skills Programs and Services)

Funded by the Government of Canada, YEP is a 24-week program that offers promising youth entrepreneurs access to business training, resources and financial support for the best chance of success in their own new company or self-employment.

Canadian Council for Youth Prosperity (CCYP)

CCYP is a national, cross-sector collaboration that drives co-ordination and boosts the infrastructure that supports the youth workforce development ecosystem.

Support, Advanced Learning and Training Opportunities for Youth (SALTO-YOUTH)

SALTO-YOUTH is a network of seven Resource Centres working on European priority areas within the youth field. As part of the European Commission’s Training Strategy, SALTO-YOUTH provides tools and non-formal learning resources for youth workers and youth leaders. It also produced a  video about NEET issues.

Youth Employment Services (YES)

YES offers innovative programs that empower disadvantaged and vulnerable youth to become self-sufficient contributing members of society. It also provides services to employers including a wage subsidy and pre-screening of candidates, and has online resources on topics such as resumes, cover letters, references and interviewing.

Adventures in Career Development [Blog]

Tristram Hooley, a British careers expert, shares his experience in career development and planning for youth in Hong Kong as well as commentary on England’s NEET policy.

Effective outreach to NEETS – Experience from the ground (European Commission) [Report]

This report looks at measures to better reach out to young people who are not in education, employment or training, and to encourage them to register for youth employment schemes across Europe.

Labour market implications for racialized youth (Future Skills Centre) [Report]

The objective of this report is to support the development of consistent and comprehensive frameworks by 1.) identifying the barriers faced by racialized youth in employment and education; 2.) providing an extensive mapping of government and non-government programs and policies supporting racialized youth in employment and education; and 3.) identifying gaps in these policies and programs to inform the creation of more inclusive workplaces and institutions. Pages 48 to 70 have various national and municipal programs for various youth groups including NEET.

Projects on youth employment (ILO) [Case studies]

The ILO presents global examples of apprenticeships, programs and advocacy in youth employment.

The Skills compass environmental scan of college sector programs, program components and resources to support NEET Indigenous and Newcomer youth in training & employment (Colleges & Institutes Canada) [Report]

This is an environmental scan of college sector programs, program components and resources for NEET Indigenous and newcomer youth. The report identifies the main barriers to education and employment for both groups of youth, as well as the tools and services in place to navigate the postsecondary sector and beyond.

What support works best for young people at risk of NEET? (ideas4careers) [Article]

This article offers ideas on how career advisers can provide effective support for helping young people transition from school to the workplace.

Youth Employment Toolkit (Canadian Observatory on Homelessness)

This toolkit is designed for shelters, housing providers, youth-serving agencies and other organizations concerned about homeless and at-risk youth in Canada. It outlines some ideas for a youth employment project for at-risk youth and is designed to create a model that is flexible and adaptable.

Katrina Rozal Author
Katrina Rozal is a Communication Specialist. She has 10 years of combined experience in producing content for Canadian news media and the British non-profit sector.
Katrina Rozal Author
Katrina Rozal is a Communication Specialist. She has 10 years of combined experience in producing content for Canadian news media and the British non-profit sector.
Latest Posts
  • Multiethnic group of businesspeople in a meeting at office
  • Two women standing and talking in office.
  • Man sitting at desk looking stressed
  • male tutor and student working together