Identification of NEETs population enables early interventions and better results. It is important to reach out to NEETs and provide them with support as soon as possible.

How to implement or improve strategies for reaching out NEETs

NEETs are a diverse group, encompassing individuals with different skill levels, activity status and personal backgrounds. It includes young people who are short and long-term unemployed or inactive; those who are low-skilled, low qualified and highly qualified; young people with physical, cognitive or geographical limitations; and migrants and refugees.

Outreach strategies need to be tailored to different profiles of NEETs. The most hard-to-reach profiles are young people who have become discouraged in their job search and are not actively looking for employment, and those facing multiple challenges. These groups may require more holistic outreach approaches through community organisations and/or in non-traditional settings.

Below you can learn about the main NEETs profiles developed based on research in different European countries. These are defined based on the “distance” they have from their participation to employment, education and training and are divided in two main categories: those who are still seeking work or an education and training pathway; and those who do not. By understanding the characteristics and situation of each profile, you may better support these young people in need. If you wish to know more about how these profiles have been developed Go to About the toolkit >

Distance from participation in employment, education and training

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Maria has signed a contract with a company and will begin her new job in 2 months. She is therefore not seeking another job opportunity or education programme as she believes that nothing could fit in terms of advancing her skills or earning work experience during this period of 2 months.

Young people who will soon re-enter employment and/or education or training.

NEETs in recent search

Martin has had a VET diploma for the past year but still faces difficulties in entering the labour market and matching his skills with the available job opportunities. He is not registered in PES and believes that having no prior job experience is the main barrier holding him in unemployment.

NEETs who have been seeking work and/or education or training opportunities for less than a year.

NEETs in long-term search

Linda has a migratory background and although she had attended several language courses and skills development seminars in the past, she is not registered in a PES. Linda is struggling to find employment that matches her skills and qualifications and an education or training pathway that she is also eligible to participate.

NEETs who have been seeking work and/or education or training opportunities for a year or longer.

Unavailable due to family responsibilities

Anna is a young mother of three children and faces difficulties continuing her studies and/or to look for a job as she cannot afford paying childcare fees.

NEETs who are not seeking work and/or education or training and are not available to start a new job or education or training because they are caring for children or incapacitated adults, or have other unspecified family responsibilities.

Unavailable due to illness or disability

Kevin was diagnosed with a chronic disease after completing upper-secondary school and he does not believe that there are paid job opportunities for him. He also feels discouraged to continue studying and he is at high risk of social exclusion.

NEETs who are not seeking work and/or education or training and are not available to start a job or education or training programme due to illness or disability.

Discouraged and disengaged young people

Nick completed secondary education several years ago and since then he has been inactive in terms of employment and continuing education. He believes that his qualifications are not enough to apply for an education programme to advance his skills and he is not seeking work as he does not think he is competitive enough to enter education and/or job market.

NEETs who are not seeking work or education or training because they believe that there are no job or education or training opportunities for them.