The PES handbook offers national examples of how the public employment services work in partnership with youth outreach workers and other key services to engage and support young people at risk of early leaving.


Public employment services (PES)


Country/ies or organisation that developed the tool

European Commission

Date of creation of toolkit and periodicity of updates

March 2015

Purpose of the toolkit

  • Guidance on best practices (to improve the design of policies and practices).
  • Guidance on how to identify and monitor early school leavers or those at risk of early school leaving.
  • This report was produced on the basis of 28 descriptions of practices on outreach and activation of those not in education, employment or training (NEET) submitted in October 2014 by 25 PES in 23 countries. In addition, the report also refers to some approaches to the outreach and activation of NEETs referred to in PES replies to the PES Business Models Study and other literature.

Description of each of the tools

The tool is a handbook which describes PES outreach methods (e.g. PES working with designated youth outreach workers; single-point services; etc.), illustrated by national examples.

It provides a list of examples of PES outreach and activation measures for young people ‘not in education, employment, or training’ provided by the members of the European Network of Public Employment Services.

It also provides a table of PES initiatives with the name and background of each PES initiative, a practical description of the measure, funding and outputs to date.

The annex provides a list of success factors considered key for successful collaborations in the delivery of services for NEETs.

Type of guidance given to users

The tool provides many concrete examples of the outreach and activation activities that have been implemented in different PES/countries. The above mentioned success factors listed in the annex are aggregated under the following headings:

  • Key ingredients for a successful partnership that works towards the delivery of services for NEETs:
    • The creation of a holistic approach through cross-sectoral partnerships, in order to provide a full range of services to NEETs.
    • Communication. This includes agreeing on the specific roles and responsibilities of each partner, and reaching a shared understanding between partners on the intended methodology.
    • Data exchanges. These can increase the efficiency of collaborations but can be problematic due to legislative and cultural barriers related to data protection.
  • How do PES efficiently and effectively use their own and their partners' resources to deliver outreach and activation services to NEETs?
    • Small caseloads can help PES counsellors address NEETs’ barriers.
    • Different funding sources can be used for outreach and activation work.
    • Monitoring and evaluation can help PES improve practices.
    • Cost-benefit analysis, which is not widespread among all PES.
  • Where do PES target their work with NEETs?
    • Early identification of students at risk of becoming NEETs opens up opportunities for preventive work, but it is often dependent on existing partnerships.
    • In order to conduct effective outreach, PES may have to breakdown stereotypes about PES services.
    • Activation can occur through outreach activities or when NEETs themselves register with the PES.
  • What outreach approaches work for whom, and why, in engaging with NEETs?
    • Client needs and flexibility are at the centre of PES approaches.
    • A specific mix of qualifications, skills, experience and training helps case workers deliver appropriate outreach work.
  • How do PES work to ensure that interventions equip students to enter - or re-enter - the labour market?
    • Concrete and realistic next steps are important.
    • Engaging with employers secures employment routes for NEETs.

Source of information of the different tools

Workshop conclusions of the European Network of Public Employment Services.


Link/s to the toolkit and further information


PES practices for the outreach and activation of NEETs