Special Issue “Challenges Associated With European Rural NEETs Youth Inclusion” in Youth & Society
Published Papers (7 papers)
Paul Flynn, Emre Erdogan
First Published January 4, 2022
This supplemental issue focuses on the challenges associated with European rural NEET (Not in Employment, Education, or Training) youth socio-economic inclusion. For NEETs, the transition from childhood to adulthood is both complex and fascinating, fraught with risks of marginalization and precarity. Such challenges have been compounded by assumptions regarding homogeneity evident in publications by the EU and the OECD which place all NEETs within age ranges without recognition of the complexity of life in this demographic. In 2019, across the then EU28 member-states and non-EU states, the proportion of NEETs was recorded as higher in rural regions when compared with the same rate in towns and suburbs or cities (Eurostat, 2020). Notably, an uneven NEET distribution by the degree of urbanization was evident in many eastern or southern European countries, with gaps between cities and rural areas ranging from 10 to more than 20 percentile points. Clearly, there is a need to explore the greater proportions of rural NEETs that occur in European countries with sub-protective welfare regimes and fail short to support school-to-work transition among the most vulnerable youths (Schoon & Heckhausen, 2019).
Francisco Simões, Emre Erdoğan, Melisa Muratović, …
First Published September 30, 2021
The situation of rural NEETs aged 15 to 24 remains understudied. However, transitions from adolescence to emerging adulthood are very demanding for those in the countryside. Our paper discusses this gap by characterising the scholarship focusing on rural NEETs. We undertook a bibliometric review based on 325 entries on Web of Science (WoS) using the Bibliometrix analysis package. Our approach included descriptive bibliometric analysis, co-citation networks assessment, and thematic analysis. Our findings show that the investigation efforts depicting younger rural NEET are recent and marginal in the larger context of international NEETs scholarship. The field is dominated by economy- and sociology-led networks. Concerns regarding health and employment issues are central in international publishing trends, showing a dominant youth-at-risk approach to this group. Still, themes associated with adolescent NEETs and relevant programs’ assessment are gaining traction. Our findings show a need for funding research initiatives to reduce the invisibility of young rural NEETs.
NEET, rurality, youth, bibliometric review
The Impact of Education on Youth Employability: The Case of Selected Southeastern European Countries
Daniela Mamucevska Bojadjieva, Marijana Cvetanoska, Kristijan Kozheski, …
First Published January 6, 2022
This paper focuses on the processes of school-to-work transitions in a selected group of countries from South-eastern Europe (SEE), namely: Bosnia and Herzegovina; Croatia; Montenegro; North Macedonia; Serbia; and, Slovenia. Each of these countries display the same roots of development in their educational systems: however, due to their transition and integration processes within the European Union, they implemented different concepts of reforms within their educational systems. In addition, the challenges of youth employability are a common problem for each of the selected countries, and the effectiveness of the processes of school-to-work-transition varies across the countries. By using panel data and multiple linear regression models, this paper estimates the impact of different educational levels on youth employability and changes in the rates of NEET population (aged 15–24) in the selected group of countries over the period 2009 to 2019. The results suggest that the impact of the attained level of education has an ambiguous effect on the rates of youth employment; moreover, the relationship with changes in NEET rates are statistically significant and negative in most of the selected group of countries.
education, youth employment/youth unemployment, education achievement
Kerli Kõiv, Katrin Saks, Heidi Paabort, …
First Published November 16, 2021
Given the increasing value of lifelong learning, self-directed learning (SDL) has become increasingly relevant over time. In rural areas with limited service resources, the main approach to NEET-youth depicts them more as young people in need, and less as people with the potential for self-development and participation in lifelong learning. The growing importance of people’s return to education, flexible learning paths, and the need for quick adaptation and re-training in a rapidly changing society emphasizes the need to design service models for NEET-youth. This is in order to support their SDL skills, and indicate the service providers’ role throughout the process. The empirical study in Estonia was grounded on the Double Diamond service design method using quantitative data on the respondents’ readiness for SDL, and also qualitative data from service providers about their roles and the affordances of their services in supporting SDL skills. The model was tested with rural NEET-youth.
NEET youth, self-directed learning, support services, service innovation
Using Evidence in Policies Addressing Rural NEETs: Common Patterns and Differences in Various EU Countries
Claudia Petrescu, Adriano Mauro Ellena, Maria Fernandes-Jesus, …
First Published November 8, 2021
Using the policy narrative framework, this article examines the pathways through which the development of policies (related to rural/small towns young NEETs in various EU countries) are based on evidence. To do this, we consider the Youth Guarantee (YG), an EU program (2014–2020) developed in several member countries with the aim of socioprofessional inclusion of NEETs (young people aged 15–24 that are not in employment, education, or training). It examines how evidence is used for national policy-making and is taken into account by stakeholders. This study involves documentary analysis of YG in three European countries: namely, Romania, Italy, and Portugal. In addition, it involves 27 interviews with policy-makers and NGO leaders. The results show a predominantly statistical use of data exclusively managed by public institutions. Therefore, we emphasize the importance of consulting evidence from academia and NGOs to improve this policy.
program evaluation, rural context, poverty/disadvantage, policy, socioeconomic status/social class
NEETs and the Process of Transition From School to the Labor Market: A Comparative Analysis of Italy, Romania, and Bulgaria
Floro Ernesto Caroleo, Antonella Rocca, Gabriela Neagu, …
First Published November 7, 2021 Research Article
The aim of this article is to identify the main mechanisms leading to the NEET status in Italy, Romania, and Bulgaria. It does so by highlighting the differences amongst them and verifying how place of residence effectively affects the connected propensity to this status after having controlled for many personal characteristics through a series of probit models. Furthermore, multiple correspondence analyses produce profound understanding of the NEET phenomenon and associated determinants. The results highlight the need to plan support actions tailored to specific NEET characteristics. Whilst the degree of urbanization impacts upon the NEET status throughout Romania and Bulgaria, Italy shows a strong divide between the North and the South. However, in all three countries there is a need to improve the education system and stimulate higher levels of education as the main measure of NEET prevention.
NEETs, transition from school to labor market, cross-country analysis, young people, social politics, European Union
Antonella Rocca, Gabriela Neagu, Jale Tosun
First Published October 11, 2021
This study investigates the connection between the reasons why some young people end their education without attaining a university degree and the effect of this decision on the probability of becoming a NEET in a set of European countries. Young people face the highest degree of disadvantage in the Mediterranean and East European countries, whereas in Continental European countries the school-to-work transition is smooth. We use the ad hoc module of the 2016 Labour Force Survey (LFS) and focus on young people aged 15 to 24. Our analysis reveals a positive relationship between the decision to drop out of education for health or family reasons and the probability of becoming a NEET. Conversely, when the reason for not completing university education is the desire to start working, and when the individuals who dropped out of university education gathered work experience during this period, the probability of becoming a NEET decreases significantly.
educational achievement, employment, NEETs, school dropout, school-to-work transition