Towards a better understanding of NEET youth in Ontario

Unlocking the potential of young people who are not employed, in education or in training

About 12% of Ontario’s youth are NEET – not in employment, education or training. Until now, little research has been done on the needs, perspectives and challenges faced by youth, or the costs associated with their disconnection from school and work.

The Ontario Ministry of Children and Youth Services engaged Blueprint to design and undertake a research project on NEET youth to help inform the development of policy and programs to serve this population.

Blueprint surveyed more than 900 NEET youth in the province to find out about their life circumstances, attitudes, goals and challenges. We also analyzed Statistics Canada surveys, government administrative data, and conducted focus groups with youth-serving agencies. We partnered with United Way Greater Toronto to engage community agencies in the focus groups and to administer the youth survey.

We found that the fiscal costs associated with the consequences of being NEET including health care, social assistance, homelessness and crime total $1.92 billion a year. The costs associated with foregone earnings of NEET youth total $6.4billion annually. These findings highlight the significant financial impact of NEET youth for the province of Ontario, as well as for NEET youth themselves.

While we found that many NEET youth face complex challenges, there is also huge social and economic potential that could be unlocked by better addressing and preventing these challenges. Investing time, effort and resources in improved policies and programs across multiple youth-serving sectors could generate significant social and economic benefits for all Ontarians.

Read our final report

About 12% of Ontario’s youth are NEET – not in employment, education or training. Until now, little research has been done on the needs, perspectives and challenges faced by youth, or the costs associated with their disconnection from school and work.

The Ontario Ministry of Children and Youth Services engaged Blueprint to design and undertake a research project on NEET youth to help inform the development of policy and programs to serve this population.

Blueprint surveyed more than 900 NEET youth in the province to find out about their life circumstances, attitudes, goals and challenges. We also analyzed Statistics Canada surveys, government administrative data, and conducted focus groups with youth-serving agencies. We partnered with United Way Greater Toronto to engage community agencies in the focus groups and to administer the youth survey.

We found that the fiscal costs associated with the consequences of being NEET including health care, social assistance, homelessness and crime total $1.92 billion a year. The costs associated with foregone earnings of NEET youth total $6.4billion annually. These findings highlight the significant financial impact of NEET youth for the province of Ontario, as well as for NEET youth themselves.

While we found that many NEET youth face complex challenges, there is also huge social and economic potential that could be unlocked by better addressing and preventing these challenges. Investing time, effort and resources in improved policies and programs across multiple youth-serving sectors could generate significant social and economic benefits for all Ontarians.

Read our final report

The Papers

November 19, 2021

Use of Technology and Tools in Responsive Career Pathways

The role and use of technologies that help individuals and career practitioners navigate career pathways are rapidly evolving. This paper outlines potential ways responsive career pathways can be enabled by technology.

English ReportFrench Report
November 25, 2021

The Role of Employers in Responsive Career Pathways

Employers are critical in establishing more responsive career pathways for Canadians. This paper outlines some of the challenges and opportunities employers are facing related to the future of work and skills.

English ReportFrench Report
November 19, 2021

A Roadmap for Change: Building Responsive Career Pathways in a Post-Pandemic World

This paper offers considerations for strengthening and aligning our careers and employment systems to better serve Canadians across their career trajectory.

English ReportFrench Report
November 19, 2021

The Career Development Profession in Canada and the Emergence of Online/Multi-Modal Practice Delivery

Career development practitioners have a critical role to play in helping Canadians prepare for the future of work. This paper tackles questions about the role of career development practitioners and the evolution of their practice.

English ReportFrench Report
November 19, 2021

Labour Market Information in Responsive Career Pathways

Finding ways to make labour market information accessible and useful for service providers and individuals is key for creating more responsive career pathways.

English ReportFrench Report
November 17, 2021

Glossary of Terms

This document provides consistent definitions for the terms that are applied across all of the research papers for the Responsive Career Pathways initiative.

English ReportFrench Report
November 25, 2021

Navigating Canada’s Messy Education and Training Marketplace for Career-Focused Learning

Adult learners have to navigate an increasingly diverse, fragmented and complex education and training marketplace. This paper assesses options helping Canadian learners navigate their education and learning choices.

English ReportFrench Report
November 30, 2021

Diversity, Equity and Inclusion in Responsive Career Pathways

The path to accessing career guidance is challenging for racialized people, women and newcomers to Canada. This paper offers opportunities to strengthen our publicly-funded employment systems to effectively address labour market inequity.

English ReportFrench Report
November 19, 2021

Applying Behavioural Insights to Career Guidance

Offering forward-looking, customized, high-quality and accessible career guidance to a wide range of Canadians is possible. This paper identifies behavioural and motivational barriers to accessing career guidance and offers a promising path ahead.

English ReportFrench Report
November 25, 2021

Breaking Down Barriers to Career Development

Career guidance systems could be designed with a whole-of-person lens. This paper considers promising practices in breaking down barriers to career guidance for Canadians.

English ReportFrench Report

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