According to the ONS, between October and December 2021, 692,000 young people in the UK aged 16-24 were classified as NEET. At Unifrog, we work together with our partner schools across the UK to close the gap and raise aspirations, and this year we predict that we’ll prevent 4,200 students from becoming NEET across our partner schools.
Our mission has always been to level the playing field when it comes to young people finding the best opportunities for them, and our new data-driven approach to supporting schools has had a major impact on students’ next steps. We used the Education Endowment Foundation Family of Schools database to look at matched pairs of schools where one school was a Unifrog partner and one was not, and tracked them over 3 years to assess the impact Unifrog had on the number of NEET students.
Schools were matched based on:
Using this information, we can predict that 4,200 fewer students will become NEET this year, thanks to Unifrog.
What is Unifrog?
Unifrog is a one-stop careers platform designed for all students from KS3 to KS5. With over 650 career profiles and 100 subject profiles, students can explore different jobs, learn about the pathways that can get them there, and explore how their skills and interests might play into their future choices.
We also help students compare every opportunity - including colleges, sixth forms, apprenticeships, and universities in the UK and overseas - and support them in creating world class applications for those opportunities. Our aim isn’t just to close the gap, but to help every student find the best next step for them, whatever that might be.
Finally, we provide support for school and college staff to run a well-planned and well-executed careers strategy across all year groups with a dedicated series of lesson plans and activities to help them meet all Gatsby Benchmarks, with a focus on embedding careers in the curriculum (Gatsby Benchmark 4).
How does Unifrog help close the gap?
Because Unifrog supports students from Year 7, all students will have a clear and defined CEIAG journey meaning staff can check in on them and support them in finding their best next step even if it changes. We provide live reporting on CEIAG strategies allowing staff to tailor their CEIAG programme throughout the year to best provide for their students, and to target support for students who are not on track to meet their goals. Plus, we’re there every step of the way to suggest solutions and ideas to support staff with this.
We also use student and teacher feedback to ensure students are getting everything they need to make decisions about their futures and to build the skills and experiences they need to get there. For example, in a survey of over 6,000 of our users, students identified skills development as a key challenge during the pandemic. We used this to draw up recommendations for both partner and non-partner schools to share in our Insights report to make sure no student gets left behind.
Similarly, in a survey of 5,500 UK students in Y11-13, we found that when it comes to considering an apprenticeship, students identified ‘lack of encounters with employers’ as one of the main obstacles. Naturally we rose to the challenge, creating live, interactive webinars and Careers Fairs to provide students with encounters with employers wherever they are in the world. Teachers are able to use Unifrog to plan and track engagement with these types of encounters too, meaning they can spot where students are missing key careers education or target students for particular encounters, based on their intentions and career interests.
If you’re already a Unifrog partner, get in touch with your Area or Account Manager for support on embedding a careers curriculum that works for all your students and helps you achieve the Gatsby Benchmarks. If you’re not a partner yet and want more information, we’d love to hear from you; you can request a demo here.
With the COVID-19 pandemic fuelling high youth unemployment, financial insecurity and mental ill-health, schools need to be able to spot the warning signs of young people at risk of becoming NEET (not in education, employment or training), unpick the underlying issues behind students’ ‘behavioural issues’ and boost preventative support to help steer them towards a positive future where they can truly contribute to society.