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NEET Support - Not in Education, Employment or Training

The Education People provide the strategic leadership for reducing the number of young people classified as Not in Education, Employment or Training (NEETs) across the county, on behalf of Kent County Council.

The Skills & Employability service chairs the NEET Interdependencies Group that is made up of local authority and third-party services who support young people. This includes:

The group meets termly to review the annual NEET and Not Known Tracking Action Plan.

NEET Support Service

Our NEET Support Service helps young people aged 16 to 18 years old who are not participating in any form of education, employment or training. Last year they supported 1444 young people to progress into a positive destinations.

Here are some examples of the one to one support they offer:

  • exploring options and pathways
  • raising aspirations and challenging stereotypes
  • looking for apprenticeships
  • job searching and applications
  • researching local and online training options
  • CV writing
  • support for other issues that might prevent young. people accessing education, employment or training and signposting to other support services as required.

The team take referrals from our Engagement and Tracking Officers, schools, colleges and other local authority or voluntary services that support young people.

Meet the NEET Support Service

an LSA and then teacher in a special school, as a foster carer, careers adviser, Community Support PA, NEET Champion, team leader and a manager.

After leaving school with few qualifications, Tom worked in and ran a construction business but as the years progressed, he began to look for something more. After a chance stroll into a careers office, he spoke to a careers adviser who inspired him to go to university – something he previously felt was out of reach. From this point he realised the importance of/and huge positive impact that professional guidance can have.

Having gained a degree in Archaeology, he has since gained further higher education (HE) qualifications related to supporting young people, education and management. These include a post graduate certificate in education (SEN), a foundation degree, a level 5 qualification in management and leadership, as well as various HE certificates and diplomas related to supporting young people and staff.

He has also, in the past, volunteered as an education support worker for adults with special needs and as a Parish Councillor for 8 years.

Tom’s current role is to oversee operational management of staff, external stakeholders and contract commissioners of The Education People’s NEET Support Service (Delivered on behalf of Kent County Council). This role is wide ranging and very rewarding and involves partnership, project and strategic management. Tom likes to maintain his work with young people and often holds a small caseload which he enjoys and helps him to understand the changing of needs and culture of young people.

Tony leads on all of the South and East Kent District NEET Network meetings as well as coordinating the link work between the NEET Support Service and the Post 16 SEND team at Kent County Council, working to ensure NEET young people with an EHCP get appropriate advice and guidance. Qualified at Level 6 in Careers Guidance, Tony is passionate about supporting staff and enabling young people and vulnerable groups to overcome barriers to progress to education, employment and training.

Previous roles in the sector have included managing the Specialist Mentoring teams in both the 'Talent Match' and 'Launch Pad' lottery funded support programmes. Before moving to the NEET Support Service in 2020 , Tony was the Project Manager for the innovative 'Working Heads' programme, supporting jobseekers with creating video CVs for a unique portal which employers used for recruitment.

Jane has backed up her experiences with professional qualifications including careers advice and guidance.

Jane has worked with a number of young people from a variety of backgrounds and facing different barriers. However, this can not always be done solo therefore has built good relationships with other professionals and is happy to include parents /carers in her work.

Within her current role as a NEET Support Worker, Jane works predominantly in the Folkestone and Hythe district with those aged 16 to 18 helping them to find education, employment or training. She is keen to show that every young person has the potential to do well but some may just need a little more help along the way.

She started as an Intensive Support Worker within Kent secondary schools, while completing a foundation degree in 'Working with Young People and Young People’s Services'.

Knowing that information and guidance is key to success, Rachael strives to always work towards the goals her young clients want to achieve, enabling them to gain skills and experience needed to reach their aspirations.

Rachael loves her role within the NEET Support Service, being a sounding board for young people and parents and helping them to figure out their goals, barriers and pathways to their success.

She has a proven track record of working with all age groups to support, guide and assist people who have daily barriers back into education or employment.

She previously worked in London. Working with hard to reach/disadvantaged young people who were ‘at risk’ or ‘vulnerable’ such as ex-offenders, missing in education, teenage pregnancy, mental health, homeless and addictions. She facilitated CV & job workshops, working from various youth clubs breaking down barriers, tackling housing, anti-social behaviour, drugs, crime, and sexual health, reducing crime figures for young people.

Bal now works with 16 to 18 year olds in North Kent, carrying out initial assessments, action plans and reviews their journey along the way. She has a non-judgmental, client-centred approach, offering advice, guidance and support. She has strong networks across Kent and works closely with various agencies such as Kent Police, Social Services, Early Help to name but a few.

She is also the Exploitation Champion and designated safeguarding lead for the team. Delivering Safeguarding & Exploitation Training both internally and to external agencies. The training covers many subjects which include spotting the signs of exploitation, gang culture within Kent, FGM, Domestic Violence etc.

Bal loves to see young people succeed and is a strong believer that everyone can learn something new daily. Her proven work history shows that she is passionate about helping young people make a smooth transition to from NEET to EET (in education, employment or training).

She has worked on projects supporting young people to gain qualifications and develop new skills and led parenting support and domestic violence groups. She has worked in schools, pupil referral units and the community providing group sessions and 1 to 1 support.

Carley enjoys working with young people to help them explore their plans for the future and overcome any barriers that they may face along the way.

This role has continued to evolve and she is passionate about providing a positive experience for young people and empower them to make informed decisions regarding their future.

Pauline has years of experience supporting those that are affected by barriers to learning and strives to achieve positive outcomes for clients that are not only achievable, but also add value to their own goals and aspirations for their future career.

for three years as well as young people with Special Educational Needs.

Vali has a degree in 'Working With Young People and Young People Services' and has a Level 4 Careers Guidance qualification. Vali has been working with NEET young people for many years and has been involved with delivering engagement programmes at Canterbury College since 2010. With an established network of support, Vali has built relationships with the IAG team and many other departments at East Kent College; especially Canterbury College.

Vali has great knowledge of the needs of young people in the Canterbury district as well as opportunities for young people to gain support to progress. Vali is passionate about supporting NEET young people and enabling them to overcome barriers to progress to education, employment and training.

priding herself on being able to listen to and understand the needs of the young people she works with.

Claire is a qualified counsellor and volunteers at a counselling service in her own time. Therefore she has a vast knowledge and understanding of mental health issues, which she brings to her role as a NEET Support Worker. Claire has particular skills in supporting young people who experience anxiety and low mood. Claire can draw upon her skills in mentoring, coaching, motivational interviewing and solution focussed approaches to help young people realise their potential and take the (often scary) first steps towards their goals.

For more than 20 years, Claire has directly supported children and young people. She started as a teaching assistant in a mainstream secondary school after completing her degree in Early Childhood Studies. Later, she worked as a teaching assistant in a hospital school, providing one-on-one and small group support to students. Claire then joined the Connexions service, where she served as an advisor, focusing on supporting young people with low attendance or those at risk of becoming NEET in school settings. Her interest in mental health grew during this time, leading her to develop and deliver small group sessions to boost young people's confidence and self-esteem. Claire earned her Foundation Degree in working with young people and young people's services during her tenure as a Connexions adviser, incorporating many effective engagement approaches into her daily work.

Claire loves working with young people directly and enjoys helping them on their journey to achieve their goals.

with a local training provider. 22 years ago, she piloted the Intensive PA Role with Connexions Kent and Medway. In her role, she has worked in schools, the Youth Offending Service, and led targeted groups like 'Young Mums,' 'Parent Project,' and with young people on the verge of offending behaviour.

Viv took on the challenge of an intensive role within the Youth Offending Team, focusing exclusively on young offenders, their parents and local resources to help them find suitable training or employment. She also co-ran a solution-focused therapy group with a trained counsellor for parents of young offenders during this period.

Later in her career with the Youth Offending Service, Viv was given the added responsibility of overseeing all young offenders in the North and West areas of Kent serving custodial sentences. This involved regular home and prison visits to facilitate a smooth transition back into the community, and coordination with police and social workers to ensure this process.

In more recent times, Viv took on the role of NEET Support Worker covering North Kent. In this varied position, she provides advice and guidance to vulnerable young people seeking training and employment. She maintains strong connections with Youth Justice North, Social Services, Early Help, training providers, and the local college.

Qualifications include Diploma, Foundation Degree, National Supervision Certificate and Restorative Justice qualification.

Karen has a degree and a careers guidance qualification alongside additional specialist qualifications in supporting young people with mental health issues and clients on the autistic spectrum.

Karen worked for Connexions in Bromley as a schools careers adviser and then a NEET worker. Karen also worked as an Information specialist in schools and careers libraries and was responsible for writing publications for South London boroughs for dissemination to all pupils. Karen also spent time as an employment specialist working alongside local businesses to generate job and training roles for young people.

Karen has been in her current role as a NEET support worker for nine years and has worked across the North, East and West areas of Kent. Currently covering Maidstone, Tonbridge and Tunbridge Wells districts, Karen supports young people to progress into education, employment and training opportunities. This involves working with parents, carers, other professionals and a variety or external support agencies to ensure positive outcomes.

In her current role as a NEET Support Worker, Debbie works with young people in North Kent to help them find education, training and employment as well as other organisations that may be of help to them.

Debbie enjoys working with young people as no one day is ever the same and there are always challenges that make her think outside of the box.

One of her most notable achievements, is her First Class Degree in Education Studies which provided her with opportunities to develop her knowledge and experience in both school and prison education environments. She has also worked in a healthcare environment supporting young people experiencing mental health challenges, through therapeutic and educational activities. This role spanned over the recent pandemic which caused numerous challenges both to the staff and young people in their care, but also enabled the opportunity of developing greater resilience and creativity in her work.

Bethanie believes that with the right support any individual can learn and achieve great things regardless of background, status or perceived ability. Through her own experience of not being diagnosed with dyslexia until studying at university, she sees the importance in being able to listen to and identify a learner’s needs on a holistic level and then putting the measures in place to help them thrive.

Bethanie’s role within The Education People enables her to support young people who aren’t quite sure what they would like to do next and to help them explore their options. She works alongside individuals and their families to learn about their educational experiences, their interests and goals, in order to identify positive ways of moving forward. Bethanie enjoys her role as she gets to see young people taking steps towards embracing the possibilities of their future.