RCE North East-2014

1. Project Title: 
NEET Network UK [NNUK]
2. Thematic area/s addressed by the project
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3. Project partner contact information : 
Durham University, School of Education
Lead Provider in £1.88m NNUK Funding Proposal
Main Contact: 
Prof Lynn Newton & Dr Stephen Clough
5. Project description
Provide a short description of the project including strategies, regional challenges, aims and specific project activities.: 

The challenge of reducing the number of young people not in education, employment or training (NEET) is not unique to the United Kingdom. Government NEET figures for the first quarter of 2014 stand at 774,000 young people. This NNUK project is designed to provide a route back into mainstream education, or employment, particularly for those young people who are hardest to reach. This pilot is a unique programme and a central feature is the application of advanced technology and involves further education colleges, UNU RCEs, a European SME specialist in ICT and the highly rated School of Education at Durham University. Durham University is the lead provider.

The NNUK project involves collaboration with college partners and voluntary organisations in boroughs that are experiencing high NEET numbers. Individual NEET young people will be provided with a high specification laptop which will enable them to work away from the college or voluntary organisation. There is not a specific “course content” and each individual will be able to demonstrate a variety of computing skills. These activities can be captured on the laptop and special software enables tutors, with the individual NEET’s agreement, to remotely access and examine the individual’s range of skills. A new award will enable each NEET young person to earn certification detailing what she/he has achieved rather than achievement against a prescribed list.

Stage one is located in the North East of England. Stage two will take account of the achievements and any short comings experienced in stage one of the project. In stage two the project will be extended into the other eight regions of England; involving an additional FE college and RCE/voluntary organisation in each region. The NEET participants will be encouraged to engage in enterprise and innovation activities. Stage three involves the completion of the final project report and the start of the dissemination.

The planned number of NEET young people is 36 in the North East and 24 in each of the other eight regions; 228 in total. It is anticipated that the impact of the NEET Network project will rapidly spread throughout all nine regions of England and, with other potential United Nations University RCEs, achieve global recognition for this innovative project.

6. Project status
On Going
The STAGE ONE partnership has been established. The NEET Network UK [NNUK] proposal for £1,881,022 funding has been submitted to the Minister for Skills & Equalities within the Department for Business Innovation and Skills [BIS]. The Minister has replied and welcomes the work of NNUK in testing how best to address the more difficult to reach NEET young people. The Minister has suggested possible avenues of government funding and these are currently being pursued.
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