What are the implication of the COVID-19 pandemic for young people who are neither in employment, education nor training, and the societal initiatives that are in place to support them?
The situation of young people who are neither in employment, education nor training has been at the centre of political and societal debates during the last decade. However, in the wake of COVID-19, the group's marginalisation have been brought to the fore based on the idea that young people who were at the margins of labour markets and education systems at the outset of the pandemic will be most severly affected by its consequences.
By conducing qualitative interviews with young people who have been in a 'NEET' situation for the past year as well as public and civil society actors working with (or for) them, the current project aims to contribute knowledge about implications of the COVID-19 pandemic for this marginalised youth group and for the local initiatives that are in place across Sweden to support them.
The challenges emerging from the COVID-19 pandemic will have a substantial impact on the life chances and living conditions of young people who are neither in employment, education nor training (so called ‘NEETs’), potentially contributing to sustained social exclusion and further decline to an already poor mental health. Furthermore, the organisational changes that follow in the wake of the Corona crisis may not only disrupt the delivery of services to this group, but prevent their integration in work- or study-related spheres.
Against this background, the aim of the current project is to explore the implications of the COVID-19 pandemic for young people who are in a ‘NEET' as well as for the local initiatives that are in place across Sweden to support them. To facilitate this scope, the project will address the following research questions:
1. How has the health status and life circumstances of young people who are in a ‘NEET’ situation been shaped by the COVID-19 pandemic, and what societal support needs have arisen as a result?
2. How do public and civil society actors work locally to support young people who are in a ‘NEET’ situation, and how have these effort evolved (or not) during the COVID-19 pandemic to meet the needs of ‘NEET’ young people?
In this regard, the current project will contribute knowledge useful to improve the health and life situation of young people who find themselves on the margins of mainstream education and employment, while most importantly recognising the role and responsibility of us – as a society – to adapt the ways by which we provide support to meet their needs.