London: Ernst & Young and the Private Equity Foundation have devised a Case Management model to stop young people becoming NEET.
2012 People winner
Last year, one in every 10 teenagers leaving school in Britain failed to make a successful transition to the next stage of their lives. This is the equivalent of two children in every final-year classroom failing to move into further education, employment, or training (Not in Education, Employment or Training — becoming NEET). It is one of the largest social challenges facing Britain today.
In 2010 the Private Equity Foundation asked Ernst & Young to undertake a study to understand the root causes of young people becoming NEET. The aim of the programme was to identify a way of fundamentally reducing the NEET rate across the UK. Initially, Ernst & Young diagnosed the underlying challenges that impact the rate at which young people become NEET. They examined programmes across the developed world, but also worked with schools, local providers, local authorities and NEET children in Shoreditch to get to the heart of the problem.
Ernst & Young discovered that a coherent and integrated solution was required to stop young people falling through gaps in what was a very fragmented system. Rather than providing more care, the solution ensured that the right people received the right care at the right time. The team (including three local authorities, six schools, two charities and a host of volunteers) designed a Case Management model which places highly experienced Case Managers into schools to work with young people most at risk of becoming NEET. Case Managers work with young people until they complete a successful transition to the next phase of their life. In the first phase pilot, success has been unequivocal. Case Managers have been able to prevent nine in every 10 high risk children from becoming NEET — far eclipsing expectations.
Using avant-garde presentation and collaboration techniques, Ernst & Young galvanised a very diverse range of stakeholders around a single goal. The response — ThinkForward — achieved an 88% NEET reduction in the Shoreditch pilot, which, when scaled nationally, has the potential to drive teen engagement towards the highest levels in Europe. The shift from remedy to prevention should drive down support costs allowing Case Managers to help a larger number of children. In addition to quantifiable success, the Ernst & Young team has built powerful connections between graduates from their Advisory Consultant programme and local at-risk young people that deliver a variety of mutual benefits.
Ernst & Young won the Private Equity Foundation's Supporter of the Year award for their achievements with ThinkForward. The issue of NEET continues to receive media attention as highlighted on BBC Radio 4's Today Programme on Friday, 4 November, and funding with an initial £3m commitment from business leaders.