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Youth Exclusion

Youth Exclusion

Not in Employment, Education or Training (NEETs)

Young people who are not in education or employment pose an major challenge in Norway and elsewhere in Europe. They form a composite group with different challenge patterns and degrees of vulnerability, but are collectively often referred to as "NEETs" (Not in Employment, Education or Training).

Reducing exclusion among young people and effectively engaging them in the labour market is at the heart of the EU's policy agenda.

The topic "Youth Exclusion" is large and includes many different risk factors with a need for prevention at different levels, which match several of the NORCE departments' focus areas. In this initiative, we gather the expertise that various research groups in NORCE have in the field and coordinate these efforts to increase knowledge about young people who have fallen through the cracks.

Vigdis Sveinsdottir

Worklife and Inclusion Senior Researcher - Bergen

+47 56 10 72 87

At societal level, the problem of young outsiders is often seen in the context of the ageing population, the need for a young workforce in the years ahead and socioeconomic costs.

At the individual level, outsiders are linked to social exclusion and negative health effects, as well as economic consequences for the individual.

Low or inadequate education poses the most important risk to young outsiders in Europe, followed by immigration background, geographical factors, poor self-perceived health and family factors related, among other things, to parents' participation in work and income.

In Norway, we see that the importance of education plays an even greater role compared to other countries, and Norwegian NEETs are further characterised by a relatively large proportion of young people receiving health-related benefits over time and so-called "inactive" young people who are not actively looking for school places or work.

Some of our activities and projects

School dropouts – risks, protection and measures

The proportion of young people in Norway who leave upper secondary education without obtaining a diploma is high. Dropout rates are increasingly described as a public health problem, and we know that upper secondary dropout rates can have negative consequences for later work and health. In the project School Dropout – risk and protection, we have used data from ung@hordaland to investigate how depression symptoms and protective factors related to the young people themselves, the family and the social network of young people are related to school functioning and dropout from upper secondary education. The focus on protective factors in addition to the importance of depressive symptoms makes it possible to identify factors related to the completion of upper secondary education.

Southern Norway is one of the regions with a larger proportion of young disabled people. Agder County Council is trying out new measures to prevent dropouts in upper secondary school. The measures, which are based on methods designed to prevent dropouts from working life, provide students with close individual follow-up to complete the school. We participate in the innovation project with research on the effects of the measure and on what the risk factors and protective factors are for being on the outside. We are also looking at how the measures can be scaled up and implemented throughout the county.

Analysis of young people in the NEET category

We have compiled a literature overview of existing knowledge about young people who are outside school and working life in Norway. The report was launched in August and will be used as a knowledge base for experimentation with new incentives, structures and framework conditions in the public sector.

Social inequality, life cycle and negative events

Research has shown that social mobility, education and a sense of control and coping can mitigate or reduce the relationship between socioeconomic position in childhood and income and health status in adulthood. We develop projects that can contribute to a greater understanding and knowledge of children’s and young people's upbringing conditions and what factors contribute to resistance to negative events that can affect the life cycle.

Use of VR and 360° video in anti-bullying work

How can technology be used to actively counteract exclusion? We do development work with junior school pupils to develop anti-bullying scenarios in VR, angled towards teaching constructive spectator behaviour—i.e., how bystanders can intervene in bullying situations. This is based on new research findings that school classes where students are willing to intervene in bullying situations have a much lower incidence of bullying.

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