There is a term used by government agencies all around the developed world to describe young people who are disconnected to education and employment. The term NEET is an acronym for young people Not in Education, Employment or Training. Different countries have varying attitudes about what to do about them and what things to do to encourage them to engage constructively in society.
What is common to many of the NEET’s is a poor schooling history and low achievement in education. A disturbing proportion surveyed recently in New Zealand showed that over 50% had unaddressed learning differences like dyslexia. This link between learning differences and disengagement from education is not surprising. Young people will see little reason to stay in school if their educational needs are not being met there. Failure to achieve in education often leaves a history of low self-esteem and confidence.
Another group in the wider community that exhibit high rates of unsupported learning differences are prison inmates. A recent research project conducted in New Zealand revealed that over 50% of prison inmates presented as having dyslexia. The link is not surprising. Intelligent people who don’t achieve in education and who are then side-lined from the workplace will find other ways to generate an income. Many of those ways will result in interactions with the legal system.
It is too long a bow to draw to state that NEET’s are on their way to becoming prison inmates, but it is fair to say that young people with undiagnosed learning differences are at risk of getting on the wrong side of the law.
Related Tag: Dyslexia Training NZ