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Youth Service: Not in Employment, Education or Training (or YS: NEET) is a government programme designed to encourage and assist disadvantaged 16-17 year olds to stay in education or training and improve their qualification attainment. Community organisations are contracted to undertake needs assessments and provide mentoring and support for these youth. This paper evaluates the impact of the programme on the educational retention, qualification achievement, benefit receipt, inactivity and employment rates of participating youth in the 18-24 months after they enrol in YS: NEET. Administrative data from the Integrated Data Infrastructure (IDI) is used to measure individuals' outcomes. The impacts of the programme are estimated by comparing the outcomes of participants with those of a matched comparison group of similar youth who did not participate.
We find that YS: NEET raises the educational retention of participants in the first year, by up to 9 percentage points at peak. The proportion who complete a level 2 qualification is slightly raised, by around 2 percentage points. The programme appears to raise rather than lower participants' subsequent benefit receipt rates, and there is no improvement in their likelihood of being employed.
We would like to thank Marc de Boer for his help with the Youth Service data and Michelle Bly, Marc de Boer, Gulnara Huseynli, Dean Hyslop, and Judd Ormsby for their helpful comments on earlier drafts of this paper.
The views, opinions, findings, and conclusions or recommendations expressed in this Working Paper are strictly those of the author(s). They do not necessarily reflect the views of the New Zealand Treasury, Statistics New Zealand, or the New Zealand Government. The New Zealand Treasury, Statistics New Zealand, Ministry of Justice and the New Zealand Government take no responsibility for any errors or omissions in, or for the correctness of, the information contained in this Working Paper. The paper is presented not as policy but with a view to inform and stimulate wider debate.
The results in this report are not official statistics - they have been created for research purposes from the Integrated Data Infrastructure (IDI) managed by Statistics New Zealand. Ongoing work within Statistics New Zealand to develop the IDI means it will not be possible to exactly reproduce the data presented here.
Access to the anonymised data used in this study was provided by Statistics New Zealand in accordance with security and confidentiality provisions of the Statistics Act 1975. Only people authorised by the Statistics Act 1975 are allowed to see data about a particular person, household, business or organisation. The results in this report have been confidentialised to protect these groups from identification.
Careful consideration has been given to the privacy, security and confidentiality issues associated with using administrative and survey data in the IDI. Further detail can be found in the privacy impact assessment for the Integrated Data Infrastructure available from Statistics New Zealand.
The results are based in part on tax data supplied by Inland Revenue to Statistics New Zealand under the Tax Administration Act 1994. These tax data must be used only for statistical purposes, and no individual information may be published or disclosed in any other form or provided to Inland Revenue for administrative or regulatory purposes.
Any person who has had access to the unit-record data has certified that they have been shown, have read and have understood section 81 of the Tax Administration Act 1994, which relates to secrecy. Any discussion of data limitations or weaknesses is in the context of using the IDI for statistical purposes and is not related to the data's ability to support Inland Revenue's core operational requirements.
Table of Contents
- Executive Summary
- 1 Introduction
- 2 Literature review and description of the programme
- 2.3 Youth Transition Service
- 2.4 Previous evaluations of the YTS and YS: NEET
- 3 Methods
- 3.1 Data sources
- 3.2 Methods used in the impact evaluation
- 3.2.2 Outcome measures
- 3.2.3 Method of estimating the program impact using matched comparisons
- 3.3 Models used to estimate young people's risk of having poorer outcomes at age 18
- 4 The targeting of YS: NEET
- 4.2 Programme participation rates by level of risk
- 4.3 Risk profile of participants by their enrolment status at the start
- 4.4 Cumulative rates of participation by the end of 2013
- 4.5 Summary of findings on targeting
- 5 Participant characteristics and activities while enrolled
- 5.1 Introduction
- 5.2 Characteristics of YS: NEET participants at the time of their enrolment
- 5.3 Retention in YS: NEET, studying rates and educational achievement patterns
- 5.4 Summary
- 6 Impact estimates
- 6.3 Impacts by enrolment status at the time of starting YS: NEET
- 6.4 Impacts by the predicted risk of poorer outcomes at age 18
- 6.5 Impacts by gender, ethnic group, and highest qualification
- 6.6 Impacts by duration of enrolment in Youth Service
- 6.7 Summary of findings on the impacts of YS: NEET
- 7 Impacts of the Youth Transition Service
- 7.2 Profile of YTS participants and their educational participation
- 7.3 YTS impact estimates
- 8 Conclusion