Two young guys on a wharf.

How our Youth Service NEET works

The Youth Service for young people Not Employment, Education or Training (NEET) aims to help them into education, training or work-based learning, so they gain the skills to find a job and have an independent future.

It’s a voluntary service that steps in early to help young people build their potential, through the support of dedicated community services who work alongside them to strengthen their confidence and resilience.

Young people who often need the greatest help are those who may otherwise find themselves on a benefit before they are 20 years of age. This service has been designed to help these young people and has been shown to improve education achievements for those involved, compared with those who don’t use the service.

This video shows clients how we use predictive models to help early school leavers who are Not in Education, Employment or Training (NEET).

How referrals are made

Young people are referred to the service through an automated referral system. Others access the service through community based providers, who work directly within the schools and wider community, to support young people showing signs of struggling and at risk of leaving school early.

The automated referral system uses a statistical predictive modelling tool and eligibility rules to help predict need for young people aged 15 – 17 years old who have left school early. It is designed to makes sure all young people who are eligible can access the service, not just those who are motivated to proactively ask for help.

The automated referral system tells MSD what level of support a young person may need. Contact details of those predicted to have the highest need, and who are eligible, are passed onto the Youth Service for NEET. Youth support specialists then contact the young person to ask if they want help, and together, through a needs assessment, they work out what might help them.

Helping us to understand

The tool supports our people to understand the young person’s circumstances and make the best decisions about where to refer the person for help. At any time a young person can ask for more or less help.

The statistical modelling tool is used as just one way factor in understanding the needs of young people. The individual needs’ assessment also helps by giving the young person an opportunity to talk about what else is going on in their lives and how the service might help – this could be from learning to drive a car, access to drug, alcohol or other specialist education courses.

The model looks at need by drawing together information about a young person. This includes information from the Ministry of Education to check who they are and to understand their school history, and whether Oranga Tamariki and MSD have ever been involved in their lives. We know from the experience of other young people, each of these things could predict that a young person may need extra support.

More about the Youth Service - NEET model

A technical report on the NEET Service model is also available. Please contact us at to request a copy of the report.

Two young guys on a wharf.
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