Towards a Better Understanding of NEET Youth in Ontario: Findings from the “Made in Ontario” NEET Youth Research Initiative

This report was prepared on behalf of Ontario's Ministry of Children, Community & Social Services by Blueprint ADE.

While most youth in Ontario are experiencing success in school and work, there remains a significant proportion of Ontario’s youth population that is not in employment, education or training (NEET). There is little research on the needs, perspectives, and challenges faced by these NEET youth, or on the costs associated with the disconnection of youth from school and work.

This research initiative was launched to generate new knowledge about NEET youth in Ontario and ensure that future policies and programs are informed by a better understanding of their needs and experiences. Our findings demonstrate that while many NEET youth face a number of complex challenges, there is also huge social and economic potential that could be unlocked by better addressing and preventing these challenges. Government, the private sector, and the youth-serving sector have an important opportunity to work together to invest in policies and programs that meet the needs of NEET youth. In turn, better serving this vulnerable population could generate significant social and economic benefits for all Ontarians.

This research addressed five key research questions:

1. Who are Ontario’s NEET youth?

2. What is the cost of NEET youth in Ontario?

3. What are the needs and experiences of NEET youth?

4. What factors contribute to being NEET?

5. What are the implications moving forward?


Blueprint ADE. (2018). Towards a Better Understanding of NEET Youth in Ontario: Findings from the “Made in Ontario” NEET Youth Research Initiative. Toronto, ON: Ministry of Children, Community & Social Services.

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