Young people of Greater Manchester campaign to end negative stereotypes of those classed as NEET.

The Youth Panel with the #MoreThanNEET hashtag

Young people aged 18-24 on the Greater Manchester Talent Match programme have come together to campaign about the use of the term NEET.

The term NEET (Not in Employment, Education or Training) is used commonly to describe young people aged between 16 and 24 who have been out of work, education or training for 12 months or more.

The group, who form the Youth Panel for the programme, share negative experiences of the term, which they say makes them feel stereotyped, stigmatised and isolated in society.

Their campaign which has been titled #MoreThanNEET aims to challenge the use of the negative term by running a social media campaign using posters, videos, blogs, and quotes featuring views and opinions of the young people involved in order to create conversation around the topic; hearing other young people’s views, employers’ opinions and decision makers’ judgements.

The campaign has been designed by the Youth Panel to make people aware of how being referred to as NEET makes them feel. They say they want people to see them as individuals and not just an acronym.

The campaign will take place on the 18th April 2016 and will run for 2 weeks.

Maxwell

Max from Oldham joined the Youth Panel after being inspired by the young people on Talent Match who spoke about their experiences. He says “I want to help change negative stereotypes of young people everywhere and I want to inspire others with my views and experiences. Being labelled as NEET knocked my self-confidence. It puts us under a stereotypical umbrella that says to employers that we’re lazy and don’t want to do anything but that’s the opposite.”

Toni

Toni is qualified in Youth Work and is a musician. She is currently writing a song about her experience on Talent Match and her experience of being classed as NEET.  Toni says, “I am most excited about developing the #MoreThanNEET campaign because I want to challenge negative perceptions of young people. The ideal outcome of the campaign would be to turn the negative term into a positive, that doesn’t degrade people”

Jodi

Jodie joined the Youth Panel to improve her knowledge and skills for employment and also to support Greater Manchester Talent Match employers to better understand young people’s needs. Jodie says, “When employers have an option to recruit, they are not going to pick people out of the NEET group because they think those people don’t want to work or there are some significant barriers for them to overcome. Employers see an acronym, not a person.”

For more information, search for #MoreThanNEET on facebook or twitter.