Understanding NEET (not in education, employment or training) people

A research project to improve the quality of bespoke interventions with young people

The challenge

A girl stood in a filled classroom

Career Connect supports young people with personal and professional development through tailored support in career planning, job search and skills development. 

Despite the success of their services, Career Connect has identified a group of individuals that have continued to stay 'not in education, employment or training' (NEET). The primary concern of this project is to understand why this group remains NEET and thus support the company to develop a more appropriate service for this particular group of users. 

The solution

The Research Team will provide Career Connect with a report evidencing points of impact of their service to date and recommandations for future service development, on the basis of: 

  • Analysis of the company's service provision, through the review of documentation, website, key performance indicators and reports;
  • Staff interviews to develop a more in depth understanding of the services provided;
  • Analysis of quantitative data, User segmentation and in-depth analysis to identify key trends and patterns in user journey and success;
  • Targeted survey of service users to analyse their perceived impact of the service received and possible areas of development. 

Research Team

This research produced unique insights and body of data that will be of significant value in developing our services…it has been a pleasure to work with a team of enthusiastic and insightful researchers.

Simon Bean / Assistant Director, Career Connect.
  • Mayra Morales Tirado - PhD Researcher in Business and Management (University of Manchester, Alliance Business School)
  • Amalachukwu Nwazota - PhD Researcher in Law (University of Manchester, School of Social Sciences)
  • Noelyn Onah - PhD Researcher in Data Analytics (University of Manchester, School of Social Sciences)


This has been an exciting and fulfilling experience for me, because I’ve put to use the research skills that I built in my PhD, as well as my communication and collaborative work skills.

Dr Mayra Morales Tirado / Alliance Manchester Business School, The University of Manchester.
  • Researchers have used a combination of interviews, data reviews and surveys to investigate the key factors that enable young people to successfully transition to education, employment and training and the impact of Career Connect in this area. 
  • These findings have offered clear guidance on how Career Connect can build upon their impact in this area so far and achieve more impactful interventions in the future


This project was completed in 2019-20 as part of the Collaboration Labs programme, a PhD research consultancy programme created by REALab, with funding from the ESRC, the NWCDTP and the School of Arts, Languages and Cultures at the University of Manchester.