The issues that are addressed the most are the problems faced by population groups that stand out for the future of the countries in economic, social, and political terms and young people, who are the driving force of social development. Among these problems, the unemployment of young people is undoubtedly the first issue that comes to mind. Socioeconomic difficulties and risks faced by young people have a significant and negative effect on both individuals and social development and exacerbate concerns about the future of a country. However, in recent years, “young people who are not in education, employment, or training” (NEET), which is related to phenomena such as youth unemployment and other more complex phenomena, is one of the topics that developed countries have focused on.
The category of NEET includes young people who are described as being offended or discouraged in the literature as well as individuals who are economically inactive and do not participate in education for mostly “involuntary” reasons, such as illness, disability, and being responsible for providing care and household chores. Therefore, the concept refers to a significant portion of the population that has not received any education or participated in child rearing in the last four weeks and is also not employed. These intersections between the unemployed and those who are not included in the labor force and are not continuing their education comes to the fore in terms of the effectiveness and sustainability of labor market policies.
It has been determined that there is a need to conduct a profile analysis of NEET youth and conduct research to determine the causes and effects of their NEET status. Statistics regarding NEET youth are announced every year by the Turkish Statistical Institute (TUIK) and the European Statistical Institute. In this context, the General Directorate of Educational Research and Coordination of the Ministry of Youth and Sports conducted a “Profile Research of Young People Not in Education and Employment” under the management of academics at Istanbul University who specialize in this field. This is the first comprehensive study to examine the causes and effects of young people being NEET status in Turkey aged 15–29. The field work for this study was carried out between September 7, 2020 and December 12, 2020, and the most important aspect of the research is the development of the scales of causes and effects of being NEET with proven validity and reliability.
Despite the risks presented by the global COVID-19 epidemic, I would like to thank the officials of the General Directorate of Education, Research, and Coordination and the academics at Istanbul University, who have exemplary a cooperated to define the risks and develop solution proposals.
We will continue to develop innovative projects related to important problems in our country under the leadership of the Minister of Youth and Sports Dr. Mehmet Muharrem KASAPOGLU, who has been zealously crafting preventive measures aimed at solving the problems of young people and developing innovative policies based on scientific research. I hope that this work, which is the first study to result from the cooperation between Istanbul University and our ministry and has been published by Istanbul University Publications, will be useful for researchers and practitioners.
Prof. Dr. Halis Yunus ERSÖZ
T.C. Deputy Minister of Youth and Sports