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"NEET" phenomenon
Last Updated(Beijing Time):2005-06-03 08:47

By Li Tianguo

"NEET" ("Not in Education,Employment or Training"), refers to such a group of young people in western countries, who have no regular job, are not under education, do not have vocational education, or even are not included in the social security system. More importantly, they do not want to find any job themselves and have to depend on their families, and their ages range from 15 to 34.

Some people think that China's "group of newly unemployed" equals to "NEET". But the author has different opinion. To make clear the concept of "NEET" is helpful for the understanding of the "group of newly unemployed" emerged in China.

Though the "group of newly unemployed" is largely similar with "NEET" in terms of their background of appearance and characteristics, they are not exactly alike. Firstly, "NEET" has a very subjective judgment, that is, someone could not be called as a "NEET" unless it is he himself/ she herself do not want to get employed or take vocational training. This is very different from our country's "group of newly unemployed."

This difference posed great technological difficulties for survey. So far no one in the country has reached such a conclusion through very strict survey that there exists a large group of "NEET" in China, not to mention any official statistics. Therefore, it is not scientific to assert how many "NEET" are there in China.

The emergence of the "group of newly unemployed" is worthy attention in at least three aspects, which are the mode of education, employment channel and job opportunity. Now the question is: at present China's education has some deviations in target, and is rather inadequate in frustration education, vocational education and career planning. And the employment channel is not smooth enough because of the existence of regional barrier in the talents flow and the information asymmetry. What's more, the situation of oversupply does exist in the current job market.

The author does not agree with the judgment that the problem of "NEET" has grown very serious in China. Actually, unemployment of young people exists in every country but it is not at all so alarming.

Then, what is the significance of China's attention to the "group of newly unemployed?" A consensus held by scholars in western countries is: this is a group prone to be marginalized. The elicitation for China lies in that the society should pay more attention to the length of the group's unemployment duration. Some researches indicate that, the longer one's employment duration is, the weaker his or her ability to get unemployed is, and the more difficult it is for him or her to get involved into the society. If such situation were left unattended, such social diseases as drug taking, crime or suicide would come along, which are the most dreadful.

For the "group of newly unemployed", there should be more in-depth study. For example, it should be learned that how many of them are pressed to be in such a condition and how many are taking it for granted? Or, how long a person would go through from being all-confident at the beginning of job-hunting to becoming despaired at the end? Besides, in some northeast cities of exhausted resource, such situation was resulted from the inadequacy of absolute job opportunities while in developed regions the case is different, which calls for our differentiated treatment.

In fact, in a lot of fields the state can do something. In the adjustment of education target, for example, generally children tend to have such dreams as "becoming a scientist when grow up", but what if their dreams could not come true when they grow up? When that happens, educators have the responsibility to teach them how to work, and such kind of conversion of education consciousness is very important. To the existing "group of newly unemployed," we should strengthen guidance and encourage them to come up to the society.

Sometimes only a gesture of closeness can change the whole situation. As to how to deal with the "group of newly unemployed", ways could be found with the joint efforts of the whole society. And a premise is: we've got to have a sober mind and scientific methods. 
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