The COST Action Rural NEET Youth Network book, coordinated by CIS-Iscte, has just been published. This open-access book is co-edited by Francisco Simões and addresses the psychosocial characteristics of rural young people who are not working, studying or involved in training (NEET), their informal and formal support systems, as well as public policies to improve their prospects.
"NEETs in European rural areas: Individual features, support systems and policy measures" is the title of the book co-edited by Francisco Simões of CIS-Iscte and Emre Erdogan from Istanbul Bilgi University. The book is one of the main outputs of the COST Action CA18213, Rural NEET Youth Network: Modeling the risks underlying rural NEETs social exclusion.
The book delves into the challenges faced by young people categorized as Not in Employment, Education, or Training (NEET) in rural regions across Europe, addressing a significant gap in literature. Despite their prevalence, rural NEETs often remain overlooked, even though statistics reveal higher percentages of NEETs in rural settings compared to urban and suburban areas across the EU, as well as in Southern and Eastern European countries.
The comprehensive inquiry identifies and analyzes various factors influencing youth social development and inclusion in rural areas. It scrutinizes individual characteristics of rural NEETs, examines the quality and dynamics of their informal social networks and support structures, evaluates the distinct features of formal and non-formal education in rural settings, and assesses the role of employment services in providing necessary institutional support. Moreover, the book explores the critical role of policy design and emerging paradigms of rural development in uplifting vulnerable young people in European countryside settings. By offering a fresh model of analysis and comprehension of rural NEETs' personal development and social integration, the contributions in this volume set a new standard for understanding this demographic.
As a seminal resource, the book not only consolidates existing knowledge on rural NEETs but also inspires new research agendas on the subject of vulnerable rural youth in Europe. Furthermore, it informs policy frameworks related to education, employment, and social welfare in rural areas, aiming to address the challenges and foster inclusive growth.
The release of this book marks a significant milestone in understanding and addressing the complexities of NEETs in European rural areas, setting the stage for enhanced policies and targeted interventions to support the marginalized youth population in these regions. In addition to the plan of creating the Rural NEET Youth Observatory, the team of this COST Action is currently organizing the final conference of the project, which will take place in Brussels, 12 March, 2024.