Established in April 2008, The NEET2EET beat project is a partnership between Sunderland Youth Offending Service (YOS), The Bunker music and arts studio and the Open College Network (OCN). NEET is the term used by the DfES to describe young people who are not engaging in education or training.
The Youth Offending Service works in partnership across the City to provide a range of innovative services to support children and young people from offending or reoffending. The NEET2EET project is one such project that provides creative and artistic learning opportunities at The Bunker for under-18 year old young people.
Those young people involved are either known either to the YOS or the YOS Wear Kids service which provides support to children and young people who are at risk of offending. Young people can be referred to the project simply to provide a constructive use of leisure time or because their current circumstances are not conducive to them taking full advantage of more mainstream education or training provision.
The aim is to engage young people in voluntary, educational activities in an informal, friendly environment. The skills and confidence that a young person gains can help them to maximise the potential they might already be showing or to re-integrate them into education or training if they have been having problems.
The types of activity on offer range from traditional arts, crafts and photography through to film-making, music production and DJ skills. By participating in the activities, young people gather evidence that can be used to gain nationally recognised qualifications accredited by the Open College Network. Participants can obtain OCN qualifications or join in merely for the experience and sense of purpose.
The NEET2EET project is accessible inside and outside of normal working hours across the equivalent of three full days per week. Running times are extremely flexible and can be tailored to meet the needs and availability of participants.
Excellent outcomes are being achieved through this project. 76 young people have participated in the programme since April 2008 with the majority of those above school age progressing onto work, education or training in areas ranging from the army to art college as well as a variety of local training providers.