THE number of young people who leave school and do not go on to further education, employment or training has dropped by 32 percent in the Vale.

A report by the Wales Audit Office has praised the Labour/Llantwit First-led council for its ongoing commitment and action to reduce the number of NEETs (Not in Education, Employment, or Training).

Coun Chris Elmore, the Vale of Glamorgan’s Cabinet Member for Children’s Services, said: “It is so important that all school leavers go on into further education or get their first jobs as soon as possible.

"With a difficult jobs market, it is absolutely vital that schools, the council and all other agencies are committed and working together to make sure our young people have the skills and support needed to make that first step into the workplace."

Coun Elmore, who is Labour’s general election candidate, continued: "I was very pleased to see that the Wales Audit Office has praised the Council’s hard work and commitment.

"We still have further to go in order to fulfil our ambition to be a ‘NEET-free county’ and we will look at where we can make improvements and seek to learn from other councils who have also substantially reduced the number of NEETs.

“We are committed to improving opportunities for young people in communities across the Vale and I will be working with schools and council colleagues to drive through further improvements and make sure that fewer and fewer young people leave school without a clear, productive destination."

The Vale Council was praised for having a standalone NEETs strategy as well as embedding it in several other key strategic council documents for improving the economy and education in the Vale."