Paul Carbert, Policy Adviser at NECC said: “It is positive news that the North East has seen a fall in the economic inactivity rate over the past year, particularly among young people.  The youth employment rate (16-24 year olds) has increased by 5.6% over the past year.  A further good step in the right direction for the region’s future workforce needs is the fact there are 16,000 more 16-24 year olds in employment in the North East than a year ago.

“It is disappointing to see a slight fall in employment numbers over the quarter, but the long-term picture is more positive. The employment rate is essentially unchanged from the record high reached during the last quarter (October-December 2015).

“We need to build on this and ensure that schools and colleges in the region keep on preparing young people for the local labour market. NECC actively supports this agenda as part of our ambition to create a Working North East.”

NECC will hold a Linking Business with Education event on Friday 1 July at Cardinal Hume Catholic School in Gateshead to bring together leaders from education and the wider business community.