NEET research earns an award

Tue, 24 Jul 2012 15:46:00 BST

Ron Thompson and Robin Simmons receive Prize for Social Justice at SCUTREA Conference

SCUTREA logo AFTER delivering a research paper at a major conference, University of Huddersfield lecturers Dr Robin Simmons and Dr Ron Thompson received a special award after they argued that young people who are out of work need useful and stimulating educational challenges.

Robin Simmons The event, which took place at the University of Leicester, was organised by SCUTREA (Standing Conference on University Teaching and Research in the Education of Adults).

Dr Simmons (pictured left) and Dr Thompson (pictured below), who have been conducting a large-scale research project into the lives of young people described as NEETS – Not in Education, Employment or Training – collaborated on a paper entitled ‘Well Being and Social Justice? Engaging young adults on the margins of education and employment’.

Ron Thompson Dr Simmons delivered the paper and later, after it had been appraised by a panel of judges, it was awarded the Ian Martin Prize for Social Justice – named after an eminent University of Edinburgh academic.

The paper, said Dr Simmons, examined the tensions that exist between well-being and social justice.  “We all want to make young people feel good, but we want to challenge them as well,” he added.

Therefore, the paper argued that education and training for NEETS should not purely be therapeutic in nature but provide knowledge and activities that are genuinely useful.

“It was a large international conference, with delegates from countries such as the USA and Australia, so it was quite an honour for us and the University of Huddersfield to win this award and we are obviously pleased that our research has been recognised in this way,” said Dr Simmons, who is a Reader in Education at the University of Huddersfield and principal investigator for the £124,000 Leverhulme Trust-funded project which investigates the lives of NEET young people.


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