UK job centre
The percentage of UK Neets was 13.5% in the year to March        Reuters

The number of UK young people who were not in education, employment or training classified as Neets dropped to 975,000 in the year to March, but the "battle against youth unemployment is far from over".

According to the Office for National Statistics (ONS), the number of 16 to 24-year-old Neets fell by 61,000 from October to December 2013 and was down 118,000 from a year ago.

The research body also said that the percentage of all young people in the UK who were Neets was 13.5%, down 0.8% from October to December 2013 and down 1.6% from a year earlier.

But Lottie Dexter, director at campaign group Million Jobs, warned that the battle against youth unemployment was "far from over".

"Far too many youngsters are struggling to get a first job," said Dexter. "Young men are nearly twice as likely to find themselves not in employment, education or training and it's shameful that 125,000 youngsters are cut adrift in the North West alone.

"All political parties should be setting out their stalls and fighting to win over nearly 10 million under-30s, who have the power to swing the 2015 election. This means presenting them with a clear route towards employment and housing."

The ONS also explained that more than half (52%) of all young people in the UK who were Neets were looking for work, available for work and therefore classified as unemployed.

The remainder were either not looking for work and/or not available for work and therefore classified as economically inactive.

Matthew Hancock, the Minister of State for Skills and Enterprise, welcomed the data.

"Amazing. The number of young people Neet [in England] has fallen 15% over the last year, to the lowest level in a decade (774,000)," Hancock said.

The figures come after the ONS revealed that UK youth unemployment dropped to 19.1% in the three months to March as more than 860,000 young people were out of work.