The Salva Vita Foundation’s experts involved in project L.I.K.E. (Life Investment is the Key to Employment) conducted in-depth interviews with altogether 45 people including close relatives and family of NEETs (Not in education, employment or training). The interviews provided more insight in the NEETs’ current situation, background, competencies, qualifications also their needs for development. They all took place in Budapest, Hungary.


NEET’s Environment

Approximately 1/3 of the interviewed were family members of the NEETs (mostly mothers) and the others were social workers who support the young people professionally. What the experts conclude from these interviews is that almost all NEETs had one or more critical traumas or failures in the past – within their family history, educational background or work experience. Most of the young people have some working experience although for successful and long-term employment quite all NEETs have to overcome a barrier and improve their skills or competencies. It is not expected that this situation can change automatically.

In almost all cases, when the NEET had a professional qualification, a physiological problem could be identified. Around 20-25% of the NEETs underwent psychotherapy in their lifetime, but far more of them would need it according to the interviewees.

Discrimination against Roma people were mentioned by many. A mother with young children (older than 2-3 years) was very often hindered on the job market.

Some of the NEETs often undertake and get stuck in black-market jobs.

NEETs generally prefer working to studying: besides financial reasons, qualifications do not present a high value for them, as they are not considered as a guarantee for a (better) job.

Only few of the NEETs are described as “staying at home and doing nothing”.

Educational background

Almost all of them had one or more academic failures. A few NEETs did not finish the 8 grades of elementary school (add.: the minimum school-leaving age in Hungary is currently 16) and both Hungarian, including Roma young people are affected. More NEETs started to learn a profession at a vocational school or high school but quit. Giving up school is quite common among NEETs.

Social environment

Sometimes relatives blame former bad company for the current situation of the NEET. “She was mixed in with some bad company, she wanted to hang with them and do nothing.” Drugs and other types of addictions were mentioned


Some frequently mentioned needs and tools for supporting the long-term employment and social integration of NEETs are:


  • NEETs need to experience success – in many cases this could be the first success in their lives.
  • Psychological help
  • Improvement of their different types of personal skills. Self-knowledge and self-confidence improvement were mentioned most frequently.
  • General training regarding employment. (e.g. preparation for an interview, the ability to observe rules, communication)
  • Many of the interviewees considered having a mentor as a good opportunity.


The idea of a youth community center (such as Hidden Likes Youth House) was generally liked.

It was declared that NEETs within the child protection system would need much more support in order to overcome their heavily burdened background and traumas.

Some of the interviewees mentioned that the employers need to change themselves as well: “They exploit them.” “Trust and normal communication would be needed.” “If she makes a mistake, she is laid off from work. Train her, and then the child will be able to do it.”