Being tagged as NEET is not neat. Not neat at all. But what is a NEET? A NEET is a young person who is not in employment, education or training and the fact the numbers are growing is a huge worry for our society.
The thing is that if our young folk are not in some meaningful employment, full-time education or training then what ARE they doing all day?
The number of NEETS in the south west has increased by 61per cent during the past 10 years and the estimate is that more than 84,000 young people fall into this category — 84,000 young people in the south west.
I don't know about you but I find that really shocking.
So what are they doing all day if they are not in employment, education or training?
If you don't know the answer then perhaps it is time to find out before this social problem gets out of control.
A future without hope is a dangerous condition emotionally.
Of course, the numbers will fall as the post-16 landscape changes.
From this summer, our young folk will be required to continue in education or training to the end of the academic year in which they turn 17.
Then after the summer 2015, they will be required to stay until their 18th birthday.
Of course, they do not have to remain at school although full-time education in an educational institution is an option.
The other two options is an apprenticeship or part-time accredited learning if they are in full-time employment or volunteering.
The question is does that solve a problem or simply push the problem to a later date?
The old saying about taking a horse to water comes to mind as does the concept of wilful blindness.
Ultimately it will be about the provision of jobs and that, in my opinion, is about a re-balancing of the economic landscape with a more equitable sharing of wealth. Hmm.
Still keeping the NEET situation in mind, by a curious twist of location I found myself on a sunny afternoon wandering around the refurbished Torre Abbey with Gordon Oliver, Mayor of Torbay, and Steve Parrock, CEO of the Torbay Development Agency and now also Torbay's chief executive officer, as 'tour guides'.
They did an excellent job and I was completely captivated by what has been achieved.
Torre Abbey has now been re-opened to the public and I really would recommend you spend a day wandering around the abbey plus the stunning gardens.
Of course, the 'tour guide' bit was a little extra because my meeting with Gordon Oliver was very much about our young people and, in particular, the future use of the Parkfield Centre on Paignton seafront plus the development of the Duke of Edinburgh Award (DofE is the new brand name) for those outside the school / college world.
I guess, therefore, in many cases this will be about the NEETS and finding a way of making a better road for them.
Gordon Oliver and Steve Parrock seemed very supportive and that rounded off a quite atmospheric afternoon.
Thinking about Torre Abbey and the magical way in which the refurbishment has captured the rich history of Torbay, it made me reflect upon the many wonderful assets that we too often take for granted.
There are so many things that we too often fail to notice and yet are simply captivating.
We have beautiful woodlands, stunning gardens, endless beaches, splendid harbours, ancient houses, atmospheric coastal walks, deep caves and so many other wonderful attractions.
To say that there is nothing to do in Torbay is simply not true.
Why not start with a visit to Torre Abbey and take a walk through history?
Pause for a while in the gardens and touch the walls which once supported the abbey church hundreds of years ago.
Take yourself to the deepest part of prehistoric Kents Cavern and place your hand on the cave wall which was once touched by our cave-dwelling ancestors.
Why not simply take a walk in a part of Torbay you've never been to before?
This is our community, these are our towns and this is our time.
Let's share it and celebrate.
Keep the smile.