THE percentage of Bolton 16 and 17-year-olds classed as ‘drop-outs' is the fourth highest in Greater Manchester, according to Government figures.

A snapshot of the teenagers classed as NEET ­— not in employment, education or training ­— or their destinations not known, stood at 6.2 per cent, in December, January and February.

The figures place Bolton in the fourth quintile in the country.

Town hall chiefs said the figures had improved over the year and that it meets its “statutory duty” through the Connexions service, to track and support all young people up to the age of 18.

They added that 99.5 per cent of young people receive an offer of education, employment or training, placing Bolton in the highest quintile for September ­— with a participation rate of 96 per cent

Town hall chiefs stressed that Bolton’s average NEET figure for February to April of this year was 4.0 per cent and the combined NEET and not known figure has reduced by one per cent since 2018.

A spokesperson for Bolton Council said:“The Team Bolton Partnership offers a multi-agency approach to helping our young people access employment and training opportunities.

“The initiative brings together the council, education providers, Job Centre Plus and Bolton at Home to meet the skills needs of local employers and help young people achieve their aspirations.

“Staff across all these organisations work hard to help young people reach their full potential, going the extra mile to promote a culture of enterprise and supporting young people to find meaningful and fulfilling careers.

“The Partnership helps people of all ages to access apprenticeships, find new jobs and learn new skills.”

Bury had the lowest drop-out figure standing at four per cent.

Wigan had the highest figure, with 8.3 per cent of young people classed as NEET or their destinations not known.

Manchester and Salford’s figures were higher than Bolton’s, standing at 7.6 per cent and 7.3 per cent respectively.