Background The dependency of rural economies on agricultural practices for survival has been in decline for a number of years, seriously threatening rural communities sustainability. It is now evident that attracting young people into agricultural professions is proving difficult. As a consequence, policy measures that aim to enhance the likelihood of rural employment for young people or rural NEETs have been introduced in countries with the aim of reducing at-at-risk-poverty rates and supporting the long term viability of rural economies. The aim of this rapid review is to summarise the published literature reporting on the effectiveness of initiatives, interventions and programmes that target rural NEETs.
Methods The following databases will be searched: Web of Science, SCOPUS, EBSCOhost, ERIC and ProQuest. Internet searching through Google Scholar will also be carried out. The result of the search will be downloaded and saved to Mendeley. Informed by PRISMA guidelines, duplicates will be removed. The titles and abstracts of all remaining studies will be screened by at least two independent reviewers informed by the study inclusion and exclusion criteria. Where a decision to include or exclude cannot be reached by the two independent reviewers an additional reviewer will adjudicate. All results, screening process results will be documented in tabular form and communicated in a PRISMA flow diagram.
Discussion This rapid review protocol will provide a time limited state-of-the-art evidence report, specific to the challenges experienced by rural NEETs, that will help those involved in policy development, policy response initiatives and proximal implementation. It is intended that additional opportunities for innovation and/or research may be communicated to relevant stakeholders. Hence, they will be able to create a useful framework for embedding rural youth in the context of so needed structural transformation of rural communities.
Systematic Review Registration This protocol has been submitted to the International Prospective Register for Systematic Reviews - PROSPERO, published, and assigned the following reference number: CRD42021236794.