Young people struggling with life and the recession


One in 10 young people feel that they cannot cope with day-to-day life, while more than one in four believe their prospects have been “permanently damaged” by the recession.

These are just two of the findings from a new survey carried out by The Prince’s Trust. The charity’s annual Youth Index, which gauges the wellbeing of young people across a range of areas, reveals an overall decline in their happiness and confidence over the last five years.

It also found a clear link between the levels of support youngsters received while growing up and whether they are in education, employment or training. Youngsters not in education, employment or training (NEETs) are more than twice as likely to feel unable to cope as their peers.

The research, which quizzed more than 2,000 16 to 25-year-olds, showed that more than one in five lacked someone to talk about their problems when they were growing up, this rises to one in three for those who are NEET. Overall, the Index found that contentment with emotional health fell to its lowest ever level this year, while attitudes towards money returned the lowest scores of any measure in the study.

More than half of young people (51 per cent) feel disillusioned by the state of the current jobs market, while a quarter have put their ambitions on hold due to the recession.

“A frightening number of unemployed young people feel unable to cope – and it is particularly tough for those who don’t have a support network in place,” said Martina Milburn, chief executive of The Prince’s Trust.

“It is often those from the most vulnerable backgrounds who end up furthest from the jobs market. Life can become a demoralising downward spiral – from a challenging childhood into life as a jobless adult. But, with the right support, we can help get these lives on track.”

You can read the Youth Index 2013 at


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