UK’s young adults are stressed out over political upheaval and job prospects – Youth Index 2016

UK's young adults are stressed out over political upheaval and job prospects – Youth Index 2016

Over half of the UK’s young adults aged 16 to 25 are worried or despondent about their future, according to research released by the Prince’s Trust.

The Prince’s Trust Macquarie Youth Index 2016 revealed that more than one in four reported feeling “not in control” of their lives and “trapped”.

Up to 58 percent said political changes over the past year made them fear for their future, with 41 percent feeling more anxious compared to a year ago.

The survey, conducted by YouGov for the charity in November 2016, involved more than 2,200 young people and found that:

  • 50 percent felt it was harder to get a job than a year ago
  • 42 percent felt traditional goals like home ownership or a steady job were unrealistic
  • 34 percent felt they would have a worse standard of living than their parents
  • 28 percent felt out of control of their lives

Many respondents also felt demoralised and cynical as a result, with 18 percent saying that they felt unable to change their circumstances and 16 percent believing their lives would amount to nothing, despite the effort they put in.

Prince’s Trust head Martina Milburn said the findings were “deeply concerning”, with young people’s self-confidence hitting its lowest ebb in the eight years since the survey began.

Some 45 percent of young adults were hung up about their body image, while 37 percent said they felt anxious about work and school. Another 12 percent believed that no one really cared about them.

“This report paints a deeply concerning picture of a generation who feel their ability to shape their own future is slipping away from them,” said Milburn.

“It’s shocking how many feel so desperate about their situation and it is vital that we support them to develop the confidence and coping skills they need to succeed in life.

“The single most important thing we can do to empower these young people is to help them into a job, an education course or on to a training programme.

“Now, more than ever, we must work together to provide the support and opportunities they need to unlock a brighter future,” she said, as quoted by the Independent.

In response to concerns over the young generation’s mental well-being, the Prince’s Trust has launched a strategy to embed mental health care into the employability and personal development programmes it helps each year, which offers support to 60,000 vulnerable young people.

Image via Shutterstock 

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