Young people feel recession has damaged prospects

West Suffolk College's 2012 Prince's Trust team
West Suffolk College's 2012 Prince's Trust team
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More than one in five young people in the East of England believe their prospects have been ‘permanently damaged’ by the recession, according to a new report from the Prince’s Trust.

The Prince’s Trust Youth Index 2013, which interviewed 2,136 16 to 25-year-olds across the UK, found almost one in seven in the region (14 per cent) felt they have no future due to the economic crisis.

The survey also revealed that young people not in employment, education or training (NEETs) are significantly more likely to feel they have no hope for the future and are more likely not to be able to cope with day-to-day life.

Sherry Fry, West Suffolk College’s head of school of pParticipation, agreed there was a worrying discrepancy between those in work and education and those who were not.

She said: “I can concur that some young people we are working with are in a very desperate situation. If we cannot work to engage these people the research tells is 48 percent are more likely to be unhappy in the future.

“Young people are finding it increasingly difficult to cope with the basic things in life.

“The period of austerity really hasn’t helped at all.

“The college is the only one in the county that has a school of participation which literally works at helping the community within West Suffolk reduce and prevent young people from becoming NEET.

“We work with 400 young people within the West Suffolk area through various programmes including the Prince’s Trust.

“There is so much uncertainty – you can understand why young people are worried about their futures and why some give up before they get started.”

John O’Reilly, regional director of the Prince’s Trust in Central England, said: “Our youth Index paints a very bleak picture of the emotional toll being unemployed can have on young people. We fear that a happy New Year could prove very elusive indeed for these youngsters if they aren’t supported in jobs, education or training.

“We know at the Prince’s Trust that it is often those from the most vulnerable backgrounds who end up furthest from the job market.

“Life can become a demoralising downward spiral – from a challenging childhood into life as a jobless adult.

“With the right support, we can help get these lives back on track across the region.”

Richard Parish, chief executive of the Royal Society of Public Health, said: “The Youth Index clearly shows a worrying discrepancy between young people who are in work and those who are not.

“These unemployed young people need support to regain their self-worth and, ultimately, get them back in the workplace.”