Happiness and confidence of young people at lowest ever level, survey reveals

Young people say they feel anxious about their future

Young people say they feel anxious about their future - Credit: Getty Images/iStockphoto

Happiness and confidence among young people in the east of England is at its lowest level since in almost a decade, a new survey has revealed.

The Prince’s Trust Macquarie Youth Index, a national report looking into concerns facing young people, says worries about recent political events, self-confidence and job prospects has left many feeling trapped and that their life is not in their control.

The youth index, which has produced an annual report for the last eight years, shows almost a fifth (18%) of young people in the east of England say they don’t believe they can change their circumstances if they want to.

The report also reveals 13% of young people think their life will amount to nothing, no matter how hard they try.

The current political and economic climate seems to be taking its toll, with 61% saying it has made them feel anxious about their future and 40% saying they feel more anxious about life than a year ago.

More than half (53%) feel pressures of getting a job are greater than a year ago and more than a third (36%) don’t feel in control of their job prospects.

The cost of living is also a big concern, with 44% of young people saying they feel out of control of their lives, worried that living costs are going up faster than their pay.

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John O’Reilly, director of the Prince’s Trust in central England said: “This report paints a deeply concerning picture of a generation who feel their ability to shape their own future is slipping away from them.

“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 is 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.”

The survey shows happiness and confidence among young people in the east is at its lowest level since the study began.

The report also highlights a number of factors contributing to young people feeling out of control of their lives.

One in ten (12%) claim they don’t know who ‘really cares’ about them, 46% feel stressed about body image and 34% feel stressed about how to cope with work or school.

The Prince’s Trust has launched a new mental health strategy, supported by Royal Mail Group, to give its staff and volunteers training in how to help with young people’s mental heath needs.

In partnership with mental health organisations and specialist service, the trust looks to build a suite of training resources and work to being mental health services to Prince’s Trust centres.

This year, the trust will support 60,000 young people to develop the skills and confidence they need to succeed.