Nearly one in three (32%) young people in Wales don’t feel in control of their lives

  • Prince’s Trust Macquarie Youth Index reveals young people are feeling trapped by their circumstances and out of control of their lives 
  • The eighth index reveals young people’s happiness and confidence are at lowest levels since study was launched
  • Recent political events have made young people feel anxious about their future
  • 17% of young people in Wales think their life will amount to nothing, no matter how hard they try

The Prince’s Trust Macquarie Youth Index released today (9th January) warns that almost a third of young people (32%) in Wales don’t feel in control of their lives, with concerns about job prospects, self-confidence and recent political events playing on young minds.

The Youth Index, sponsored by Macquarie, is a national survey that gauges young people’s wellbeing across a range of areas from family life to physical health, demonstrates that young people’s wellbeing is at its lowest level since the index was first commissioned[1].

The eighth index reveals that many young people are feeling trapped by their circumstances, with a fifth (20%) in Wales saying they don’t believe they can change their circumstances if they want to.

The research also reveals that 16% think their life will amount to nothing, no matter how hard they try.

The report highlights a wide range of factors that could be contributing to young people feeling out of control of their lives. For example, 31% do not feel in control of their job prospects, 45% feel stressed about body image and 35% feel stressed about how to cope at work or school.

Mounting pressures of turbulent times

The Youth Index indicates that the current political and economic climate also appears to be taking its toll on young people. 64% of young people say recent political events make them feel anxious about their future, with 46% feeling more anxious about life in general than a year ago.

Half (50%) feel the pressures of getting a job are greater than a year ago and 45% feel that traditional goals like owning a house or getting a steady job are unrealistic.

Phil Jones, Director of The Prince’s Trust Cymru 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 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.”

David Fass, CEO of Macquarie Group, EMEA said: “We have seen first-hand how the work of organisations such as The Prince’s Trust can transform young lives. Macquarie is committed to investing in young people and we hope the findings of this years’ Index will help inform the development of the policy and programmes designed to address the issues facing young people today.”

As part of its ongoing commitment to help young people overcome any emotional well-being challenges that may be holding them back in life, The Prince’s Trust has launched a new mental health strategy, supported by The Royal Mail Group, to give its staff, volunteers and delivery partners the confidence and ability to respond to young people’s mental health needs.

Mental health support will be embedded in all The Trust’s employability and personal development programmes to help vulnerable young people access the most appropriate care at the earliest opportunity. The Trust will partner with mental health organisations and specialist services to build a suite of training resources and work with them with an ambition of co-locating mental health related services at Prince’s Trust Centres.

This year, The Prince’s Trust will support 60,000 disadvantaged young people to develop the confidence and skills they need to succeed in life. Three in four young people supported by The Prince’s Trust move into work, education or training.

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