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UK — Today's unemployed must not become tomorrow's unemployable says Prince's Trust

07 January 2010

The latest 'YouGov Youth Index' published by the Prince's Trust, a charity founded by HRH The Prince of Wales to help young people, reveals that those out of work are significantly less happy with their health, friendships and family life than those in work. One in ten young people (11%) claim that unemployment drove them to drugs or alcohol.

According to the report, based on interviews with 2,088 16-to-25-year-olds, unemployed young people are also more likely to feel ashamed, rejected and unloved more of the time. If trends follow those of previous recessions, these can become permanent psychological scars.

Leading economist Professor David Blanchflower comments in the report "unemployment has a knock-on effect on a young person's self-esteem, their emotional stability and overall wellbeing. The longer the period a young person is unemployed for, the more likely they are to experience this psychological scarring."

He adds "this means an unhappy and debilitated generation of young people who, as a result, becomes decreasingly likely to find work in the future."

A quarter (25%) of young people who are or have been unemployed claim their joblessness caused arguments with parents or other family.

More than a quarter (28%) claim that unemployment caused them to exercise less, with around one in six of those currently out of work (17%) getting no exercise at all.
Martina Milburn, chief executive of The Prince's Trust says "the implications of youth unemployment stretch beyond the dole (unemployment benefit) queue. The emotional effects on young people are profound, long-term and can become irreversible. We must act now to prevent a lost generation of young people before it is too late."

"15% of young people across the country feel their life lacks direction, with this figure increasing to 42% for those out of work. One in three unemployed young people (32%) feels down or depressed all or most of the time."

One in ten young people (10%) 'rarely' or 'never' feels loved, with this figure increasing to 15% for those out of work.

The research comes as The Prince's Trust announces its new 'Undiscovered' campaign, reaching out to a generation of young people whose talents and prospects have been dashed in the recession.

The new campaign calls for Government, businesses and individuals to help the charity raise 1 million Pound a week to support unemployed and disadvantaged young people. More than three in four young people on Prince's Trust schemes move into work, training or education.

Martina Milburn comments "young people bore the brunt of the recession last year, with one in five 16-to-24-year-olds out of work today. The result is a generation of undiscovered skills and talents. We must invest in these young people, re-building their self-esteem, to ensure that today's unemployed do not become tomorrow's unemployable."

To read the Prince's Trust Youth Index Report please click here



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