Do grim long term unemployment figures for the young underline 'lost generation' fears? (From St Helens Star)
Send us news by text, start your message Star News and your send photos and videos to 80360
Do grim long term unemployment figures for the young underline 'lost generation' fears?
7:00am Friday 1st February 2013 in News
THEY are the grim figures which could cause lasting damage to the prospects and wellbeing of thousands of our town’s young people.
The alarming numbers show 365 of 18 to 24-year-olds in St Helens have been out of work for more than 12 months.
Data analysed by the Star showed such figures rarely climbed above 20 for the six years until January 2012.
But after passing the 100 mark last January the long-term jobless total climbed through last year before peaking at 375 in October and dropping slightly the following month.
The results emerged as a report from the Prince’s Trust showed 35 per cent of young people in the north west feel down or depressed “always” or “often”.
More than a third believe their prospects have been “permanently damaged” by the recession and one in five feel they have no future due to the economic crisis.
The charity’s report showed these trends tend to be much higher among young people not in employment, education or training (NEETs).
Across St Helens up to 1,700 of 18 to 24-year-olds are jobless, and a report last year ranked the town as having suffered the ninth highest increase in youth unemployment between 2011 and 2012.
Examining the wellbeing of young people, the index found more than one in 10 young people in the north west feel they cannot cope with day-to-day life.
People not in employment or training are significantly more likely to feel unable to cope than their peers.
The report – based on interviews with 2,136 people aged 16 to 25 across the UK – shows 23 per cent living in the region did not have someone to talk to about their problems.
Jonathan Townsend, regional director of The Prince’s Trust in the North of England, said: “A frightening number of unemployed young people in the north west feel unable to cope – and it is particularly tough for those who don’t have a support network in place.
“We know 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.
“But, with the right support, we can help get these lives on track.”
One in five unemployed young people across the UK believe their confidence will never recover from their spell out of work.
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 re-gain their self-worth and, ultimately, get them back in the workplace.
“With recent record-breaking youth unemployment - the work of charities like The Prince’s Trust with vulnerable young people is more critical than ever.”
Trust believes it is making a difference
“I FEEL worthless with nowhere to turn,” is a typical remark a youngster will make when turning to the Prince’s Trust for help.
But through its courses that aim to equip its recruits with skills such as initiative and teamwork the charity believes it is a making a difference.
About 80 young people a year embark on its volunteering programmes, with many finding a new-found purpose and sense of direction.
Acutely aware of the difficulties being faced by young people, Prince’s Trust bosses, whose staff work with people aged 13 to 30, are eager to boost services in the borough.
A trust spokesman said: “One of the things we are doing is expanding the solutions we can provide for young people
“The headline services we offer are the Team programmes at St Helens College. Now we are seeking to expand that programme into Newton-le-Willows.
“Part of what we are trying to do is to say to young people – there is help out there, so get in touch to see if there are solutions available locally for them.”
For information contact the Prince’s Trust on 0151 794 3197 or 0800 842 842.