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EmploymentOne in three young people say their mental health will stop them...

One in three young people say their mental health will stop them achieving

A third of 16–25-year-olds in Greater Manchester are worried their mental health will stop them achieving their career goals, according to the Prince’s Trust NatWest Youth Index 2024, released today.

The Youth Index is an annual research report based on a YouGov survey of 2,239 16- to 25-year-olds across the UK which aims to gauge confidence and happiness across a range of areas, including physical and mental health to money and working life.

The report finds that 38 per cent of 16 to 25-year-olds in Greater Manchester have experienced a mental health problem, with happiness in work, education, qualifications and money at all-time lows.

In Greater Manchester, over a tenth (13 per cent) of young people report a mental health issue has stopped them applying for a job, or attending an interview (14 per cent) during the last 12 months, with a fifth (20 per cent) missing school or work in the past year due to their mental health.

The findings suggest that the rising cost of living and economic uncertainty is exacerbating mental health issues and its impacts, with 37 per cent claiming money worries have made their mental health much worse.

Hatim (19) from Greater Manchester is thriving in his role as a display assistant at the media agency Manning Gottlieb OMD (MG OMD), but prior to coming to The Prince’s Trust, he was struggling at college.

He said: “Failing my second year at college knocked my confidence, and I wasn’t sure what direction to go in. But the Team programme took me out of my comfort zone, in a good way. It pushed me, built my confidence and taught me independence.

“The Prince’s Trust and WYK were massive support systems during my time on the Digital Marketing course. I got so much invaluable experience and I feel that it really prepped me for what I’m doing now.”

Julie Ainscough, head of service delivery for Greater Manchester, at The Prince’s Trust said: “With unemployed 16 – 25-year-olds consistently reporting the worst overall wellbeing, it also shows us – and young people tell us – that being in employment is good for their mental health, gives their lives stability and financial security, and enables them to feel positive about their future.

“We must work together to address this trap, where poor mental health and employment struggles exacerbate each other, or risk it closing in on a generation. Urgent support is needed from partners, governments and employers, to help young people break this cycle.”

In Greater Manchester, over half (56 per cent) worry about not having the right skills and qualifications, or the right experience (62 per cent) to get a job in the future.

A third (34 per cent) of young people don’t feel in control of their future. They also report not feeling confident they will achieve their goals in life (20 per cent) and similar numbers (22 per cent) say they feel like they will fail in life.

NatWest has worked in partnership with The Prince’s Trust for over 20 years, helping thousands of young people to start their own businesses or develop skills for employment and supported hundreds of staff to volunteer with young people across the UK.

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