One in five young Scots feel powerless to change their lives

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Traditional goals like owning a house or getting a steady job are unrealistic say many teams

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11th January 2017 by Paul Cardwell 0 Comments

Concerns over job prospects, self-confidence and recent political events are plaguing the minds of a generation of young people, youth charity the Prince’s Trust has warned.

Its annual Youth Index report – based on a survey of 2,215 young people aged 16 to 25 –  found that many young people are feeling trapped by their circumstances, with almost a fifth of Scots saying they don’t believe they can change their circumstances even if they try.

One in three said they don’t even feel that traditional goals like owning a house or getting a steady job are realistic.

Even more worryingly 16% of those asked said they think their life will amount to nothing.

Young people’s confidence is at the lowest it’s been since the Prince’s Trust’s research began eight years ago, the charity says.

Allan Watt, Prince’s Trust Scotland director, said the 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,” he said.

“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.”

The report highlights a wide range of factors that could be contributing to young people feeling out of control of their lives in Scotland. 

For example, 40% said they do not feel in control of their job prospects, 47% feel stressed about body image and 41% feel stressed about how to cope at work or school.

The Youth Index indicates that the current political and economic climate also appears to be taking its toll on young people. 56% of young Scots said recent political events make them feel anxious about their future, with 45% feeling more anxious about life in general than a year ago. 

Many feel confused, with more than a third claiming they don’t know what to believe because they read conflicting things in the media about the economy.

The Prince’s Trust says in attempt to combat the survey will this year 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.