The Prince's Trust Macquarie Youth Index

December 2010

Youth Index 2010

The Trust warns that unemployment is a mental health hazard. Young people are suffering increased mental health problems - such as panic attacks, self loathing and depression - due to unemployment.

The Prince’s Trust Macquarie Youth Index reveals how almost half of young people not in work (48 per cent) claim that unemployment has caused problems including self harm and insomnia.

Around one in six young people (16 per cent) have found unemployment as stressful as a family breakdown, while more than one in ten (12 per cent) claim their joblessness has given them nightmares.

The research, based on interviews with 2,170 16-to-25-year-olds, also shows how young people are twice as likely to self harm or suffer panic attacks a year into unemployment.

Unemployment presents a very real and frightening mental health problem for young people – and the longer they are out of work, the greater the risk. The Prince’s Trust can help vulnerable young people back on their feet and into work, building motivation and self-esteem.

 - Martina Milburn, chief executive of The Prince’s Trust

The report - which gauges happiness across a range of areas from family life to physical and emotional health - paints a bleak picture as the Government gears up to launch its own happiness index in the spring.

Third Year

The third annual Youth Index sees the index number at its lowest point since the study was launched, with the most significant decline around young people's emotional health. It also shows how those who are not in employment, education or training (NEETs) are significantly less happy across all areas of their lives.

Julie White, Global Head, Macquarie Group Foundation, comments:

The index is a meaningful way to track and measure young people’s issues. The research shows how Prince’s Trust schemes which help young people into work can directly address their emotional health. That’s why Macquarie’s support of The Prince’s Trust is an important part of our UK community investment programme.

The report, funded by the Macquarie Group Foundation and carried out by YouGov, also reveals how NEETs are almost twice as likely as those in work or education to lack a sense of belonging in life.


More than a third of NEETs (37 per cent) also lack a sense of identity. This rises to nearly half (47 per cent) of those out of work a year or longer. Almost two thirds of young people in work (63 per cent) believe that their job is an important part of their identity.

Half of young people seeking work admit that visiting the job centre makes them feel ashamed. More than half said that job searching had left them feeling disillusioned (55 per cent) or desperate (54 per cent).


The Prince's Trust Macquarie Youth Index also finds that more than a third of unemployed young people (34 per cent) feel isolated all or most of the time, increasing to 45 per cent for those who have been out of work for a year or longer. More than one in four NEETs (27 per cent) admit that being out of work has seen them go longer than a week without leaving their home.

Martina Milburn added:

Christmas is a difficult time of year to feel alone and isolated. Just £3 a month can allow us to provide two weeks’ support for a vulnerable young person, helping them find their first job.
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Holly's story

"Without the opportunity The Prince’s Trust gave me, I would still be bored, sat at home with no self confidence."

Find out how Holly turned her life around

Holly Hull
Macquarie Group Foundation