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Youth Index 2018

The Prince's Trust Macquarie Youth Index report for 2018, based on a YouGov survey, takes an in-depth look into the views and outlooks of young people aged 16 to 25. 

Young man with black t-shirt standing against a brick wall

Our 2018 Prince’s Trust Macquarie Youth Index reveals that the happiness and confidence young people feel in their lives has fallen to their lowest levels since the study was first commissioned in 2009.

It's #TimetoInvest in young people's well-being

Our new research reveals that young people across the UK fear for their emotional health more than ever before, as worries about the future, money and generally ‘not being good enough’ pile up on them. Young people’s happiness and confidence in their emotional health has dropped to the lowest levels ever recorded.

For the full update, which includes some of the factors that are contributing to the sudden decline in relation to emotional health, read our latest news story.

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This year’s report shows that concerns about job prospects are weighing on young minds – almost half of young people fear that there will be fewer job opportunities for their generation in the next three years, and the unpredictable political climate is making 59% of young people feel anxious about their future.

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Young people’s wellbeing, which dropped last year to its lowest level since the Index was first commissioned, has fallen again to a new low this year, and the number of young people who don’t feel in control of their lives has increased by more than one third year-on-year.

The ninth Index – based on a survey of 2,194 young people aged 16 to 25 – suggests that the current job market is holding young people back:

  • One in four working young people feel trapped in a cycle of jobs they don’t want
  • Almost a third (29%) of working young people have to take whatever jobs they can get rather than focus on developing their career
  • 59% of working young people feel they need opportunities to develop their skills before they can think about career options
  • 54% of all young people believe a lack of self-confidence holds them back
  • Almost a third (29%) of all young people think getting relevant work experience is one of the biggest challenges in pursuing a career
This report highlights a staggering deterioration in young people’s confidence in themselves and in their future. The cliff edge decline in young people not feeling in control of their lives echoes conversations we have every day with young people who speak of their fears about finding work, taking short term jobs over longer term careers and the knock on effect of heightened uncertainty in the economy. This has to be our moment to redouble what we do as a Trust and as a society. It is our fundamental belief that every young person should have the chance to succeed and when they do our country will also succeed.

Nick Stace, UK Chief Executive, The Prince's Trust

Research, policies and reports

Explore our thought-leadership in all issues facing young people.

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Caitlin Buckley, young person standing next to a railing

Reveal the findings from the ninth Youth Index report

Download now (pdf, 2mb)

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