Right now, the prospects for young people in the UK are far from promising. Many young people face numerous pressures and challenges in various aspects of their lives. Many disadvantaged youth lack adequate access to training and employment, affordable housing, long term financial security, and technology. They also must cope with a fast changing work environment, all while striving for physical and mental well-being.
Evidence shows that the barriers young people face to achieving economic independence, well being and finding the right support, are disproportionate to the population as a whole:
- Unemployment rates are three times higher for 16-25 year olds when compared with the rest of the UK population
- By 2018, unemployment and underemployment is predicted to affect a third of all 16-25 year olds
- A 21% increase in young people's calls to Citizens Advice regarding debt issues in the last year
- 72% of 18-21 year olds are reported to be earning less than the living wage
- The home ownership rate has halved for 25 year olds in the last 20 years
- Around 35,000 young people are in homeless accommodation at any one time across the UK, with hostels always full or oversubscribed
The effects of this marginalisation have a profound impact on the self-worth of the individual, and a negative impact on their life now and further down the line.
"If Ben was to be successful in finding employment this would lead onto the next steps in housing and living an independent life, off benefits and away from the support of agencies such as YMCA Norfolk."