Watford's MP teamed up with The Prince’s Trust to host a roundtable to discuss “How can boosting young people’s confidence and hope in the future benefit both society and the economy?”
The invite-only event was attended by MPs, young people, employers, and the third sector. Guests were invited to share their perspectives on the current challenges facing young people in the economy and the labour market.
Despite the current challenges facing young people, The Prince’s Trust NatWest Youth Index 2023 reveals that more than two thirds of young people feel determined to achieve their goals in life. 63% agree they can overcome the challenges they face but need practical support to fulfil their potential.
However, the happiness and confidence of 16-25-year-olds has flatlined at an all-time low in the 14-year history of the research and the report finds the cost-of-living crisis is amongst the biggest worries.
The pandemic had a disproportionate impact on young people, in education, employment, and in terms of their mental health. Thanks to the success of government schemes like furlough and Kickstart, a youth unemployment crisis was averted. However, the impacts of lockdown on young people’s mental health, combined with the financial pressures of the cost-of-living crisis have far reaching consequences for young people’s futures that must be addressed.
Speaking after the event Dean Russell said that “As a passionate advocate for better mental health support for all ages, we must look at how we can work together to support young people. If we help them to achieve their goals in life the benefits are endless, not just for that individual but for wider society.”
Ben Marson, Director of Partnerships Prince’s Trust added that “The findings of the Prince's Trust NatWest Youth Index show us that young people remain determined to achieve their goals in life, but that they require practical support to do so. That is why it was fantastic to meet today to discuss how employers, government, charities and individuals can work together to provide a lifeline for those who need us most.”