Much work is needed to help young people in the east of England avoid entering “a demoralising downward spiral” according to youth charity The Prince’s Trust.

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Revealing the results of its fifth annual Youth Index, the organisation warns of an overall decline in the wellbeing of 16 to 25-year-olds across the country.

More than one in eight young people in Norfolk and the East of England as a whole now believe they have no future due to the continuing economic crisis, with one in five in the East and one in eight in Norfolk – or 14pc – believing their prospects have been “permanently damaged” by the recession. As in 2012, nearly a quarter of respondents reported feeling down or depressed “always” or “often”.

In all aspects, those young people classed as Neet – not in education, employment or training – were even less content.

Marina Milburn, chief executive of The Prince’s Trust, said: “Our findings reinforce the fact that there is still much to do to support the most disadvantaged young people who face significant barriers to finding a job. The Prince’s Trust knows that it is often the young people who have faced considerable challenges while growing up who end up furthest from the workplace.

“Life can become a demoralising downward spiral – from a chaotic childhood into life as a jobless adult.”

Elli Chapman, director of the Norwich-based youth organisation Culture Works East, said it was not surprising that young people were feeling less positive.

“It has been a tough year,” she said. “For those who are furthest away from the job market, they are facing an even tougher challenge than in previous years to find sustainable employment.

“Trying to do the transition from a challenging childhood to work-ready adult is difficult enough without combining it with increased knock-backs and lack of jobs.”

Culture Works has seen a rise in the number of Neet (Not in education or employment) young people accessing its services.

The organisation has focused on offering programmes that develop high-quality skills and somewhere to get advice and support.

But Miss Chapman agreed that, with hard work, young people could have a positive experience despite the tough times. “Culture Works have seen many young people who have been involved in our programmes be very successful, progressing on to further education, training and employment including apprenticeships. With hard work and the right intensive support, the most marginalised young people can be successful. We all have a part we can play in this.”

Norfolk County Council cabinet member for children’s services Alison Thomas added: “There is no doubt that it continues to be an uncertain time for some young people.

“It is only by working with families, schools and our partners to identify and solve the difficult issues that some young people face that we can break the cycle and make a long and lasting difference by raising aspirations, levels of achievement and presenting them with opportunities to access employment – such as via our apprenticeships programme.”

The Prince’s Trust’s Youth Index is based on the findings of a survey conducted by YouGov with more than 2,000 young people across the country.

In 2012, the overall Youth Index figure – where young people score their happiness and confidence in a range of areas out of 100 – fell from 73 to 71.

The government’s most recent statistics estimated there were now 88,000 16 to 24-year-olds classified as Neet in the east of England.

Education minister and South West Norfolk MP Elizabeth Truss said she hoped changes due to come in this year would give young people’s prospects a boost.

She said: “These figures for Norfolk clearly show the vital importance of a strong education foundation to give young people confidence and choices about the future.

“We are raising the participation age so that all young people continue in education or training until age 17 from this year, and until their 18th birthday from 2015.”

The minister said changes to the exams system would also help to “bridge the attainment gap and ensure that no young person slips through the net”.

Norwich North MP Chloe Smith added: “Youth unemployment in particular is a problem for our generation and our debt-ridden economic times; it’s for exactly the people in this survey that the British economy has to be fixed.

“In Norwich I believe we can work together to support young people better. Businesses, society and all of us can pull together to get young Norwich working despite tough times. We can give young people better opportunities including vital chances at jobs.”

14 comments

  • pc??, my creaky knees and punk collection tell me tis 'my way' (sid) rip.Before a town becomes a ghost town a lot of managed decline has to fester and run it's course.After the workingman ( the miners) brought down a British government, things had to change in favour of the elite and corrupted politicians...cue 'something better change'

    Report this comment

    nrg

    Thursday, January 3, 2013

  • New Labour's fault.Like previous correspondents,the likes of X Factor and all reality shows have encouraged that pathetic fame seeking losers that are kicking cans along the street and expecting something for nothing.This country is fooked because of the Blairs views onhow Britain should be.Well done mate and to whoeve voted the batsard in back in 1997.

    Report this comment

    wes1975

    Wednesday, January 2, 2013

  • Harry Rabinowitz - Manufacturing is returning to the UK as the costs have risen overseas making it not such a good deal as it used to be. The grass is not always greener etc. But they won`t come back in great numbers unless they are guaranteed a motivated workforce.

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    BG

    Wednesday, January 2, 2013

  • 1. Get rid of TV shows such as the X factor as these encourage young people to expect easy success and cry at setbacks. 2. Bring back the Polytechnics as these provided the technical-based courses that benefited non-academic students. Learning a trade should be as valuable as being academic. 3. Get more kids into team sports. Playing a sport gives young people an outlet for their frustrations and energy and teaches them valuable lessons about teamwork and working with others. Such skills are transferable in the workplace.

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    Betty Swallocks

    Wednesday, January 2, 2013

  • Agree with gregbarton. NCC scrapped Connexions and the Youth Service. As for their much lauded apprenticeship scheme I recently received an email at work from an 'Admin Apprentice' working at NPS which is an offshoot company of NCC. No disrespect to the lad who contacted me but an 'Admin Apprenticeship' is a pretty lame way of massaging the youth employment figures and will do nothing to equip this lad for the long term. We need proper skilled training in manufacturing and construction. Until we get quality leadership to replace the likes of Thomas, Truss and Smith who don't seem to live in the real world then things will not improve for the sake of our kids and the country.

    Report this comment

    Independent Man

    Wednesday, January 2, 2013

  • Most of the blame for this lies with Labour and their friends in the media who seize any opportunity they can to talk this country down. Labour`s continual vitriol of pessimism only encourages vulnerable youngsters like this to believe the stories they are feed in the media that they have little or no future in the job market. Many youngsters are showing that despite the economic downturn there are still plenty of jobs out there and that you can succeed if you really want to. But that doesn`t get the same coverage. It`s high time Labour started acting more responsibly. The consequence of being negative all the time is to makes others feel like minded and not to bother.

    Report this comment

    BG

    Wednesday, January 2, 2013

  • It's the failiure of government to encourage manufacturing and industry that is the real culprit! Real wealth is not created by half the work force working for the government,manufacturing has shrunk to 9% so the opportunities for young people to obtain employment has shrunk with it. 40 years ago there were a mass of factories,shoes sweets and engineering that offered careers,but they have all gone! Make Norwich an attractive place to do business and things may improve!

    Report this comment

    Harry Rabinowitz

    Wednesday, January 2, 2013

  • DaveG - SPOT ON. I'm sure the millions of Eastern Europeans doing low paid jobs over here are hard workers, but it's absolute madness to allow this when so many natives of this country can't find work. The only way to stop this lunacy is to leave the EUSSR madhouse!

    Report this comment

    Edward Millionaireband

    Wednesday, January 2, 2013

  • nrg, get up to date. The Specials - Ghost Town! Good to see Chloe and Liz were given the opportunity to add their soundbites, and they were so positive. Nothing about work-shy, bone idle, useless, or whatever it is that Liz is usually thinking in secret. On the subject of useless, there would have been one vacancy created when Chloe was elected. That could have helped another young person with aspirations far outweighing their ability.

    Report this comment

    Police Commissioner ???

    Wednesday, January 2, 2013

  • There are almost a million more people in work now than a few years ago. trouble is that these are nearly all immigrants who were allowed into this country to vote Labour and take all the starter jobs that our children need to get their foot on the employment ladder. Poor quality "Target based" schooling does not help either and that is also another New Labour idea. I find it hard to believe that they will get back in power in 2 years time, hence me moving my company overseas

    Report this comment

    DaveG

    Wednesday, January 2, 2013

  • if labour hadnt let in 3.2 million immigrants there would be jobs and housing for our young and old

    Report this comment

    milecross

    Wednesday, January 2, 2013

  • Seems a bit easy to blame the immigrants. I've heard lots of employers say that the reason they take on immigrant workers is because they are the only ones that are prepared to work hard. The trouble with many of our youth is that they expect everything to be given to them on a plate and don't understand that you have to work hard to be successful. These are qualities that need to be passed on down the generations.

    Report this comment

    Betty Swallocks

    Thursday, January 3, 2013

  • Funny that Norfolk County Council are not taking any of the blame for this after they scrapped Connexions and the Youth Service, leaving most young people with little resource to help them through the difficult transition from education to employment. These are difficult areas for the voluntary sector to pick up, due to the high costs and intensive support required. But NCC don't seem to think it's their problem anymore...

    Report this comment

    gregbarton

    Wednesday, January 2, 2013

  • The same was said when i was a young punk pogoing to the pistols...No FUtuRe..this time around it just might be correct.

    Report this comment

    nrg

    Wednesday, January 2, 2013

The views expressed in the above comments do not necessarily reflect the views of this site

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