NI youths 'facing downward spiral'

Published Wednesday, 02 January 2013
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Young people in Northern Ireland who are unable to access employment, education or training are struggling to cope with day-to-day life, a report has warned.

NI youths 'facing downward spiral'
Unemployment is a major issue facing young people in Northern Ireland. (© Pacemaker)

One in 10 people, aged 16-25, are said to be affected - at a time when youth unemployment is a major issue.

Youth charity The Prince's Trust interviewed more than 2,000 young people UK-wide to compile the report, which aims to gauge wellbeing across a range of areas, from family life to physical health.

"A frightening number of unemployed young people in Northern Ireland feel unable to cope - and it is particularly tough for those who don't have a support network in place," Ian Jeffers, regional director of The Prince's Trust in Northern Ireland, said.

"We know at The Prince's Trust that it is often those from the most vulnerable backgrounds who end up furthest from the job market."

Life can become a demoralising downward spiral - from a challenging childhood into life as a jobless adult.

Ian Jeffers, The Prince's Trust

The report shows that young people are more likely to be able to cope if they are in employment, education or training.

Having someone to talk to about their problems while growing up can also help - but one in six young people in Northern Ireland were found to lack that support.

According to the report, 21% of local young people feel down or depressed "always" or "often" - but the figure tends to be much higher among NEETs (those not in employment, education or training).

More than one in seven young people in Northern Ireland believe their prospects have been "permanently damaged" by the recession.

One in seven also feel they have no future due to the economic crisis.

"The Youth Index clearly shows a worrying discrepancy between young people who are in work and those who are not," Richard Parish, chief executive of the Royal Society of Public Health, said.

"These unemployed young people need support to re-gain their self-worth and, ultimately, get them back in the workplace.

"With recent record-breaking youth unemployment, the work of charities like The Prince's Trust with vulnerable young people is more critical than ever."

Last year, The Prince's Trust worked with more than 3,000 disadvantaged young people across Northern Ireland giving them the skills, confidence and motivation to move into the workplace.

More than three in four young people supported by the youth charity move into work, education or training.

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"With the right support, we can help get these lives on track across the region," Ian Jeffers added.
© UTV News
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9 Comments
Ryan in Belfast wrote (687 days ago):
Now, this IS an issue worth protesting about every day, young people from all the communities in the 6 counties not being able to find work or get into education, etc.
miss in belfast wrote (689 days ago):
The prince`s trust is an excellent programme, i was on the programme last year and very lucky enough to be on a programme this year, has opened my eyes to loads of different oppourtunities of work, definatly worth giving it a go.
live in employment in US wrote (690 days ago):
What was the sense in successive UK governments allowing all our manufacturing jobs to disappear off to the Far East, People want to live in employement.
Sir Tommy Atkins in London England wrote (690 days ago):
Nicky It is laughable to mention immigrants taking your jobs. For the last hundreds years Irishmen have been immigrating across the globe taking not only the natives jobs but violently intimidating other immigrants so as to take their jobs The American Chinese and Italians who worked the U S railroad are an example of this practice Ask yourselves HOW these immigrants to N Ireland Take "Your Jobs?" The simple answer is that the unemployed N Irish did not apply for them and would rather be on the dole. Plus the immigrant may have better work ethics than the native N Irish Norman D You are 100% correct. The past and current violence in N Ireland and elswhere tells investors where "not" to put their money
T J McClean in Belfast wrote (690 days ago):
What was the sense in successive UK governments allowing all our manufacturing jobs to disappear off to the Far East? Our manufacturing industries should have been protected and not allowed to got tot the wall. We are now left with only a small manufacturing base that no longer can accommodate our young hopefuls. wiyhout making the profits of the past we decline further into debt.
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