UK youth ambitions, dreams gone with the wind as living crisis soars
A new study by the Prince's Trust and the LadBible Group shows that 44% of those residing with their families cited their inability to move out due to their role in assisting with household bills.
The youth in the United Kingdom are abandoning their dreams and career ambitions due to the combined pressures of the ongoing cost of living crisis and mental health concerns, according to new research conducted by the Prince's Trust in partnership with the LadBible Group.
This alarming trend is driven by the belief that achieving an enjoyable, financially secure career is increasingly unattainable and too risky, forcing many young individuals to focus solely on short-term survival.
The study, based on interviews with 2,500 young people, encompassing both Generation Z and millennials, highlights that a staggering two-thirds of 18- to 24-year-olds have lowered their career expectations, with the cost of living, the state of the UK economy, and their own mental health identified as the primary factors contributing to this shift.
Jonathan Townsend, UK Chief Executive of the Prince's Trust, issued a stark warning in response to the findings, saying, "This research provides a blunt warning that the cost of living crisis threatens the futures, aspirations, and wellbeing of an entire generation if we do not act now."
Young people, who have already experienced significant disruptions in their education and early careers due to the pandemic, now grapple with ongoing economic uncertainties that force them into decisions that could further compound their difficulties.
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"We're seeing young people left feeling worried and unconfident about ever achieving their aspirations and thinking only in the short term – this could have significant impacts on their futures and for wider society," Townsend added.
Among the most significant barriers identified by young people in achieving their ambitions are scarcity of opportunities and insufficient experience.
The nationwide survey also unveiled that a staggering 73% of those surveyed were anxious about their futures due to the cost of living crisis, and over two-thirds believed they would never achieve financial security.
Moreover, the report revealed that the cost of living crisis has compelled over a quarter of the young respondents to either leave education prematurely or contemplate doing so. Approximately 44% of those residing with their families cited their inability to move out due to their role in assisting with household bills.
When asked about their long-term life goals, maintaining good physical and mental health and simply living happily emerged as top priorities for young people.
These findings echo prior research from the Prince's Trust, which identified a 15-year, all-time low in the wellbeing of young people, with nearly half expressing hopelessness about the future.
In light of the new research, it is evident that almost two-thirds of young people now prioritize any job over their dream career, with 40% changing their career plans in the past year. Alarmingly, close to 60% have lowered their long-term aspirations over the past two years.
Yesterday, The Guardian reported that more than four in five 16- to 18-year-olds in the UK believe that they must relocate from their regions in search of improved prospects, with over 90% of those surveyed in the northeast, Yorkshire, and the east of England, according to a survey conducted by the Social Mobility Foundation, which polled 2,000 individuals.
On average, more than 85% of respondents felt compelled to move, with the east of England recording the highest percentage at 95%, followed by 91% in the northeast, 90% in Yorkshire, and 88% in the northwest, as per the report.
Tom Brennan, 18, who lives in Ipswich, said, as quoted by The Guardian, “To be honest, the biggest thing going for the town is its proximity to London. There’s not many opportunities or events happening here.”
"There’s not that many computer science roles available here. I’ll probably move to London,” Brennan added.