Young people need of support

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THE end of 2010 brought with it worrying reports that the number of unemployed 16 to 24-year-olds had increased by 28,000 in three short months – bringing the total number to 943,000.

This figure shines a glaring torch into the faces of hundreds of thousands of wasted young lives, many of whom are facing 2011 with little or no hope for the future as the country faces new cuts and further job losses.

Our hard-hitting new report, The Prince’s Trust Macquarie Youth Index, shows that almost half of unemployed young people claim that joblessness has caused mental health issues such as self harm, panic attacks, suicidal thoughts and insomnia.

Our findings show that unemployment can go hand in hand with significant emotional stress.

We know that the longer young people are jobless, the greater the risk to their mental health.

Failing to step in and help these young people now at a time when they need us more than ever will only store up even bigger problems for the north east’s future.

More than three-quarters of the 4,000 young people supported by The Prince’s Trust in the north east last year moved into work, education or training.

The efforts of charitable organisations like The Prince’s Trust, working with the local authorities, the business community and individual fundraisers will play a key role in offering hope in 2011 to a generation of young people who think the new year has nothing to offer.

DAVID BEAVIS

Regional Director

The Prince’s Trust, North East

Team Valley Trading Estate

Gateshead