Youth index reflects uncertainty, but 'World of Work' can open doors

01 Mar 2017

The Prince’s Trust Macquarie Youth Index released earlier this year warns that more than a quarter of young people (28%) don’t feel in control of their lives, with concerns about job prospects, self-confidence and recent political events playing on their minds.

The Youth Index, supported by Macquarie, is a national survey that gauges young people’s wellbeing across a range of areas from family life to physical health. The latest report demonstrates that young people’s wellbeing is at its lowest level since the Index was first commissioned.

The eighth Index – based on a survey of 2,215 young people aged 16 to 25 – reveals that many young people are feeling trapped by their circumstances, with almost a fifth (18%) saying they don’t believe they can change their circumstances if they want to. The research also reveals that 16% think their life will amount to nothing, no matter how hard they try.

The report highlights a wide range of factors that could be contributing to young people feeling out of control of their lives. For example, one in ten young people (12%) claim they don’t know anyone who ‘really cares’ about them, 45% feel stressed about body image and 37% feel stressed about how to cope at work or school. Of those young people who don’t feel in control, 61% feel a lack of self-confidence holds them back.

The Prince’s Trust ‘World of Work’ programme aims to mitigate these sentiments amongst the young people it works with, taking students on visits to a range of employers to expand their horizons and increase their understanding of local employment opportunities. Macquarie Group is one of the host employers, organising two to three World of Work days at its London office each year.

Jo Linfield, who works at Macquarie in London, has been The Prince’s Trust ‘champion’ for almost two years and has helped organise several World of Work visits in the office.

“Staff can see that they can make a big impact through volunteering for three or four hours at these events,” she says.

“I sometimes get overwhelmed with how much support we have internally with the program. The gratitude and feedback we get from the young people as well is what keeps driving me to stay involved.

“For me personally, adding something to my day that’s more than just my job is important - the reward and satisfaction you get feels like a great achievement.”

She added that she thought it important for people to volunteer, as well as support The Prince’s Trust financially, to see directly how their money is invested into programmes that expose young people to different career options at critical stages in their lives.

On top of the Youth Index support and the two to three World of Work days hosted at Macquarie each year, the Macquarie Group Foundation has also been a long-term funder of The Prince’s Trust through the matching of staff fundraising and the seed funding of The Prince’s Trust International, of which Macquarie EMEA CEO David Fass sits on the Global Advisory Board.

Macquarie’s Indian business also funds Bright Futures, a local non-profit which runs Prince’s Trust programmes for young people in India.

Many of the charities Macquarie staff support are focused on the economic and social mobility of young people such as the work of The Prince’s Trust. Other partners also include the Dallaglio Foundation, ReachOut UK, the BIG (Businesses for Islington Giving) Alliance and Leadership through Sport and Business.

Image caption: Participants at a Macquarie-hosted World of Work event, one of the programs offered by The Prince’s Trust.