Our CEO, Barry Fletcher, responds to the APPG for Youth Employment’s new report on mental health.
“Youth Futures Foundation is pleased to have contributed to the APPG for Youth Employment’s new report on the impact of rising mental ill health on young people’s labour market prospects and access to good quality work. We particularly welcome the calls for young people to be involved in co-designing the services that support them, as well as the emphasis on inclusive and tailored support from employability services and employers to address the specific needs of groups with protected characteristics.
Youth economic inactivity due to mental ill-health has reached worryingly high levels in the wake of the pandemic and the cost-of-living crisis, with a disproportionate impact on marginalised groups. Two in five young people from ethnic minority backgrounds told us in our youth voice survey with Savanta ComRes last year that their mental health had suffered with the cost-of-living crisis taking hold. The individual scarring effects of not being in education, employment or training (NEET) for more than six months on long-term outcomes have long been reported in our research, and by the Youth Employment Group. Couple this with the potential £38 billion GDP boost that the UK could gain from closing the NEET gap, evidenced in our Youth Employment Index 2022 with PWC, it is clear that there is both a moral and economic imperative to ensure young people receive the support they need at key transition points to access jobs and remain in the workplace.
This report could not be more timely as the Government embarks on its workforce participation review and we welcome the APPG for Youth Employment’s commitment to exploring solutions to address the mental health emergency with urgency and to recognise the specific barriers to employment that disadvantaged groups face.”