Youth ‘underclass’ believes it is heading for dead-end jobs

Thousands of young people from the UK’s poorest families believe that they will achieve little or nothing in life, claims a new report from The Prince’s Trust and the Royal Bank of Scotland (RBS), published ahead of unemployment figures that show the number of young jobless hitting one million.

The “Broke, not Broken” report found that 26% of those from deprived homes believe that “few” or “none” of their career goals are achievable, compared to just 7% of those from affluent families.

According to the report, based on interviews with 2,311 16-to-24-year-olds from across the UK, young people growing up in poverty are significantly less likely to imagine themselves buying a nice house or finding a job in the future, highlighting a clear aspiration gap between the UK’s richest and poorest youths.

The poorest young people are almost four times as likely to think they will “end up in a dead-end job”. Sixteen per cent say that their family and friends have made fun of them when they talk about finding a good job.

Martina Milburn, chief executive of The Prince’s Trust, said: “The aspiration gap between the UK’s richest and poorest young people is creating a ‘youth underclass’ – who, tragically, feel they have no future. We simply cannot ignore this inequality.”

Fionnuala Earley, economist for RBS, said: “By helping young people into jobs and enterprise, we can not only help them to escape poverty and change their lives for the better, but we can help to break down the pattern of low aspirations.”

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