Young people are struggling more with the cost-of-living crisis than they did during the Covid-19 pandemic, according to a new report. The study by Prince’s Trust NatWest Youth Index 2023, based on YouGov research, found that 51% of young people in Scotland think the cost of living will have a worse impact on their life than the pandemic did.
It also highlighted that in Scotland the cost-of-living crisis (62%) and coming recession (35%) are young people’s biggest worries for the future, and how these concerns impact upon young people’s life goals and career aspirations. The report reveals the overall wellbeing of 16 to 25-year-olds in the UK has flatlined, remaining at the lowest point in its 14-year history, with young people least happy and confident in their money and mental health.
Young people’s confidence and happiness is now lower when it comes to money than it was during the Global Financial Crisis, and 38% in Scotland agree that thinking about money depresses or stresses them.
Cameron Curry-Ramsay, 23, from Forfar in Angus, said that the Prince’s Trust had helped her hugely after the Covid pandemic and she was offered a job thanks to its help. She said: “With the cost-of-living crisis affecting so many people my age I’m glad to be in the position I am now and not feeling the same pressure I would have been were I not in full-time employment. That all stems from the confidence I gained from the work I did with the Trust.”
The study also highlighted that one of the biggest goals of young people in Scotland is to gain financial security and despite challenges that young people are facing, 67% of young people are determined to achieve their goals in life.
Jamie Scudamore, Scotland Director at The Prince’s Trust, said: “Having already lived through one of the most turbulent times to be young, this year’s Prince’s Trust NatWest Youth Index is a warning sign that, pos- pandemic, in Glasgow young people’s wellbeing has not recovered. It reveals that for this generation – the Class of Covid – economic uncertainty is having a profound impact on their wellbeing and confidence in achieving their aspirations in the future.
“The findings show us that young people remain determined to achieve their goals in life, but that they require practical support to do so. Employers, government, charities and individuals must work together to provide a lifeline for those who need us most.”
Alison Rose DBE, chief executive of NatWest Group, added: “This report provides a stark warning about the debilitating impact of economic pressures on young people’s lives, and emphasises the importance of providing the tools and support necessary to build their financial capability and confidence. As a bank, we are resolute in supporting young people to fulfil their potential, and will continue to work closely with the Prince’s Trust to ensure no-one is left behind as they navigate the challenges ahead.”
The survey of 2025 adults, including 203 in Scotland, was carried out between November 22 and December 7 last year.
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