A promise from the nation to the next generation: We must do better by young people


4 Jan 2019

A new national survey of Brits shows that 8 in 10 (79%) believe the next generation should be left better off than the last (and just 2% think they should be worse off). Yet the majority (59%) believe the current generation of young people will be worse off for jobs, housing, health and the environment (and just 11% disagree).

Brits believe being young today is ‘stressful, difficult and scary’. With parents no longer able to ensure young people are better off financially, they are turning to Government to do more to support young people’s wellbeing not just their wealth.

They back a New Year resolution as a promise from the nation for young people: ‘to be safe and secure in the modern world and treated fairly; supporting young people in the present, ambitious for their future.’

Parents of teenagers further call on the Government to make good this promise, with 8 in 10 (81%) parents of young people and three quarters (77%) of Brits overall, wanting support and services for young people to enhance a sense of belonging, skilled, healthy and active in their communities, and confident in their future.

Yet as politicians prepare to debate and vote on Brexit, the survey also shows that three-quarters (74%) of adults believe the views of young people have not been considered (rising to 85% when asking 18-25 year olds).

NYA Chief Executive Leigh Middleton said:

“We must do better by our young people and back a new Youth Covenant to set a positive agenda for young people, as a promise by the nation and from government. The benefit to us all is that when young people have a sense of belonging communities become stronger.

In the current debate on the country’s future they deserve to be listened to and have their views heard and respected.”

For media enquiries and interviews contact:

Jonathan Hopkins, mobile 07899 877210; jonathanh@nya.org.uk

Notes to editor

* The National Youth Agency (NYA) is the national body for youth work: www.nya.org.uk

* The national survey of 2,004 UK adults was carried out by Opinium Research for NYA, between 28 December 2018 and 2 January 2019; www.opinium.co.uk

* The Youth Covenant is: a promise from the nation for young people to be safe and secure in the modern world, and treated fairly; supporting young people in the present and ambitious for their future:

– Skilled and equipped to learn and earn

– Positive health and wellbeing

– Active members of their communities

– Happy and confident in their future

* The Youth Covenant is underpinned by the values and contribution of youth work, with a call for more safe places outside of school for young people to meet friends, be creative, learn skills and enjoy being young.

* Only quarter (26%) of UK adults think there are sufficient safe places for young people aged 10 to 19 to socialise with their friends outside of school.

* Over half of parents (55%) say there are fewer safe places outside of school than when they were young.