Charles issues rallying cry to help young people as hope of future workforce ‘eroded’

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In a video message to mark International Youth Day today (Friday), the heir to the throne highlighted research showing how the Covid-19 pandemic has disrupted and damaged the education of young people across the world and mental health problems have left them struggling to progress in the world of work.

He said: “From the impact of a public health crisis and now a cost-of-living challenge to the threat of climate change, there has been much to erode the hope of the younger generation.”

Charles, who has helped more than a million young people in 20 countries into work through his Prince’s Trust International charity, added: “Sadly, from speaking to young people supported by my trust, I’ve heard how the pandemic has disrupted their crucial transitional years on the journey from school to work and from childhood to adulthood.”

He cited research published by the trust which found that 48 percent of young people around the world say the pandemic has negatively impacted their mental health. The research, which surveyed 10,187 people aged 18 to 35 across the UK, Australia, the United States, Canada, Ghana, India, New Zealand, Nigeria, Pakistan, and Rwanda earlier this year.

It also found 19 percent of those surveyed were unable to continue their studies, 26 percent lost their jobs, and 44 percent saw their income affected.

Separate research from the trust and the Learning and Work Institute carried out last month found the proportion of out-of-work young people reporting a mental health problem has increased from 11 percent in 2011 to almost a third (30 percent) in 2022.

In a direct address to young people around the world which will be broadcast on the BBC World Service today, the Prince paid tribute to young people for their efforts to overcome the adversities of the past few years.

He said: “It is particularly important that you know your resilience is respected, your determination is admired and that our commitment to you is clear, in order to give you all the chance you deserve.”

And in a clarion call to the rest of the world, he said: “As we still do not know the full repercussions of this turbulent period for the younger generation, it is time for us to come together to support the world’s future workforce.”

Charles founded The Prince’s Trust in 1976.

In his video message, the Prince noted that “young people leaving education do not feel ready for the world of work. They are calling for us all to play our part and help provide them with the skills they need for the jobs of the future, especially those in the green economy, as the threats of climate change and accelerating loss of biodiversity loom large and are felt acutely by our younger generation”.

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