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2 March, 2004

Prince's Trust highlights the needs of the 'hardest to reach' young people

The Prince’s Trust set out a blueprint yesterday to help meet the needs of more than one million young people in the UK who are currently not in education, employment or training.

The Trust has identified the barriers that disadvantaged young people believe prevent them from achieving their goals. Based on its biggest-ever consultation with the UK’s ‘hardest to reach’ 14-25 year olds, it also highlights the perceived gaps in services and who they turn to for support.

The consultation is part of a three-year partnership with The Royal Bank of Scotland Group to look at innovative new ways of supporting the hardest to reach. The Trust calls on industry, government and the voluntary sector to further support the most disadvantaged young people in the UK who currently face a very different future to their mainstream peers.

’Too many young people fail to turn to anyone for help and support,’ says Leslie Morphy, director of programmes and policy at The Prince’s Trust. ‘Our biggest-ever consultation with this hardest to reach group shows that they want more opportunities and practical skills to help them into education, employment and training.’

According to the Trust, half of all disadvantaged18-21 year olds claim they are held back by a lack of qualifications and two thirds of unemployed young people say that there is a lack of suitable jobs or careers advice in their community. Young people, they say, see gaining practical skills and being able to participate in positive activities as key to helping them overcome barriers and get their lives working.

‘Only by listening to the evolving needs of young people and remaining constantly relevant can we prevent more young people from slipping through the net,’ said Leslie Morphy.

Douglas Alexander, Minister of State at the Cabinet Office, said:

'We have a duty to listen to what young people say about what we can do to make it easier for them to become engaged, active and full citizens’.

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