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Prince’s Trust Canada conducts its first research report to track the emotional well-being of young people.

April 8, 2019

Youth Index study shows that young Canadians not in employment, education or training are the most in need.

Prince’s Trust Canada is a champion of young people and we are committed to listening to their voices, understanding their experiences and tailoring our services to provide the best possible support.

As part of a global network of charities that is making a difference to young people around the world, we are able to tap into the knowledge of our sister charities, including The Prince’s Trust UK which has 43 years of experience and has supported more than 950,000 young people.

The Youth Index, launched in the UK in 2009, is an annual research report that tracks the emotional well-being of young people in the UK. This year, with the support of eBay, we have conducted our first such survey in Canada to benchmark the experiences of our young people.

Through a major survey of 852 young Canadians, we have assessed how happy they feel about their lives today and how confident they feel about the future, against a range of measures from their satisfaction with their work or education to their family relationships, physical and mental health.

The research works by gauging young people’s happiness and confidence across a range of areas, from working life to mental and physical health. Survey participants are asked how happy and confident they are in different areas of their lives. The responses are then converted into a numerical scale, resulting in a number between 0 and 100, where 100 denotes participants being entirely happy or confident and zero being not at all happy or confident.

With the happiness Index at 66 and the confidence Index at 71, young Canadians seem optimistic about their lives. It’s fascinating to see that the overall Youth Index – 68 – is identical to the result of a comparable survey in Australia and similar to the UK Youth Index which this year is at 69; flat-lining at the lowest level in a decade.

Money is clearly a worry for young Canadians, scoring the lowest Index score, whereas they seem much more content with their home lives and relationships with family and friends.

Other key findings:

  • 66% of young people in Canada (57% male and 74% female) say they often or always feel stressed.
  • One in three (33%) say they often or always feel hopeless.
  • Young people not in education, employment or training (NEET) are more likely to feel isolated, less optimistic about the future and are unhappier with their mental health compared to those in school and/or employment.
  • 22% of young people who said that they are unhappy in their current education, training or employment, feel that they do not have the qualifications for what they would like to do.

We are committed to doing more for all of the young people we support, and we hope to conduct this survey again in future years. It will be fascinating to see how young people’s happiness and their hopes and aspirations evolve over time and how we compare with other similar economies.

This survey shows there is a great need for supporting young people and we look forward to providing more and more opportunities for them to reach their potential.

Learn more about our Get Into youth employment program that provides young people facing barriers to employment with the skills and work experience to get jobs.

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