FutureYou reveals the serious emotional dangers in store for UK school leavers

School leavers can visit the Future You website for advice

As A-level results are released and thousands of school and college leavers flood onto the over-crowded jobs and university places market, the stark reality of becoming NEET (a young person ‘not in education, employment or training’) is uncovered by FutureYou – an online careers mentoring community designed to offer emotional and practical support to young people aged 14 – 25.

Research conducted by FutureYou www.thefutureyou.org.uk reveals that the struggle to find work or further education opportunities can result in mental health and wellbeing issues for our nation’s young people – creating a ticking emotional time-bomb for those students unable to secure a place at university or in employment following today’s results.

The FutureYou: A Wasted Generation report found that one-in-five NEETs have abused alcohol, 15% and 13% have resorted to self-harm and taking drugs respectively, and a quarter (25%) have contemplated suicide as a direct result of their long-term NEET status. The FutureYou: A Wasted Generation also found that: · 78% of UK NEETs feel their life is being wasted.

69% believe their potential is being thrown away · 42% feel alienated by society· Just over a third, (33%) feel they face discrimination As UCAS anticipates a repeat of the 2010’s misery, when over 200,000 young people failed to secure a university place, FutureYou is calling for greater support for these students who will be joining almost one million young people in the UK who are already burdened with NEET status.

Patrick Gifford, FutureYou programme manager, said: “Today is a day for celebrating the achievements of our nation’s school and college leavers, and we shouldn’t forget that.

“However, for thousands more young people, it is also the day when they face the reality of entering a world in which jobs, further education and training opportunities are scarce, and the kind of support which is needed to help them take advantage of what opportunities do exist, isn’t readily available.

“Young people have told us that career advisors in schools and Job Centres were the least useful tool available to them and what they want is support from people their age, their families and working people they can take realistic advice from, and it’s online that is their typical ‘go-to’ destination.

“We need a change in tactics – a new, innovative and cost-effective approach to supporting our nation’s young people right now, to ensure that we’re not condemning a future generation to a ticking time-bomb of depression and emotional difficulties. We’re starting to make that change with FutureYou.”

Based on the award-winning Cybermentors social networking model, FutureYou, www.thefutureyou.org.uk, is an online service for young people aged 14–25 which provides a community of support and counselling; including career information, advice and guidance – all in real-time, from people in the kinds of professions that young people aspire to enter.

Since its launch in 2010, FutureYou has helped a third of its members get into work and employment and 85% feel more positive about their future. Current FutureYou mentors include employees from major employers such as Google, Thomas Cook, TalkTalk and Barclays.

 NEETs and young people in danger of becoming NEET aged between 14–25, as well as young mentors and older people who would like to volunteer as FutureYou mentors, can visit www.thefutureyou.org.uk, www.facebook.com/futureyouuk, www.youtube.com/futureyouuk or www.twitter.com/futureyouuk.

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