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Britain's one million young unemployed are depressed, rarely leave the house and are not part of society

UCU report paints a 'heartbreaking' picture of young people in the UK who fear they will never get a job

A third of unemployed young people feel depressed, rarely leave the house and believe they have no chance of ever securing employment, according to a report released today. 

The study, commissioned as part of the Knowledge Economy campaign, looked specifically at young people aged 16 to 24 who were not in education or working.

It was conducted by the University and College Union and found that 40 per cent of young people who were unemployed, or ‘NEETS’,  feel that they are "not part of society".

In addition, 33 per cent said they had suffered from depression and 15 per cent claimed to have a mental health condition. However, whilst the respondents were a "diverse group" who "all had different needs", 71 per cent said that they felt they had a lot to contribute to society, as long as they were provided with the right support.

This support would need to arrive in the form of motivational incentives and clear information on training schemes and job prospects, with one in three seeking “decent advice” on how to apply for work.

The UCU described the results as "heartbreaking" and called for a new contract to be established between society and the young, stressing that each NEET costs the Exchequer £56,000.

Speaking in response to the report, Professor Robin Simmons of the University of Huddersfield said the report's findings were both "disturbing and sobering". He said they "clearly illustrate the negative consequences for the individual and society of being outside education and employment".

"The research illustrates the corrosive effect that unemployment can have on a young person's confidence, motivation, and their view of the future," he added.

Simon Renton, UCU president said the report lays bare “the deep personal impact that sustained unemployment has on young people”.

“It is truly heartbreaking to see so many people who want to contribute more to society but are left feeling their outlook is desperate and hopeless.”

Additional reporting by PA