Young people in Britain need help more than ever as they face “potentially devastating” problems with unemployment due to the coronavirus crisis, the Prince of Wales said.
Speaking as the founder and president of youth charity The Prince’s Trust, Charles has released a new video message to highlight potential impacts on unemployed youth such as mental health problems and homelessness.
He said the Trust is working hard to help in this area, including matching employers to young people, and establishing what it calls its Coronavirus Support Hub to provide support, guidance and resources to help young people navigate the testing economic times ahead.
Charles’s message comes as fresh statistics show the number of young people claiming unemployment benefit has more than doubled in two months during lockdown, and that their demographic are increasingly more likely to face unemployment than the rest of the working age population.
The prince said youth unemployment “can cause a terrible downwards spiral, impacting mental health and leading to challenges such as low self-esteem, poverty, homelessness, or worse”.
He added: “In times of economic hardship it is often young people who are hardest hit and we know that many under 25s work in sectors such as hospitality and tourism, which have borne the brunt of this crisis.
“We also know the difficulties faced by a disrupted education, a loss of entry-level jobs and rising unemployment.
“It is a real challenge to thrive in the midst of chaos and economic disorder, but this is why my Trust was set up – to help people to a better future.”
The Trust said it has established a jobs board which currently has “more than 250 live jobs” across a range of sectors.
Youth support workers are available by phone or online, while the charity also conducts a range of online “employability and enterprise sessions” for groups of young people.
Charles said he was “deeply grateful” to those donating to his charity, particularly its Young People Relief Fund, who were making possible “this important work”.
“Young people now need your support more than ever. Their future is on the line, but together we can prevent this crisis from defining the prospects of a generation,” he said.