No jobs, no homes, no services: how inequality is crippling young people | Anna Bawden
A new report concludes that socioeconomic factors are seriously jeopardising the future health of 16 to 24-year-olds
Young people’s health and wellbeing is being eroded by a lack of jobs, a shortage of housing and cuts to public services. A new report by the Health Foundation published today concludes that in many cases, the long term health of 16- to 24-year-olds is being jeopardised by socioeconomic factors and a lack of public services. “To be healthy, everyone needs a job, a friend, somewhere to live and education or job opportunities,” says Jo Bibby, director of health at the Health Foundation. “Conversely, not having those things increases the chances of illness later in life.”
Part of its two-year inquiry into young people’s future health, the report brings together the results of six months’ qualitative interviews and workshops with over 600 young people – including around 80 who directly helped with the research – and those providing services in Bradford, Bristol, Denbighshire in Wales, Lisburn in Northern Ireland and North Ayrshire in Scotland to see to what extent 12- to 24-year-olds across the UK today have the building blocks to become healthy adults. Young people are “adversely affected by weak jobs markets, poor housing and cuts to public services” and that “many of the protective factors that are so important for future health, such as a financial and practical safety net, are missing,” says Julia Unwin, strategic adviser to the Health Foundation’s inquiry.