*Thinking dark thoughts?
We promise you’re not alone — and there is help available. Please contact PAPYRUS or the Samaritans now. 

New statistics provide a startling glimpse inside the minds of the hundreds of thousands of young people who are currently out of work in the UK, including graduates.

Fresh figures from the online mentoring service FutureYou show that over three quarters of the nation’s unemployed young people (aged 18-24) agreed with the statement “My life is being wasted.” One in four admitted they are relying on state benefits as their main source of income. One in five believes they are unlikely to ever get a job or career in the future – and seven in 10 say their potential is being thrown away. Four in ten feel they are not part of society.

The report also reveals that the average NEET (that horrible term for anybody not in employment, education or training) spends eight months unsuccessfully searching for a job or training – and over a quarter say the support and advice available (such as local job centres and careers advisers) is inadequate.

Patrick Gifford, programme manager at FutureYou, says:

“Traditional methods of getting young people into work aren’t working. Young people have told us that career advisors and Job Centres were the least useful tool available to them. What they want is support from people their age, their families and working people they can take realistic advice from, and it’s online which is their ‘go-to’ destination.”

FutureYou – which is funded by local authorities, schools, colleges and public bodies such as the National Endowment for Science, Technology and the Arts and Nominet Trust – has already reached over 100,000 young people. Since its launch in 2010 it has helped a third of its members into employment by providing free career information, advice and guidance – and 85% feel more positive about their future. An army of FutureYou Mentors from major employers such Google, Thomas Cook, TalkTalk and Barclays are trained and ready to help.

But FutureYou say their offering goes deeper than just offering career advice. As their latest figures show that one in five young unemployed people feel their life is not worth living and a quarter have contemplated suicide to escape their situation, it’s clear that in a personal sense these are very dark days indeed for many young people. As Gifford explains:

“They need our help more than ever now. So, in addition to the more practical information, advice and guidance, we also provide young people with access to experienced counsellors who can offer emotional support and help pinpoint any wellbeing issues that may be holding them back from releasing their potential.”

Graduate Fog is disturbed by these new figures – but I can’t say I’m shocked. Anybody who’s ever been out of work for more than a few days knows how scarily fast your confidence and motivation can evaporate. Successful job-hunting is about so much more than CVs and applications. (If anything that’s the easy bit!)

If your job-hunt has stalled, there’s a lot you can do. Dig deep and make a new plan to find work:

If you’re struggling with confidence and motivation, visit Graduate Fog’s Advice pages:
How to stay motivated and How to handle rejection

If you’ve become convinced there are no jobs out there, read:
How to fight the recession
How to find vacancies

And if you feel like you want to get your job hunt going, but somehow it’s just not happening, read:
How to organise your job hunt

For more information about Future You, visit or

*Is job hunting getting you down?
Do you think there should be more emotional support and counselling offered to young people struggling to find a job? What do you do when you’re having a ‘down’ day?

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