Teenagers in parts of Northern England are more likely to feel that where they live will have a negative impact on their chances in life, according to an in-depth study of British adolescent attitudes.
Figures from a major 12-month study for the National Citizen Service, to which i has exclusive access, suggest that nearly half of those in Yorkshire (48 per cent) and more than two-fifths of those in the North East (43 per cent) felt strongly that where they live will affect their ambition of achieving their dreams.
A third of those in the North West (33 per cent) also strongly agreed. It compared with just 25 per cent in London and the South East.
It’s clear much more needs to be done to give every young person in the UK the same advantages – whether they grow up in London or Newcastle.
Kirstie Donnelly, City and Guilds
The findings follows a separate study earlier this year by vocational education organisation City and Guilds, which said teenagers in the North East are the least confident about their future and that less than half of the region’s young people expect to be working in the job of their choice in 10 years’ time.
But the new National Citizen Service survey also found that nearly two-thirds of teenagers across the country overall (63 per cent) think they will achieve their dream job and even more (65 per cent) believe they will earn more than their parents.
‘Shocking but not a surprise’
Kirstie Donnelly, managing director of City and Guilds, said the results of the NCS survey where “shocking”, but were “sadly, not a surprise” and the body’s own Great Expectations survey found that just 45 per cent of teenagers in the North East thought they would be working in their dream career.
She said: “It’s clear much more needs to be done to give every young person in the UK the same advantages – whether they grow up in London or Newcastle. We would like to see a new approach to careers advice which gives every child access to the same careers information and strong links to the business sector.”
The NCS survey of 1,000 young people aged 16 and 17 also found that more than more than one in three teens in both the North East (36 per cent) and Yorkshire (34 per cent) fear that their accent will hold them back, compared with 28 per cent in the South East.
Teenagers in the South East are four times more likely to agree that “young people from my area tend to achieve highly” than those in the North East – 39 per cent compared with just 10 per cent.
A quarter of teens in the North East (26 per cent) and a fifth of those in Yorkshire and the Humber (22 per cent) found that they strongly agreed that young people in their area generally needed to move away to find opportunities for work, compared with just 15 per cent in London and 12 per cent in the South East.
Only eight per cent in the North East agreed that people in their area generally go to university, compared with 19 per cent in London and 24 per cent in the South East.
Separate research by the IPPR North think-tank earlier this year found that the North-South gap in educational outcomes costs the UK £29bn in lost productivity.
It said the gap begins even before primary school and, at secondary school level, London gets £1,300 more per head than in the North.
The Government said building the Northern Powerhouse is a long-term priority and the Government is making huge strides in rebalancing the economy. It says 187,000 jobs were created in the North in the past year.
It said the pupil premium – worth £2.5bn this year – has seen the attainment gap between disadvantaged children and their better off peers fall both in primary and secondary education and there are there are 1.4 million more pupils in good or outstanding schools than in 2010.
A Government spokeswoman said it would consider the results of the survey.
“We want to make this a country that works for everyone, not just the privileged few. Whether it’s education, jobs, or housing, this means giving families more control over their lives – and doing more to help those who are just managing,” she said.
“As the Prime Minister said on the steps of Downing Street, this Government is committed to fighting injustice wherever it arises – and ensuring that everyone in our country has the opportunity to go as far as their talents will take them.”