At Centrepoint we know from five decades of experience that tackling homelessness is not just about providing a roof over a young person’s head.
To better understand the complex issues faced by homeless young people in the UK today, we have created the first annual Centrepoint Youth Spotlight. This year's focus is on young people's experiences of education and employment.
The Centrepoint Youth Spotlight is the largest survey of homeless young people ever conducted in the UK, and an annual commitment from Centrepoint, the UK’s leading national youth homelessness charity to discover more about the experiences of young people.
Barriers such as a shortage of jobs in many areas of the country and a lack of qualifications are enduring concerns for young people in both groups. Our Spotlight research has found that, even as long-term youth unemployment falls nationally, many homeless young people were struggling to find work they regarded as secure and well-paid.
34% of homeless young people had applied for 10 or more jobs before securing their current job
42% of homeless young people were given no support from their family to prepare to get a job compared with just 15% of general population young people
44% of homeless young people can only find work in lower paid jobs with little security compared with 24% of general population young people
After being homeless, I got support to get a flat of my own. Then I was looking for a job at the Jobcentre. I didn’t have my qualification and I didn’t have experience, so I needed work that didn’t require those things. There definitely were not enough jobs available for me. I went with a door-to-door sales job. Because all of my pay was on commission, if I didn’t get the sales, I didn’t get the money. There was no flat rate of pay at all. The smallest amount I earned in a week was £45, and I had bills to pay every week. That affected my finances a lot, and I got into debt.
This compares with 52% of general population young people. That means homeless young people are less likely to have anything set aside for unexpected health issues, personal crises or sudden changes to their circumstances. Many homeless young people also lack the family support which others could turn to when funds are tight.
See for yourself some of the challenges faced by people aged between 16 and 25. Youth Spotlight 2017-18 paints an eye-opening picture of the education and employment landscape for young people today.