Samaritans Response To The Welsh Government Consultation On Draft Equality Objectives For 2016-20

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Samaritans welcome the opportunity to respond to the Welsh Government consultation on Draft Equality Objectives for 2016-20. We are pleased to see a strong and continued focus on inequality for protected groups in Wales. In particular, we welcome the use of evidence which links those with certain protected characteristics to socio-economic disadvantage and poverty.

Objective 3: Reduce the numbers of young people not in education, employment or training (NEET)

Samaritans believe that this issue should continue to be prioritised in an equality objective for the Welsh Government in 2016-20.

Samaritans believe that the rationale for this objective needs to be updated to include a mental health and well-being perspective on the potential outcomes for those young people not in education, employment or training. As detailed previously, though we know that a long period of unemployment can damage future career prospects, we now know that this priority group is at increased risk for continued or developing mental health conditions and death by suicide.  Headline findings from a NEETS Survey commissioned by the University and College Union, showed that a third of young people not in education, employment or training have suffered from depression and 15 per cent have a mental health problem. Overall, stress and anxiety (39%) was found to be the most commonly mentioned negative consequence on well-being as a result of not being in work, education or training.

The Thematic Review of deaths of children and young people through probable suicide for 2006–2012 found that many of the children and young people either had restricted educational achievement or were not in education, employment or training. Those over 16 years of age received little or no support from any services. 

As an action area, Samaritans believe Welsh Government should explore mechanisms to ensure that children and young people between the ages of 16 and 18 are supported in education or training, which includes work based training.  

For further information or queries regarding this response please contact:

Emma Harris, Policy and Communications Officer

Telephone: 029 2022 2012 / 07703199393

Email: e.harris@samaritans.org