Child poverty is creating an underclass of youths who believe steady work is beyond their reach. The Prince’s Trust research shows that youngsters from poor backgrounds start out with high aspirations but their dreams are quickly shattered. Roughly a third have nowhere quiet at home to do schoolwork and the same number have few or no books in the home or access to a computer. And one in six is ridiculed for talking about getting a good job. Roughly one in four 16 to 24-year-olds who had a deprived childhood believe that few or none of their career goals are achievable. This is compared to just one in 14 from affluent backgrounds.
In Northern Ireland the research shows that one in six local teenagers expects to end up in a “dead-end job”, with more than one in seven believing they will live off benefits for at least part of their lives. 12% of young people in Scotland feel "people like them don't succeed in life", while 19% said they believe "few" or "none" of their goals, such as a nice home or a good job, are achievable.
Prince’s Trust chief executive Martina Milburn said: “The aspiration gap between the UK’s richest and poorest young people is creating a youth underclass, who tragically feel they have no future."
Australia's "two-tier" economy leaves the rich getting richer, and the poor falling further behind. According to the Australian Council of Social Service (ACOSS), over 2.2 million Australians, including 500,000 children are now living in poverty.
“Many underprivileged children are going to school without breakfast or lunch and the essential basics for learning. They don’t have the correct uniforms and shoes, meaning they lose precious self-esteem and can’t participate in certain classes,” Susan Williams, CEO of A Start in Life, said. “These students are unable to pursue their talents, either academic or creative and this places enormous pressure on them as they try to achieve their goals. This is the next generation of Australia."