MediaCom survey shows UK’s troubled teens


Media agency MediaCom has been looking into what UK teens (‘Generation Z’) think about their (and our) future prospects and it isn’t looking good.

Although 73 per cent say that they’re most concerned with getting a job they like (and only 34 per cent are in it for the money) which is presumably good, 65 per cent are uncertain about the UK economy (sensible them), 65 per cent are worried about the environment, 59 per cent about the cost of university (one of the UK’s biggest self-inflicted wounds) and 57 per cent are concerned about politics.

Only 53 per cent are confident about their future (compared to 61 per cent in 2016). Confidence among girls has dropped particularly alarmingly, from 60 per cent a year ago to 46 per cent. Safety is seen as a big issue (69 per cent) which may have something to do with it.

MediaCom UK CEO Josh Krichefski says: “It’s really quite refreshing to see teenagers of today value happiness over money. We should be very proud of ‘Generation Z’ – they clearly believe being fulfilled as most important to them. However, there are huge pressures on young people nowadays to get a good education, find their way on the property ladder and earn a good keep.

“The economy, environment and safety are all legitimate concerns, particularly for a generation that has grown up in a recession and with the threat of global terror ever present. Together with recent world events and growing concerns about the pressures of social media, it’s not surprising that young people are feeling less confident. But it’s certainly no doomsday scenario; young people are ambitious for their future and want to live a life that is fulfilling. We need to ensure we are listening to our youth and providing them with the help they need to succeed.”

This is a tad optimistic perhaps, there seems little doubt that today’s teens are decidedly worried about their prospects and, by extension, anything happening to improve them. Older teenagers are especially worried about the cost of housing and, while the Government says it’s aware of this it seems completely incapable of doing anything substantive to help.

As for ranking “passion” about your job above money, one suspects that teens through the ages have said much the same thing (or did when a researcher asked them about it) only to change their tune when the actual business of getting one hoves into view. With whopping great university fees to pay off one doubts that will change.

But it’s an interesting snapshot (doubtless designed to get MediaCom on television and radio but never mind).

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About Stephen Foster

Stephen is a former editor of Marketing Week and London Evening Standard advertising columnist. He wrote City Republic for Brand Republic and is a partner in communications consultancy The Editorial Partnership.