Young people with a positive outlook, self-belief and skills for the workplace are happier, sleep better and are more well-behaved.
That’s according to a recent debate at the Annual Conference of the British Psychological Society’s Division of Occupational Psychology in Brighton. In the presentation by Ali Shalfrooshan from Assessment & Development Consultants (a&dc) and Louise Brown from Think Forward, this belief formed the basis of a coaching scheme which aims to address the challenge of youth unemployment in England.
The project pilot saw more than 270 pupils from 12 secondary schools completing a bespoke questionnaire relating to their mindset and employability skills. The results revealed significant correlations with self-reported happiness and satisfaction.
Shalfrooshan explains, “Positive attitudes such as self-belief, aspiration, flexibility and appetite for learning were associated with less hyperactivity, fewer emotional problems, fewer problems with fellow pupils, and greater inclination to help others - pupils with this positive mindset were also happier and slept better. Interestingly, a range of employability skills, such as people skills, teamwork, problem solving and planning were also associated with greater happiness.”
A report by the ACEVO Commission on Youth Unemployment has highlighted that as many as 1 in 5 youths may not be in education, employment or training. This unemployment rate is costing the economy billions of pounds from lost productivity. Shalfrooshan’s team has argued that coaching young people will enable them to better thrive during these volatile, uncertain, complex and ambiguous times.