Young people with a positive outlook, self-belief and skills for the workplace are happier, sleep better and are better behaved. This finding is being reported today, Thursday 9 January, at the Annual Conference of the British Psychological Society's Division of Occupational Psychology in Brighton, by Ali Shalfrooshan from Assessment & Development Consultants (A&DC) and Louise Brown from the charity ThinkForward. This research supports the work being undertaken by a coaching scheme, which aims to address the challenge of youth unemployment in England.
The research saw more than 270 pupils from 12 secondary schools completing questionnaires relating to their attitudes towards helping others, attitudes to school, behavioural problems and sleeping difficulties. These questionnaires were used to inform targeted coaching to develop and enhance the employability skills of young people.
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 teamwork, problem solving and planning were also associated with greater happiness in pupils.
A report by the ACEVO Commission on Youth Unemployment has highlighted that as many as one in five youths may not be in education, employment or training. This unemployment rate may cost the economy billions from lost productivity. Ali Shalfrooshan's team has argued that coaching young people will enable them to thrive during challenging economic times and be more capable of achieving their aspirations.