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There are 1 million young women in England and Wales struggling to live on low or no pay. Join us as we campaign for a fairer working future for young women.

Costing Our Futures

The cost of living crisis is impacting young women’s futures. Young women feel ignored by politicians and don’t believe the government will prioritise their needs.

We’re calling on the government to

  • Extend the national living wage to those under the age of 23
  • Guarantee genuinely affordable childcare that enables young women to work the hours they need to, including in the short term:
    • Extending the financial support available to parents from the end of parental leave to the start of school
    • Changing the Universal Credit rules so parents don’t have to pay costs upfront; and increasing childcare support within UC to cover the real costs of childcare
    • Providing adequate funding to childcare providers to stop nurseries closing.
  • Increase the support available through the benefits system so that it genuinely meets the cost of living over the long term.

Our open letter was written by Ire Adebayo, a young woman working in social care in Huddersfield who, like thousands of other young women, is struggling to make ends meet.

In our open letter, we have called on the Prime Minister to meet with young women, hear about the real challenges they face and discuss how the government can act to make a difference to their lives.

Read the Costing Our Futures open letter


Play videoIre Adebayo Costing Our Futures

Costing Our Futures

Young women recount their day-to-day struggles with the cost of living crisis and the sacrifices they are making to get by. As their circumstances are only getting worse, they explain what they want the Prime Minister to do to address their challenges. #CostingOurFutures

Costing Our Futures video transcript

What young women think

In our recent polling of 1,015 young women aged 18-30 living in England and Wales, we found that:

  • Over three fifths (62%) of young women say that their future prospects have got worse over the last six months. This compares to only a fifth of young women who felt this way when we carried out our annual survey in spring of this year.
  • Only 15% of young women feel very confident that the Prime Minister and his government will listen and respond to the challenges that they face.
  • Half of young women told us that they have little or no trust in the government to provide the necessary support during the cost-of-living crisis.

However, young women want to have a say in political decisions:

  • 82% of young women are likely to vote if there is a general election in the next 12 months and 77% feel that that there should be a general election held right now.

I claim Universal Credit but once all my outgoings are paid – which are increasing – I have little money left for anything else. Not even food.

Keira, Nottingham

How you helped us make a difference in 2021/22

In 2021/22, we supported more young women through our Work It Out service than ever before. Almost 3000 young women had free sessions with professional coaches to help them gain skills and confidence, find work and progress in their careers. And almost 2000 young women received personalised feedback on their CVs and job applications from our team of 200 volunteers.

  • In 2021, our Emergency Fund gave out over £334,750 to 1740 young women who needed support during the pandemic.
  • 99% of young women told us they found CV and job application feedback useful
  • 83% of young women said they felt less stressed and anxious after using the Work It Out service
  • 95% of young women said they would recommend the service to a friend
  • 54% of those who had coaching and 56% of those who had CV feedback said they had a new job or internship, were in training, volunteering, or self-employed within 6 months of using the service
  • Our online YWTeas allow young women to come together online to learn about topics ranging from finance employability and wellbeing. We ran 12 events attended by over 350 young women across the year.

Find out more about our impact in 2021/2022.

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