72% of rural youth say they are optimistic about the future in final results of rural youth survey

The results of a new survey show that 72% of young people living in rural locations feel optimistic about their future despite the challenges of transport, access to services, employment and connectivity. The Rural Youth Project survey, conducted between January and June 2018, has collated the opinions of over 750 young people living or working in a rural areas.  

Key findings:

  • 45% percent said they found it difficult to find work close to where they live.
  • 60% wanted more access to activities to meet other young people in their areas.
  • 94% consider digital connectivity essential to their future.
  • 75% had attended clubs and societies growing up.
  • 30% currently volunteer.
  • 72% were optimistic about the future, though 25% of respondents were considering moving to an urban centre.

The Rural Youth Project also aims to identify young people with leadership potential and equip them with the confidence and tools to assume leadership and instigate positive change in their rural communities. The inaugural Rural Youth Ideas Festival, held against a backdrop of glamping, live music and local food, is a key element of this, featuring a line-up of inspiring speakers and interactive workshops to hone the leadership, business and communication skills of the 80 young people attending.

Co-founder of the Rural Youth Project, Rebecca Dawes, of Jane Craigie Marketing, said: "The fact that only 13% of young people living in rural areas feel that they have a say in their community shows that there is work to be done.  With various involvement in leadership programmes, the JCM are driven by a passion and commitment to develop leadership and a sense of 'can-do' amongst young people in rural places, in order to support them to enact change in their own communities."

The Rural Youth Project will run initially until 2022, with an annual survey to develop the research. The findings to date, from the three different elements, will be used to launch three pilot projects in 2019 to nurture enterprising people from rural backgrounds and their ideas; to develop lasting links, understanding and opportunities; and to facilitate international exchanges with young people in other nations. YouthLink Scotland is a proud partner of this project. 

Download the report.


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  • Publish DateTue, 07 Aug 2018
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