The Prince of Wales wrote a column in the Telegraph stressing it is a “particularly difficult time to be young” due to the ongoing coronavirus pandemic causing mass unemployment. He estimated a million young people have been impacted by the pandemic in the UK, and called for more action to help the “Covid generation”. Charles was infected with coronavirus in March, and self-isolated in his Birkhall residence in Balmoral.
In his article, Charles pointed to the “enormous challenges” and “deep uncertainty” young people face in the UK due to the pandemic.
He drew a parallel between the pandemic and the seventies, where he said “youth unemployment was one of the pressing issues of the time”.
Charles added: “The problem, as always, was not merely the lack of opportunity represented by joblessness, it was also the destructive hopelessness that filled the void that work should have occupied.”
The Prince then referenced his charity The Prince’s Trust, which started in 1976 to help vulnerable young people, and said: “It seemed to me that we should do something to try to make a difference, however small.”
READ MORE: Prince Charles issues grave warning about looming ‘catastrophe’ set to ‘dwarf’ coronavirus
Charles hailed the Trust for helping its millionth young person, but stressed the current economic climate presents a new challenge.
He said: “Over all these years since the Trust was launched, there has never been an easy time.
“However, there has never been a time as uniquely challenging as the present, when the pandemic has left perhaps another million young people needing urgent help.”
Charles then stressed it was vitally important to “prevent this crisis from defining the prospects of a generation” and added: “The task ahead is unquestionably vast, but it is not insurmountable.”
Charles’ call to action comes as the coronavirus pandemic has devastated employment in the UK.
From May and July 2020, 563,000 people between 16 and 24 years old were unemployed.
According to the Commons Library, it is the highest level of youth unemployment since 2016.
A report from the Resolution Foundation think tank also warned in May youth unemployment could rise by a 640,000 this year, which would take the UK’s total to over a million.
Jonathan Townsend, chief executive of The Prince’s Trust, also warned there is a “real challenge” for young people in the UK due to job uncertainty.
Research carried out by the Trust should 55 percent are more worried about being unemployed than they were a year ago.
Mr Townsend added of young people: “I’m not seeing snowflakes, I’m not seeing people who want to sit back and let things happen to them.
“They are driven young people who want to get on in life, and are really determined to build their skills.
“They need a chance, and this is their chance being taken away.”
Charles has also recently issued another warning about the future impact of climate change.
Opening a New York summit on climate change, Charles warned of the “looming” danger of a climate “catastrophe”.
He added: “Without swift and immediate action, at an unprecedented pace and scale, we will miss the window of opportunity to ‘reset’ for a more sustainable and inclusive future.
“The environmental crisis has been with us for far too many years – decried, denigrated and denied.”