Dear Editor, The beginning of 2012 has brought with it a worrying time for young people. The alarming rise of youth unemployment means that more than one in four young people in Birmingham is struggling to find a job.

The Prince’s Trust Youth Index has also warned that a lack of daily routine, including regular bedtimes and set mealtimes, can cause young people to struggle at school, with thousands ending up unconfident, under-qualified and unemployed.

It’s plain to see that young people need more support than ever. Our schemes, including xl clubs and the Fairbridge programme, help the hardest-to-reach young people move successfully through education and are proven to get them into jobs. Now, we need to work with teachers, local authorities and employers so that we can help more young people across the region.

We have launched our largest consultation with teachers exploring the support they need to help the hardest-to-reach pupils. To get involved, go to the website at

Paul Beesley, Prince’s Trust regional director for the West Midlands