Skip to navigation

Fact sheet

Young Adult Carers and Employment Research 2014

New research by Carers Trust and Nottingham University highlights that young people providing unpaid care for friends and family have many fewer opportunities in education and the workplace as a result.

Young adult carers are often an overlooked group with limited services that meet their needs and little awareness about the challenges they face.

The 2011 Census identified more than 375,000 young adult carers in the UK aged 14–25 who are providing support and assistance to their families and friends. The difficulties they experience as a result of their caring role can have significant and long-term negative impacts.

The study highlights the high levels of care being undertaken by many young adults and the negative implications this may have for their health and employment opportunities.

Almost half who had left full time education were unemployed. Over half (54%) felt that they would have got better grades at school if it was not for their caring role and 87% felt that they had not received good career advice at school, and that the advice did not take into account their caring role.

The research also shows that nearly half have physical health that is ‘just okay’ or ‘poor’, and over half reported currently experiencing a mental health problem. Unpaid young adult carers – 14-25 - save society as a whole millions of pounds every year, but lack of support takes its toll on their health.

Employers need to acknowledge the caring roles held by young people and adopt flexible policies, which allow the employers to utilise the huge skills of young adult carers - whose life skills and resourcefulness make them a real asset.

Colleges and universities also need to have the right procedures in place to ensure young carers can be identified and receive the support they need to give them every chance to succeed.

Young Adult Carers and Employment-Full Report (1.4 MB)