A survey of more than 6,000 young people has revealed that three-quarters make a positive contribution to society by regularly volunteering.
Conducted by youth charity the Jack Petchey Foundation, the survey shows that the majority of young people are engaged in politics, have a strong sense of social responsibility and are not interested in fame and fortune.
The Listen Up! report, based on a poll of more than 6,000 11- to 25-year-olds and the result of focus groups in schools and youth projects, found that just two per cent of young people say becoming famous is very important and only 12 per cent admire wealth.
The charity is now urging politicians and the public to recognise what young people do and give them the encouragement and support they need.
Trudy Kilcullen, chief operations officer at the foundation, said: “The report confirms what we see every day in the young people we work with — that the overwhelming majority of them have a real ambition to make something of their lives and a strong sense of social responsibility. These are the citizens of the future and they deserve to be listened to, encouraged and respected.”
Other findings reveal that 45 per cent of young people believe politicians do not genuinely care about them. When asked what they want the government to do for young people, 26 per cent said abolish tuition fees for university students and 16 per cent said create more apprenticeships and job opportunities.
Nearly two-thirds of respondents said adults misunderstand them and more than three-quarters said that most attention is given to a minority of troublemakers rather than the young people who are making positive contributions to society.