A LACK of careers advice, teaching of practical life skills, and the availability of youth services have been revealed to be among the key issues facing young people in Bradford.

The research, carried out by the Health Foundation, spoke to more than 155 young people from the district as part of a wider project looking into what life is like for young people in the modern day.

The Young People’s Future Health Inquiry has been published by the charity, which warns a lack of opportunities at a local level is putting many young people’s future health at risk.

The inquiry examined five areas of the UK, from densely populated, ethnically diverse inner city areas, such as Bradford, to sparsely populated rural areas to understand what life is like for young people.

Availability and publicity of local youth services, and a lack of careers advice and teaching of practical life skills were identified as key issues in Bradford, along with expensive transport options creating a barrier to important services and development activities, and the current economic climate putting pressure on families.

Jo Bibby, director of health at the Health Foundation and inquiry lead, said: “Whether a young person grows up in a way that supports them to have a healthy future is a complex issue, but one which it is essential to address.

“Young people today face opportunities and challenges that are vastly different to those of their parents or carers.

“Our towns and cities have an untapped resource of engaged and optimistic young people who have the potential to make vast contributions to their communities if given the chance.

“However, this new research suggests that the health and wellbeing of young people in Bradford and across the UK is already being eroded, with inadequate support systems and increased pressures on mental health at home and school.

“This means many are facing a potential future of poor health.

“Our recommendations for change, due in 2019 will demonstrate what’s needed to ensure the next generation is given the right opportunity to flourish.”

Kersten England, chief executive of Bradford Council, acknowledged there are issues in the district stopping young people from being able to get access to important services.

She said: “We know that young people in Bradford can struggle to find meaningful secure work which can lead to a lack of emotional support and exacerbate mental health issues.

“The passion and enthusiasm shown by Bradford’s young people is fantastic, and we want to make Bradford the best place to grow up in the UK.”

The Health Foundation said between the ages of 12 and 24, many factors shape a young person’s health in the future, such as aspirations to move through education into employment, become independent and leave home.

It said this time is key for young people to build the mental and physical resources they need for a strong and health future.

Shazia, 23, from Bradford Moor, took part in the inquiry.

She said: “I am inspired to be part of initiatives like the Young People’s Future Health Inquiry because it’s important to give the youth a voice to change situations that affect our growth, such as lack of travel support, mental health services, having a lack of prevention strategies whilst waiting on the long waiting list, and more varied job opportunities needed.”