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More youths plan on leaving region

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By Marc McLean, local democracy reporter
Front
More youths plan on leaving region

A GROWING number of young people plan on leaving Dumfries and Galloway when they get older, a study has shown.

A large scale piece of research, titled 10,000 Voices, recorded the opinions of young people locally aged 10-25.

The widespread consultation for 2023 – led by the council’s youth work service – is the largest collation of young people’s voices since 2018.

Back then, 45 percent of 10,642 respondents said they wanted to leave the region, while the other 55 percent were adamant they wanted to live and work here.

However, the figures have flipped in the 2023 consultation, with 55 percent of 10,828 young people surveyed now wanting to leave and 45 percent wanting to stay.

The top three reasons given for the desire to leave were: travel, followed by study, and then work.

Other interesting findings were the top five issues young people in the region say they face these days. Top of the list was smoking/vaping, followed by diet/body image, mental health was third, bullying was fourth, and the fifth issue was money/budgeting/cost of living.

This is a shift from the top issues in 2018 where bullying was the biggest problem, followed by diet/body image. Mental health, smoking, and transport were the next three priority concerns.

The full findings are due to be presented in a report at next week’s full council meeting, which reads: “The consultation is the largest collection of young people’s views ever undertaken in the region with 10,828 young people aged between 10 and 25 years old, which is 51.7 percent of the young people living, working and studying in Dumfries and Galloway, participating in the consultation, giving our council and our community planning partners a rich volume of data around young people’s perceptions of the communities within which they live and issue that they face.”

The information will be used to inform a five-year plan for council’s youth work service and will be shared with community planning partners so they can plan and roll out services to young people in Dumfries and Galloway in the future.

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