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Youth Lab Report Shines a Light on What Young People Think About Brands, Work and Life

Pictured:The teams from Thinkhouse and The Youth Lab

The Youth Lab at Thinkhouse Unveils Its Sixth Annual Youth Culture Uncovered Report Exploring How Young People Are Feeling Today

New research from The Youth Lab, Thinkhouse’s planning and strategy division, shows that around 63% of Irish youths don’t trust the State to actively govern in their best interests while 70% of them are worried about the rising cost of living and the crises in both housing and health. In addition, 37% said that they expect brands to deliver trustworthy, quality products and services.

The findings are contained in the sixth annual “Youth Culture Uncovered” report by The Youth Lab. The report set out to gain an understanding of what life looks like through the lens of 16-35-year-olds across three key themes – connection, work and economics.

When it comes to expectations for brands, the question asked was “what are your top three expectations of brands?” and while 37% say they expect brands to deliver trustworthy, quality products and services,  35% said they expect brands to be “honest and transparent and not hide their mistakes. Another 29% said they expect brands to be “ethical and responsible”, conducting business fairly and sustainably. 28% say they expect brands to “deliver value and reward loyalty with relevant deals and offers.”

When it came to the running of the country, the research found that “young people do not feel represented.” Some 62% disagree with the statement that there is “someone who looks like them and understands them in government leadership”  while 63% “don’t trust the state to actively govern in my best interest.” Another 55% agreed with the statement that “society is run by the old, for the old.”

In terms of the social issues, they are most concerned about, housing comes in at number one (70%) followed very closely by the cost-of-living crisis (66%) with health in third place and climate change in fourth place.

Delving into the age-old issue of emigration, one in two of those questioned said they feel they have no other choice but to move abroad and they don’t believe that Ireland offers them the greatest opportunity for a happy life (49%). A similar number, say they don’t believe that Ireland offers them the greatest opportunity for a successful life (53%) and again one in two agree that they have no choice but to go abroad for better opportunities (49%).

On the work front, 28% agree with the statement that “work is about fulfilling my passion and/or purpose” while 25% agree with the statement “work is central to my sense of self & my success.” For 41%, however, “work is all about paying the bills in the here & now”.

According to The Youth Lab report, despite the difficulties young Irish people face, most of them are committed to finding joy with 75% “focused in on the little things that give personal joy” while 59% have done something “completely new or different” over the last 12 months. In addition, 58% have “made an effort to be more spontaneous.”

Not surprisingly, 70% of those surveyed for The Youth Lab report said they have the app Tik-Tok and it would appear to be changing how the youth of Ireland connect and discover. Some 21% say they use it to get “first-hand recommendations” and 20% say it is “opening me up to try things I wouldn’t have considered before.”

Meanwhile, the importance of real friendships in youth’s lives can’t be overstated with 64% agreeing that “my friends are my chosen family, creating a supportive and safe space for me to be my authentic self.”

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