Next Generation UK: exploring young adults’ attitudes and aspirations

In 2016-17, Demos is working with the British Council to explore young adults’ attitudes and aspirations in the UK, and establish their most pressing priorities for change.The project is part of a global Next Generation research programme run by the British Council, which aims to amplify youth voice and support better youth policy-making. Next Generation projects have been run in Pakistan, Nigeria, Bangladesh, Tanzania, Ukraine, Egypt, and others.

Against the backdrop of the recent European Union referendum, Demos is particularly interested in exploring the following in the UK context:

  • Britain’s place in the world – young adults’ attitudes towards other countries, experiences of other cultures, and sense of national identity/internationalism
  • Political and social engagement – whether youth voices are being properly heard by leaders and opinion-formers on the issues that are most important to them
  • Opportunities in education and work – looking at the experiences of young adults from different backgrounds, as well as perceived barriers to success

The project will consist of:

  • A detailed review of existing research related to the remit, including recent reports on the 2016 EU referendum
  • A nationally representative survey of young adults aged 18-30 across the UK
  • Eight focus groups with young adults across the UK – including one in each of the devolved nations
  • Studying young adults’ social media usage and their engagement with a range of political and social issues
  • A Next Generation Advisory Board, comprised of young adults who will help shape and guide our research and produce recommendations to policy-makers
  • A policy roundtable in Westminster, which will bring together key stakeholders to debate and refine our recommendations
  • The publication of a final report, which will be launched at a high-profile Westminster event in May 2017.

The Advisory Board will meet twice, once on Saturday 26th November 2016 and again in March 2017, to help us decide which issues our research will cover, and to develop recommendations at the end of the project.