At least four in ten young people expect to be living outside the Newtown and wider Mid Wales area in five years time.
That's according to research from the University of Wales, Aberystwyth. The same survey found that over 40% would prefer to remain living in their home region, but moving away was seen as necessary to achieve their career goals.
Jane Dodds, Member of the Sendd for Mid and West Wales, has raised the issue at the Welsh Parliament.
She said her party was urging the Welsh Government to improve employment access for young people by subsidising rural transport.
She said: “There is a clear desire from our young people of wanting to stay and develop their careers here in Wales but the opportunities are just not there.
"At the same time, we know that skill shortages are acting as a stopper on investment and growth in Wales.
"Research from the Federation of Small Businesses found that 80% of small firms struggled to recruit in the past 12 months. While the Institute of Employment Studies found that 42% of employers named “lack of skills” as the main reason why they do not hire young people."
She added: "There is a real mismatch between the aspirations of our rural youth and the needs of our local industries and small businesses.
"It is critical that the Welsh Government helps foster local skills in our rural areas, opening employment access to young people, so they aren’t forced to look elsewhere to pursue their dream careers.
"By exploring the possibility of subsidising transport fares for young people, as we suggested in our recent manifesto, we as a nation could open more opportunities for our young people.
"By helping our young people stay in their home regions with their talents for the foreseeable future, we all benefit.”