Almost half of young people feel the pandemic has harmed their long-term career prospects

young peopleWith A level results day marking a new cohort of young people entering the toughest labour market for a generation, the CIPD launches its One Million Chances campaign.

It aims to get employers to create a million opportunities for young people (aged 16-30) – be it through jobs, internships, work experience, apprenticeships T-Levels or the Kickstart scheme – to help undo the damage done by Covid.

New survey data from the CIPD, based on responses from 2,064 young people (aged 18 – 30), claims that 43 percent of them feel the pandemic has harmed their long-term career prospects. This may be because they’ve lost their job, the industry or organisation they want to work in now has fewer openings, or working from home has meant they’ve missed out on networking and development opportunities.

While the economy is recovering from Covid, official figures highlight that there were 166,000 fewer young people (16-24) in the UK in employment in June 2021 (3.9million) compared with March 2020 (3.7million). Conversely, it has also been reported that many employers are struggling with staff shortages, highlighting the need for more organisations to invest in young people in different ways to bolster their talent pipeline.

According to the CIPD’s survey, 50 percent of young people who are currently not in work have been so for 12 months. Half (49 percent) of those unemployed are not confident about finding any work in the next three months – and even more (72 percent) aren’t confident about finding a job that meets their career ambitions and salary expectations in the next three months.

[perfectpullquote align=”right” bordertop=”false” cite=”” link=”” color=”” class=”” size=””]”We want to help young people get their career off to a flying start as unemployment at a young age can leave permanent scarring”[/perfectpullquote]

The survey also claims that one in ten (14 percent) young people not in work have applied for more than 30 jobs in the last three months, and over half of those not in work (51 percent) have not accessed any support services to help them look for work. 44 percent of those who are not currently in work, but looking for employment, attended university.

Lizzie Crowley, senior skills adviser at the CIPD said: “While Brexit and much talk of staff shortages in recent months may give the impression that it should be easy for young people to walk into a job, they are still often left at the back of the queue because employers tend to favour experienced workers.

“We want to help young people get their career off to a flying start as unemployment at a young age can leave permanent scarring – and means they’re more likely to earn less over the course of their working lives and experience more spells of unemployment.

“More employers also need to take a chance on young people – and be prepared to train them up – given our labour supply is changing and staff shortages are becoming more prevalent. We also don’t want them to miss out on the creativity, ingenuity and energy young people can bring to an organisation.”

Image by Gerd Altmann