A quarter of young people believe that the coronavirus pandemic has 'destroyed' their career hopes, according to survey

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11th February 2021 16:06 - Education

A quarter of young people believe that the coronavirus pandemic has 'destroyed' their career hopes: A new piece of research by the Prince's Trust has revealed the devastating impact of the coronavirus pandemic and the effect it has had on young people and their mental health.

Almost a quarter (24%) of 16 to 25-year-olds polled said they believe that the pandemic has ruined their career aspirations.

The 2021 Prince’s Trust Tesco Youth Index, is an annual survey which seeks to gauge how confident young people are feeling in a number of areas as well as their happiness levels. This year's survey polled 2,180 16- 25-year-olds and also found that 23% do not feel confident about their future work opportunities, and 54% believe it is more difficult to ask for employment support because 'everyone needs it at the moment'.

For those people polled who are out of work, education or training (NEETs), the findings are particularly concerning, with nearly half (48%) saying they could 'not see an end' to being unemployed. Sixty-five percent said that the more time they spend unemployed the worse their self-esteem grows.

The latest research also found that six out of 10 (60%) young people feel that getting a new job is 'impossible now' because of the amount of competition they face in the jobs market, while 26% said they feel 'unable to cope with life' since the pandemic started last year. This was as high as 40% amongst those who were not in work, education or training.

Mental health

Half of the respondents polled said their mental health had worsened as a result of the pandemic. The survey also revealed that anxiety levels amongst young people are greater now than they have ever been in the Youth Index's history (the first survey conducted 12 years ago).  More than half the respondents polled said they 'always' or 'often' feel anxious, which rose to 64% of NEETs.

Despite such a difficult year, the research however found that the majority of young people questioned hold great optimism for the future, with more than three-quarters (78%) saying they are hopeful for a better year ahead.

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