85% of young people living in rural areas of the UK believe Covid-19 will impact their future, according to survey

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10th November 2020 19:41 - Industrial

85% of young people living in rural areas of the UK believe Covid-19 will impact their future: A survey of young people living in rural areas of the UK has revealed that 85% are concerned about what Covid-19 may mean for their future. The report titled Covid-19 and Post-Brexit Rural Future also revealed the views of young people when considering a future living and working in rural areas.

The Defra-funded research was conducted in June (2020) and polled 528 people across rural areas in the UK for the National Federation of Young Farmers’ Clubs and Rose Regeneration. Almost seven out of 10 respondents (69%) said they were currently living in a farming family.

The vast majority of young people polled (97%) revealed that they want to live in a rural area over the next five years, however, almost two-thirds (65%) believe there is not enough housing available to young people in rural locations. The research found that almost two-thirds (64%) do not have the resources to buy their own home, with just 15% saying they were a property owner.

When it comes to the services available in rural areas, the survey revealed a lack of recreational facilities and opportunities for the young people, with 70% revealing they have sought advice about training, employment, farming, money and health.

Three-quarters of respondents (74%) said they seek a career in farming or land management, with 38% saying their preference was to work on the family farm. Around three in five showed optimism that farming productivity can be increased (61%), while half (50%) are optimistic that farm profitability can be achieved.

Looking to the future, 81% of survey participants believe that it will become harder for young people to live in a rural setting in the next half decade, while more than half (56%) believe it will become more difficult to find employment in rural areas. More than three-quarters said that they don't believe it possible to run a successful farming business without some form of diversification on or off farm income.

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