Yorkshire Times
A Voice of the North
12:15 AM 24th November 2021

Pandemic Has Caused “Crisis Of Confidence” Among Yorkshire And The Humber Young People

Photo by Eliott Reyna on Unsplash
Photo by Eliott Reyna on Unsplash
The Prince’s Trust has launched new research today on the impact of the pandemic on young people’s self-esteem and confidence in their future career and skills for work.
Every day at The Prince’s Trust, we meet talented young people looking for opportunities to work and train.

The research, conducted by Censuswide with 2,007 16 to 25-year-olds in the UK, finds that less than one in five (18 per cent) of young people in Yorkshire and Humber feel confident in their future career, and only 10 per cent feel like they have “the confidence to go after the job they want.”

Almost a quarter (23 per cent) of young people worry they do not have the skills for the jobs that are available to them, and 43 per cent say that over the course of the pandemic, they have even lost confidence in their ability “to do the job they are trained to do.”

The findings of the report also suggest that overall across the UK, young people whose employment has been unstable, for example they have spent time out of work during the pandemic, are more likely to report poor mental health.[2] In Yorkshire and the Humber, over half (58 per cent) agree they’ve “lost confidence in themselves” as a result of the pandemic, and 45 per cent of young people agree they don't know how they'll get their life “back on track.”

Similarly, a quarter (26 per cent) say the unstable jobs market makes them fearful of their future, with 60 per cent agreeing that not being able to find a job makes them feel anxious.

Lucy Gifford, Head of Service Delivery for Yorkshire and the Humber at The Prince’s Trust, said:
“Today’s research shows that without increased support for young people in the UK, the legacy of the pandemic will be a substantial crisis of confidence in our future workforce.

“Young people have faced significant disruption to their employment and education, at a time when our economy and jobs market is in flux. As we look forward into 2022, there is still a huge amount to do to restore young people’s confidence and rebuild the skills they need for the jobs available now, and the jobs of the future.

“Every day at The Prince’s Trust, we meet talented young people looking for opportunities to work and train. It is in all of our interests to support the younger generation into sustainable jobs, to help rebuild our economy.”

Despite the uncertainty felt among young people about their future careers, the report finds 44 per cent agree that the time to retrain and gain new skills has made them feel optimistic about their future. In addition, more than half (58 per cent) agree that as a result of the pandemic they are more grateful now for the life they have.

Peter, 23, from Leeds, was unemployed for five years before finding work in retail.
“I was mainly looking for jobs in shops, but they wouldn’t take me on because I didn’t have the experience. I was still looking for jobs during lockdown, but retailers were furloughing lots of people at the time, so it was hard to find places that were hiring. Being out of work for so long was taxing on my mental health. My confidence took a really big hit.

“I found out about Kickstart in March 2021 through the job centre and saw it as an opportunity to finally get a job. I interviewed for a Customer Assistant role at Marks & Spencer and started working there in April. It’s been a learning curve, but now my confidence has come on leaps and bounds, and now I just crack on with my work. My confidence and self-esteem is increasing – my brother hadn’t seen me in a few month during lockdown, and when we met up he said I’d changed so much since starting the job, it was like meeting a different person.”

Youth charity The Prince's Trust gives young people the skills and confidence to get their lives on track and has continued to help disadvantaged and unemployed young people throughout the pandemic.

Three in four young people helped by The Prince’s Trust move into work, training or education. The charity has helped more than one million young people since 1976.