The CIPD wants employers to create one million opportunities for young people whose career prospects have been harmed by the pandemic, after finding that four in 10 feel the crisis has affected their long-term career options.
The HR body found that 43% of 18- to 30-year-olds feel their job prospects have been harmed over the past 18 months. This may be because they lost their job, the industry they want to work in has fewer vacancies, or home working has meant they have missed out on development and networking opportunities.
The survey of more than 2,000 young people revealed that half of those currently not in work have been unemployed for more than 12 months; half are not confident about finding any work in the next three months; and almost three-quarters are not confident about finding work that meets their career or salary desires in the next three months.
The latest official figures from the Office for National Statistics show that there were 166,000 fewer 16 to 24-year-olds in work in June 2021, compared with March 2020.
Through its One Million Chances campaign, the CIPD is encouraging employers to create jobs, internships, work experience, apprenticeships, T-levels or Kickstart scheme opportunities.
Recruiting young people
Openreach, Tesco and the Dorchester Collection are among the organisations that have pledged their support.
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.”
Kevin Gaughan, director resourcing, learning and development at Openreach, said: “At Openreach, we believe passionately in giving young people a chance, so we’re proud that over the last three years we’ve recruited more than 7,800 new apprentices – providing them with world class training, ‘on the job’ experience and life-long NVQ qualifications.
“We’re now investing billions of pounds to build a new, ultrafast full fibre broadband network throughout the UK and we can’t do that without a great team.
“By focusing on hiring the right individuals with the right attitude – rather than minimum educational qualifications – we’re bringing even more young people into our field and office based teams, and the results speak for themselves. It’s helping young people take their first steps into a great career and it’s helping us to build and enhance our brilliant team – so it’s a massive win-win.”
The CIPD’s research, carried out by YouGov in July, also found that:
- 14% of unemployed young people have applied for more than 30 jobs in the past three months
- 51% of those not in work have not accessed any support services to help them look for work
- 44% of those not in work attended university.
Ahead of A level results day this week, research by City & Guilds found that more school leavers intend to go to university, with many stating the pandemic has meant they want to stay in full-time education for longer than they had originally planned. This is despite only 18% of employers planning to recruit graduates in the next 12 months.