Young people ‘downright nervous’ on first day at work

Many young employees in the UK suffer from a crisis of confidence on their first day at work, research reveals.

A survey of more than 1,000 16-24 year olds by fast food giant McDonald’s highlights the mismatch between the veneer of confidence that young people exude and the reality.

Half of those surveyed admit to a lack of confidence when starting work – with 28% feeling not very confident, 7% feeling insecure, and 16% feeling downright nervous.

Young people feel 10 times less confident on their first day at work than when out with their friends, the survey shows.

The two most commonly cited reasons for this lack of confidence were a lack of work experience and a lack of preparedness for the difference between school and work.

Nearly two-thirds (64%) of respondents believe that employers should do more to help them in this area and kickstart their careers.

David Fairhurst, vice-president for people at McDonald’s, said: “There’s lots of talk from UK employers about young people’s preparedness for the workplace – we thought it was time to ask young people their opinion.

“This survey reveals that employers have a real role to play in giving youth back its confidence.”


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