Lancashire Times
Weekend Edition
12:15 AM 24th November 2021

Pandemic Has Caused “Crisis Of Confidence” Among North West Young People

Photo by Austin Blanchard on Unsplash
Photo by Austin Blanchard 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.

The research, conducted by Censuswide with 2,007 16 to 25-year-olds in the UK, finds that only one if five (19 per cent) of young people in the North West say they feel confident in their future career and feel like they have “the confidence to go after the job they want” (20 per cent).

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

Over a quarter (27 per cent) of young people worry they do not have the skills for the jobs that are available to them, and 41 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. In the North West, over half (55 per cent) agree they’ve “lost confidence in themselves” as a result of the pandemic, and 46 per cent of young people agree they don't know how they'll get their life “back on track.”

Similarly, a quarter (24 per cent) say the unstable jobs market makes them fearful of their future, with 61 per cent agreeing that not being able to find a job makes them feel anxious.

Kelly Crawford, Head of Service Delivery for the North West at The Prince’s Trust, said:
“Today’s research shows that without increased support for young people in the North West, 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 43 per cent in the North West agree that the time to retrain and gain new skills has made them feel optimistic about their future. In addition, over half (55 per cent) agree that as a result of the pandemic they are more grateful now for the life they have.

Chris Holland
Chris Holland
Chris Holland, 24, from Oldham found work as a Biomedical Support Worker at the Royal Oldham Hospital with the help of The Prince’s Trust.
He says:
“It was hard to find work in the pandemic. I briefly worked in retail over Christmas, but that was all. Confidence isn’t something you always have, it’s something you can gain and lose.

“Training and getting my job at the hospital has helped me come out of my shell and feel more positive about my future. If you’re struggling to find work, don’t be afraid to change direction. All it takes is finding the right opportunity and dedicating yourself to getting the job that’s right for you.”

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.