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COVID causing career lockdown for young people

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Young people across the UK are reportedly the most anxious about the impact COVID-19 has had, and is having, on their career prospects, according to new research from business supplies company Sharp.

The research found that more than two fifths (42%) of 21- to 30-year-olds said they have serious concerns and anxieties about their job security in the future.

Around a third (30%) of the same group said they were anxious about a lack of career development opportunities, with another 26% worrying about keeping their skills up to date.

A further two-thirds (65%) said career progression has become more important to them during lockdown than ever before.


Further reading:

Younger generation critical to economic recovery

Coronavirus job crisis impacting young workers' mental health

Graduate job vacancies decrease significantly in 2020


Cary Cooper, professor of organisational psychology and health at the University of Manchester and president of the CIPD, said employers should ensure young employees are offered training.

Speaking to HR magazine, he said: “It’s crucial that employers do all they can to engage with their younger employees – these are potentially the future leaders of their business, so it’s important they receive rigorous training so that they’re motivated to do well.

“Being future-oriented and talking about the business’s plans will reassure them they’re in a steady pair of hands and make their experience of starting out in the working world a positive one.”

Rob Davis, solutions and services business manager at Sharp, added: “There is a clear concern from younger people in our workforce for the long-lasting impact of the pandemic on their career development.

“As businesses plan for the future of work, it’s important to make sure the fundamentals of work that are key to career development aren’t left behind for the ‘digitally savvy’ generation, and ensure technology is used to support this learning and collaboration as the way we work continues to change.”