Two-thirds of young people fear they'll be disadvantaged by pandemic

Two thirds of young people fear their generation will be permanently disadvantaged by the pandemic, study finds

  • Children as young as ten believe the pandemic will change the rest of their life
  • Almost two-thirds of young people told new study their generation will be permanently disadvantaged
  • Two out of three said competition for jobs has already increased as a result

Children as young as 10 believe the pandemic will change the rest of their life, a new study suggests.

Almost two-thirds of young people said their generation will be permanently disadvantaged by the impact of the coronavirus crisis, research by the Co-op found.

Two out of three said competition to get a job has already increased so it feels ‘impossible’ to find work, while almost a third said the pandemic has made them less likely to continue with further education.

Almost three in five respondents said the Government has failed them in its handling of Covid-19.

Almost two-thirds of young people said their generation will be permanently disadvantaged by the impact of the coronavirus crisis, research by the Co-op found (stock image)

The Co-op called on the Government to consider appointing a Youth Minister to ensure young people are actively considered in decision-making.

The survey of more than 5,000 10 to 25-year olds found that half of school-aged children believe they have fallen behind in the past year, with almost two-thirds feeling the pressure to ‘catch up’ quickly.

More than a quarter of 16 to 25-year-olds said the pandemic has ‘ruined’ their career dreams.

Co-op Group chief executive Steve Murrells said: ‘Young people are the DNA of the future of this country, and we simply cannot have a situation where the majority of them – the Ghosted Generation – feel like they cannot change their path or improve their life chances, and where black and Asian young people are more likely to feel that way.

‘This research shows the ambition is there and we see first-hand that talent is spread in every community, but opportunity is not.

‘To make up the lost ground, truly build back better and make sure no young person or community gets left behind, we need urgent bold, joined-up action across Government, business and education to make sure young people are actively considered in decision-making, and we believe changes, such as the development of a government youth strategy and introduction of a Youth Minister with cross-departmental responsibility, would better enable the voices and needs of young people to be better heard and met.’

Children as young as 10 believe the pandemic will change the rest of their life, a new study suggests (stock image)

When asked what would be the most helpful for their future, young people suggested youth hubs to support their education/training and careers, a Youth Productivity Index to help the Government understand where to invest money, and personalised support for those most at risk of long-term unemployment.

Anntoinette Bramble, who chairs the Local Government Association’s Children and Young People’s Board, said: ‘The pandemic has greatly impacted our young people, whether it be by disruption to education or by the challenges presented from a changing job market.

‘However, with a concerted effort, there is no doubt that these challenges can be overcome. 

‘Local authorities are best placed to work with Government and others to piece together employment and training opportunities, included generating local opportunities for young people through the Kickstart scheme.

‘A cross-Whitehall strategy is needed that puts children and young people, particularly those with special educational needs, at the heart of recovery and ensures the services that support children and their families are fully funded so the younger generation can lead more enriched and fulfilling lives as we emerge from the pandemic.’

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