Young people losing hope of achieving future dreams due to pandemic

Research from The Prince’s Trust warns of a generation of young people in the South East of England losing hope as their aspirations fall and fears of future unemployment loom.

Tuesday, 27th October 2020, 1:19 pm
Updated Tuesday, 27th October 2020, 1:21 pm

The report, which surveyed 2,000 16 to 25-year olds across the UK, shows that according to respondents from the South East, more than half (57 per cent) of young people are ‘scared’

about being unemployed, and that 43 per cent are worried that they will never be able to get a job.

According to the report, over a third (36 per cent) of young people surveyed in the South East say their future goals now seem ‘impossible to achieve’ and 32 per cent go as far as to


say that they feel they will ‘never succeed in life’.

When young people were asked to think about their plans for the future in terms of education, employment and training, over a third (36 per cent) of respondents in the South East say they have abandoned their aspirations for the year ahead, and 40 per cent say their aspirations for the future are lower as a result of the pandemic.

The research also suggests that surveyed young people who are not in education employment or training are even more likely to have abandoned their ambitions for the year ahead.

Rozzy Amos, South of England director at The Prince’s Trust says: “Today’s findings show that the pandemic has done more than disrupt vital education, training and job opportunities for young people across the South East; it has eroded their confidence in their future prospects, to a point where some feel they won’t ever be able to succeed in life.


“It is truly a responsibility for all of us to ensure the odds don’t stay stacked against this generation, by supporting them to upskill, retrain and access job opportunities. Or else we risk losing their ambition and potential to long-term unemployment, to the detriment of their futures and the recovery of our economy. Government, employers and charities must work together and act now to prevent a lost generation.”

Today’s report comes as The Prince’s Trust marks supporting its millionth young person since it was founded by HRH The Prince of Wales in 1976. The charity now looks to help the next million at a time when the deepening jobs crisis is hitting young people the hardest, and when 33 per cent of surveyed young people in the South East say they have ‘lost hope for the future’.

The Prince’s Trust helped more than 70,000 young people last year to build the confidence and skills they need to realise their potential. The employability and enterprise courses offered by The Trust, which are run both in person and online, give young people the practical and financial support needed to stabilise their lives, helping them to develop self-esteem and skills for work.

Three in four young people on Prince’s Trust programmes move into work, education or training.

As part of its response to the coronavirus crisis, The Trust has launched a ‘Get Hired Jobs Board’ to match employers with young people who are ready to work now, and has established a ‘Coronavirus Support Hub’ to provide guidance and resources for young people in the challenging times ahead. The Trust has helped one million young people in the UK since HRH The Prince of Wales founded the charity in 1976.

Amy Therrien, 21, Brighton took part in the Get Started course run by The Prince's Trust. After finishing her Sociology and Criminology degreet in May she found her graduate job search was badly affected by the Covid-19 pandemic.

She said: “I had been trying to find a job since graduating in May and was really stuck. I kept getting rejections or not hearing back from applications which is disheartening. It was actually my brother, who is a recruiter in London, who found The Prince’s Trust course and sent me the information. I thought it would be a good way to fill my CV and, though I’d mainly been applying for jobs more related to my degree, I started to consider doing something in the health and social care sector.

“If I hadn’t gone on the Get Started course, I think I’d still be applying for jobs. The course was all so helpful and my confidence has soared. I usually flop in interviews and The Prince’s Trust has made the whole interview process less daunting. I feel like I can apply this confidence to anything.”

Jade Bradshaw launched her party business, Go Party Bee in early 2020 with the support of The Prince’s Trust. With the advice of her Prince’s Trust online mentor she is quickly adapting her children’s party business to support her local community during this difficult time.

“My business idea came from the difficulty I had finding unique local children’s party suppliers such as mermaid swimming parties, science entertainers and real-life unicorns! I realised that there was a gap in the market and I set about filling it.

“Whilst I had a great concept I did not know how to transform it into reality. That’s why I turned to The Prince’s Trust for support. Within a couple of weeks I was paired up with an amazing online mentor who had loads of relevant experience. As soon as he helped me create personas for my customers, I realised where my focus needed to be.”

Having an online business mentor meant Jade could fit digital support sessions around caring for her two young children.

“I would email my mentor after midnight when the kids had gone to sleep and to my surprise, he would sometimes reply by the time I had woken up the next day.”

With strict guidelines now in place banning all gatherings, Jade has quickly adapted her business so she can help small businesses and families hold ‘virtual children’s parties’.

Jade also wanted to be there for her local community and help in any way she could.

“I know that many businesses in this sector are struggling, as all their jobs have had to be cancelled. So, I wanted to support them as much as I can by helping them find opportunities online and advertising them for free. Also, I feel that it’s a chance to help parents to still find ways to carry on creating wonderful memories for their children’s special days. To have a birthday party will raise everyone’s morale and support the wellbeing of the young children who are missing their friends. When all this is over, I am sure that the community will remember my business and use Go Party Bee in the way that I first imagined. I could not have done any of this without the support of my amazing Prince’s Trust online mentor."