According to research by the Prince’s Trust, fears about their jobs, their skillsets and future opportunities are weighing heavily on young minds, with more than half of young people agreeing they have “lost confidence in themselves” as a result of the pandemic.

The report based on a survey of over 2,000 young people also found that those from lower income backgrounds and those who have spent time out of work during the pandemic, are more likely to report negative experiences, including a loss of self-confidence and poor mental health.

The findings also show that the pandemic has caused young people to lose faith in their skills for work and in their future prospects.

A summary of the research findings is shown below:

  • More than half of young people (52%) agree they’ve lost confidence in themselves as a result of the pandemic.
  • 44 % of young people agree they don’t know how they’ll get their life back on track.
  • Less than a quarter of young people (22%) say they feel confident in their future career. For NEET young people, this dropped to just 9%.
  • A quarter of young people (24%) worry they do not have the skills for the jobs that are available to them, and 44% agree that over the course of the pandemic, they have even lost confidence in their ability to do the job they are trained to do
  • However, 45% agree that the time to retrain and gain new skills has made them feel optimistic about their future.

There was a clear correlation between young people’s personal circumstances and how they feel in themselves and about their future careers.

  • 60% of young people from lower income backgrounds and 55% of those who experienced unstable employment report having lost confidence in themselves as a result of the pandemic (compared to 52% of all young people surveyed).
  • The pandemic may also have impacted young people’s overall self-esteem, with 53% agreeing they have lost confidence in the way they can handle social situations and 54% finding it harder to build new relationships.

The confidence young people feel in their future career and skills for work has substantially eroded since the pandemic began. During this time, many young people have experienced significant disruption to their employment and education and missed out on many other interactions at a critical development stage in their lives.

To see the full report click here.