Analysis

By s1jobs

 

Fears are mounting that those on the first rung of the career ladder will bear the scars of the Covid recession for years to come, with more than one in four young people worried that poor mental health will affect their ability to find work in the wake of the pandemic.

A survey earlier this month of 8,000 adults commissioned by the Resolution Foundation found that 27 per cent of those between the ages of 18 and 24 had concerns about securing a new job because of struggles with their mental health. This was much less of a concern for older workers, with just 10% aged 55 to 64 reporting the same worry.

With 18 to 24-year-olds two and a half times more likely than any other age group to be out of work or on furlough, it’s little surprise that 30% of those in this group said their biggest concern when seeking a job is that they will be unable to find one at all. By contrast, the most predominant worry among 55 to 64-year-olds was that their pay would decrease when moving jobs.

HeraldScotland:

Younger workers were also less likely to report being in good mental health, with less than half – 48% – saying they were in “good”, “very good” or “excellent” condition. This compares to 64% of those between the ages of 55 and 64.

As the Resolution Foundation rightly put it, these findings are deeply worrying. As this and other evidence has shown, the young are bearing much of the brunt of the pandemic’s economic impact, with what the thinktank described as a “clear link” between uncertainty in the job market and poor mental health.

With the furlough scheme due to come to an end in September and the temporary uplift in Universal Credit set to be withdrawn, there are more economic woes on the horizon for some. More must be done to limit the fall-out, particularly among the young people upon whom our economy will rely for the next few decades.

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The early, formative years of the careers of this generation have already suffered much upheaval, with widespread disruption across education, training and the entry-level job market.

We know that shocks early on in people’s careers can have negative effects on their future job prospects. Without support, this risks leaving lasting damage.

Mental health and employability have become an interconnected crisis. With staff shortages being reported across a wide number of industries, employers must start looking at ways of bringing on young adults to train them up with the skills that are in short supply.

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