In January of this year we commissioned a survey of 18–25-year-olds on the impact COVID has had on the lives of young people in the US and UK, especially those taking their first steps into the job market. The survey showed some interesting results:
- 66% of those surveyed across the UK and US admit pandemic has changed what they want from their jobs
- Work-life balance now considered more important than financial security – one third in both countries (33%) now want their career to enable them to have a healthy work life balance, while a quarter (28%) want something more financially secure
- Only half of respondents feel they are on the career path they wanted
- 39% think it’s unlikely they will end up in the career they want; possibly explained by fears of a global economic recession fuelling a desire to accept any employment opportunity offered to them
- 96% of those who actively applied for a job during this time across both countries said they had faced challenges of some kind, including the number of other people applying for the job at the same time (42% UK, 37% US) as well as difficulties making a connection through virtual interviews (31% across both countries)
- The responses also flagged some differences between the two countries. 53% of UK respondents felt that COVID had negatively affected their mental health, while only 35% of those in the US agreed. In addition, regarding the skills needed for career progression, leadership was ranked much higher in the UK than the US (32% vs. 23%), with communication seen as more important in the American workplace
We firmly believe we have a responsibility as an employer to support the next generation entering the workforce. Through our Liberty Academy it is our aspiration to do just that – you can find out more by visiting the Liberty Academy page on our website or by listening to the Liberty podcast, On the Line via our website or on Spotify.
Our thanks to Opinium Research for conducting the survey and to PR Week and Campaign who have covered the results. It’s by spreading the word and raising awareness of the challenges these young people face that we can take the steps to better help them.