The pandemic has stolen the confidence of our young people - Kate Still

Young people in Scotland have faced significant disruption to their employment and education, at a time when our economy and jobs market is in flux.

The pandemic has created a crisis-in-confidence among Scotland's young people over jobs and skills, research by The Prince's Trust has found. Picture by PA.

Research released yesterday by The Prince’s Trust shows that without increased support for young people in Scotland, the legacy of the pandemic will be a substantial crisis of confidence in our future workforce.

The research, conducted by Censuswide, found that young people across the country have lost confidence in themselves and in their skills for the future. One in four young Scots worry they do not have the skills for the jobs that are available to them, and 50% feel that over the

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course of the pandemic, they have even lost confidence in their ability “to do the job they are trained to do”.

It is also concerning that young people who are facing disadvantage and adversity, for instance those from poorer backgrounds or who have recently experienced unstable employment, are even more likely to report a drop in their confidence as well as poor mental health.

Despite the uncertainty felt among young Scottish people about their future careers, the report finds 42% agree that the time to retrain and gain new skills has made them feel optimistic about their future.

An increase in support for young people is urgently needed to help restore their confidence and build their skills. Without it, we risk losing their potential to the effects of low self-esteem, joblessness, and declining mental health, which would have a devastating impact on their lives – and on our nation’s workforce – for many years to come.

As we look forward into next year, there is still a huge amount to do to restore young people’s confidence and rebuild the skills they need for the jobs available now, and the jobs of the future.

Every day at The Prince’s Trust, we meet talented young people looking for opportunities to work and train and with the right support, advice and guidance, we can develop the confidence they need to fulfil their potential. It is in all of our interests to support the younger

generation into sustainable jobs, to help rebuild our economy.

Kate Still is Scotland Director for The Prince’s Trust

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