This report by the Prince’s Trust highlights an “aspiration gap” as the pandemic in the UK impacts young people’s ambitions and aspirations.
According to the survey, more than a third of young people (39%) have abandoned their aspirations for the year ahead. This increases significantly among those respondents who are NEET. 44% of NEET young people surveyed have abandoned their ambitions for the year ahead, compared with 38% of those in education, employment or training.
Other findings include:
- 45% say they will have to take a lower paid job just to “make ends meet”.
- 44% of 16 to 25-year-olds say their aspirations for the future are now lower as a result of the pandemic.
- 43% of young people say “I expect I’ll never have a job I really love”, and this increases to more than half (55%) for those from poorer backgrounds.
- 41% of young people believe their future goals now seem “impossible to achieve”, with this rising to half (50%) of those surveyed from poorer backgrounds.
- 38% feel they will “never succeed in life”, and this increases to almost half (48%) of those surveyed from poorer homes.
- More than one in three young people (35%) believe they will have to give up their dream job “for any job”.
- More than a quarter of young people (28%) believe they will have to “take any job I can get”.
- More than one in ten (11%) say the job or training they were about to start has been cancelled as a result of the pandemic.
The following findings result from a sub sample of 861 young people in school, college or university. Among those in education:
- 41% of young people in school, college or university worry the education they have missed will set them back for the rest of their life, increasing to 50% for those from poorer backgrounds.
- While more than a third (39% feel their education has now “gone to waste”, the research suggests this is higher still (at 47%) for those surveyed from poorer backgrounds.
These findings are based on research undertaken by Censuswide on behalf of The Prince’s Trust. The total sample size was 2,000 16 to 25-year-olds and the figures were weighted and are representative of all aged 16 to 25 in the UK.
The fieldwork was undertaken between 4th September 2020 and 14th September 2020, approximately six months into the coronavirus pandemic in the UK.