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Job despair: Young people struggle to find work due to coronavirus

Coronavirus has left many aspects of life in limbo with the job market no exception to this.

With another major financial crisis looming over us, lives have been turned upside down as a result of business closures (both temporary and permanent) and the risk of redundancies.

Worst hit is the young. With many younger people hungry for work, especially if they are of school-leaving age or freshly graduated from university, the coronavirus outbreak could not arrive at a worse time.

Image credit: Vancouver Courier

Many youngsters feel their needs and voices have been neglected during the COVID-19 pandemic, especially as young employees are at an inherently greater risk of losing their jobs and/or apprenticeships compared to other members of the public.

Where businesses can no longer afford to keep their pre-COVID-19 staff numbers, young and less experienced people are the first to go. Moreover, the few developed skills that young people have due to a lack of employed experience makes it that much harder to secure employment in the current economic climate.

Whilst employment is still up for grabs in sectors such as delivery driving, young individuals without a car or driver’s license are effectively excluded from tapping into this employment sector. For many young people, claiming universal credit is one of the only options currently available to them.

With many job openings and positions no longer available, especially in more competitive industries, many young people with degrees are wondering what is best to do next. When these jobs become available again, the market will be even more competitive, adding to the already mounting financial and mental pressure young people face.

“Trading down” is a common issue amongst graduates during a financial crisis. Jobs in retail, hotels, travel or the food industry, are sucked up by recent graduates as this is where employment typically survives and need filling.

Although a temporary solution, it is not impossible to gain employment if you are young and struggling to cope financially during the COVID-19 pandemic. Various supermarket chains across the UK have upped their staff numbers to better deal with the impacts of coronavirus. Supermarkets have had to adapt quickly to a change in every-day life dynamics, and staff are needed to enforce these changes as well as reduce the pressure on employees in place before the outbreak.


Image credit: The Grocer

Tesco, for example, has appointed 12,500 new staff members and is recruiting 20,000 temporary colleagues. To ease the pressure on its staff, Co-op advertised 5,000 temporary roles across its store network. These jobs were filled in less than a week.

Employment of this type, however, does not allow for easy or quick promotion, nor is it particularly secure or long-term.


Again, it is no surprise that young people are increasingly struggling with mental health during the COVID-19 outbreak.

Metal health platforms such as YoungMinds provide tips, advice and guidance on where you can get support for your mental health during the coronavirus pandemic. In a heightened situation where young people continue to struggle with things such as isolation and social distancing, anxiety and low mood, dealing with COVID-19 related deaths, and a lack of available employment, seeking help from these platforms can help save young lives.

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