Youth Voice Census 2021 findings

I attended the Youth Voice Census zoom call earlier this week where Youth Employment UK presented the findings from this year's report. The Youth Voice Census 2021 collected data from 3,400 young people aged 14-24 in the UK. The census explored a range of issues such as; education, work, job hunting, the impact of COVID-19 and more. 

Youth Voice Census 2021 findings

The census is a whooping 106 page long report - detailing all findings of the research to ensure a better understanding is developed so there can be improvements in the future regarding each of the key findings explored below. This blog post will highlight a few statistics and findings from the report.

The key findings from this research were separated into four groups. 

  • Growing mental health concerns

  • Accessing quality work 

  • Catching up 

  • No space for young people 

Growing mental health concerns: 

Anxiety/ depression and mental health concerns were in the top five responses for individuals in education, looking for work or in work. Many young people found the level of disruption has been high in their lives since COVID-19 with 66.4% in education and 40.5% in work stating this had negatively impacted their mental health. In addition to this, young people looking for work were impacted a great deal - 56.2% stated their motivation for applying for opportunities had been affected. 

Accessing quality work: 

In more positive news…

  • 25.9% of young people stated that their employers are supportive of hiring young people and 65.6% of young people view their employer as youth friendly

  • 77.6% of young people stated they felt they had made the right career choice in choosing an apprenticeship 

However….

  • 30.7% of young people stated they were not confident in their personal network 

  • 9.9% of young people were confident that they would be able to find quality work 

Catching up (opportunities young people have missed out on):

The report found that while young people are adaptable and can bounce back from most situations - many felt they had missed out on important opportunities for progression that they don’t feel they would have again. 

  • 42.7% of YP in secondary school had access to a careers advisor 

  • 37.5% of YP in secondary had access to work experience 

Both of these statistics are noted to be half of what they had been in previous years. It was stated during the zoom call that while this isn’t surprising due to COVID-19, the results still aren’t acceptable and more needed to be done in regards to this. 

No space for young people: 

There was an overwhelming amount of young people who didn’t feel that the services offered to them were designed for them and their use. 

  • 37.1% of those not engaging in job centre services thought they they were not applicable to them

  • 27.3% of Young people did not have a quiet place to do their school work

  • 67% of people had to share their device with other people when doing work

After the key findings were highlighted and explored we heard from a group of young people who shared their varying experiences throughout the last year and what they felt needed more attention moving forward. This was an interesting experience as there were many conflicting experiences, everyone was very respectful of the others feelings and experiences. It was nice to see individuals come together in this way.  

Overall, this census has highlighted areas where young people may have struggled in the last year and some success where the hard work has paid off. However, the majority participants of the census and the individuals who shared their experiences all stated a very similar hope to come from this research: they wanted this to make a difference. All of those who had taken part, created the census, promoted or analysed the research wanted the information shared to make a difference so the same struggles would not be repeated in years to come and so that young people could see that they have a voice and that people are listening. 

If you are interested in looking through the data or exploring this further the recording of the zoom session and the census can be found at: 

https://www.youthemployment.org.uk/youth-voice-census/

Header Image Credit: Youth Voice Census

Author

Olivia Wyatt

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Olivia Wyatt is a recent Education Studies graduate from Manchester Metropolitan University. She loves expanding her knowledge in anything and everything. You can find her reading everything in sight or bending over backwards trying new yoga flows.

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