Young people in the UK have spoken. The Youth Voice Census captured data from 14 – 24 year olds across the UK earlier this year. Over 3,400 young people shared their views on a range of issues across education, work, job hunting, the impacts of COVID-19 and much more.

Youth Employment UK’s CEO, Laura-Jane Rawlings, says:

“The findings tell us loud and clear that we can not stand by and let these issues continue; if we do not collectively take swift action to improve the services and connectivity for young people, our nation will sleepwalk into a disaster.”

Key Census Findings

1. Growing Mental Health Concerns

  • Anxiety, depression and mental health concerns were in the top 5 responses for young people in education, looking for work and in work when asked about their barriers.
  • The level of disruption for young people has been high with 66.4% of those in education said learning was disrupted ‘A Lot’ or ‘A Great Deal’; and 40.5% of those in work stating that their work had been disrupted ‘A Lot’ or ‘A Great Deal’.
  • Those looking for work were hardest hit with 56.2% of young people stating that coronavirus had impacted their mental health ‘A Lot’ or ‘A Great Deal’, and 42.1% of young people reported that their motivation to apply for opportunities had been impacted ‘A Lot’ or ‘A Great Deal.’

2. Catching Up

  • Whilst young people have remained adaptable they have missed out on key moments that help them establish who they are, where they are, what skills they have and what their next steps should be.
  • 42.7% of young people in secondary school and, 43% of those in college had access to a careers advisor.
  • Access to careers support has plummeted in university this year, with half of students not accessing any support.

3. Accessing Quality Work

  • 9.9% of young people are confident they will be able to find quality work where they live.
  • 25.9% of your people think employers are supportive of hiring young people.

4. No Space For Young People

  • 81.9% of young people don’t think there are enough opportunities to share their views on important issues in their area.
  • 27.3% of young people do not have a quiet place to do their school work; and 67% share their device with more than one other person.

Help Young People's Voices Get Heard

The Youth Voice Census was open from 29th March 2021 – 1st June 2021; a report of the findings can be downloaded.  Help spread the word about the Youth Voice Census findings. When you share the findings you play a vital part in helping young peoples' voices get heard by those who need to hear it most.

Youth Employment UK is an independent, not for profit social enterprise founded in 2012 to tackle youth unemployment. As experts on youth employment and unemployment, we are ideally placed to understand the complex landscape facing young people, educators, employers and policy makers.  The Youth Voice Census has been made possible with the support of Amazing Apprenticeships, The Edge Foundation and Pearson. 

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