From education to employment

Learning disruptions lead to 1 in 3 students undertaking additional training as self confidence falls

New research from the Chartered Institute of Marketing (CIM) reveals one in seven (71%) Gen Zers (aged 16-24 year olds) believe they have missed out on development opportunities due to learning disruptions caused by the pandemic.  

Today’s findings are a stark wake up call for universities, businesses and training providers, who need to ensure they better prepare young people as they enter the workforce or kickstart their career.

The survey of 1,000 16-24 year olds shows that more than a third (35%) of those in education have undertaken additional training or qualifications related to their career choice in the last 2 years. Four in ten (42%) of those say they funded the training themselves, showing their dedication to preparing themselves for the world of work. 

Findings suggest that the age group – who have experienced huge university disruptions – are anxious about having the necessary credentials to put them ahead of their peers when entering the job market.

Despite many funding their own training, the research shows that the majority of Gen Zs (72%) would expect their employers to invest in training opportunities to compensate for the loss of skills during Covid, highlighting the need for employers to reassess their training programmes. 

Chris Daly, Chief Executive of the Chartered Institute of Marketing commented:

”Our research shows that competition for entry level roles is tougher than ever, coupled with Covid-enforced delays and redundancies, it really is an employers’ market. Sadly, many students feel it necessary to differentiate themselves by gaining additional qualifications alongside a degree to help them secure their dream job. Increasingly we are seeing more students undertake additional training and unpaid internships to help them stand out from the crowd and secure an entry level role.” 

Worryingly the findings also reveal an emerging confidence gap amongst young people coming out of education. Over a third (36%) of students say they feel less confident in their existing skills and abilities than they did before the pandemic. Training opportunities play a vital role in not only building competence, but also confidence, an important skill within work and beyond. 

The pandemic has however had at least one silver lining when it comes to reassessing priorities. According to the study, over a third (37%) of GenZer’s say the pandemic has encouraged them to think more carefully about the quality of life they will be able to lead if they continue in their current profession or the one they plan to enter. 

Daly continues:

“It’s encouraging to see so many students using their initiative and taking on training courses to upskill, but more must be done to support this generation who are entering the new world of work during a difficult and turbulent time. Their expectations on employers are clear – businesses must take this as a warning to support emerging talent, or risk losing them all together.”

About the research methodology

All figures are from Opinium. Total sample size was 1,000 UK adults aged 16-24 years old. Fieldwork was undertaken between 28th July – 3rd August 2021. The survey was carried out online. The figures have been nationally weighted.

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