95% of young job seekers believe it’s harder to find work, 78% believe that Coronavirus will negatively impact their long-term career progression

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Written by Jon Kennard on 15 April 2021 in Press Zone
Press Zone

Study from TalentPool finds the extent of the concerns and barriers faced by young people seeking jobs in their chosen profession.

Research into the behaviour of job seekers with up to five years’ experience by TalentPool, an AI-powered recruitment platform, revealed that COVID-19 has dramatically altered the employment landscape, making it much harder for young people to find work in their chosen profession.

TalentPool, which specialises in finding jobs for recent graduates after university, conducted research amongst its job seekers to find out how their job hunts have been going in a year of unprecedented change. The grant was funded through Innovate UK to respond to new and urgent needs in UK and global communities during and following the Covid-19 pandemic.

The results are startling, highlights include:

  • Overwhelmingly they report the job search being harder this year, 95% describing it so
  • Young job hunters have, on average, spent five months searching for a job
  • On average they have applied for 57 jobs with 18% reporting they have applied for over 80 jobs

However, behind the difficulty of finding a job now, young people are also worried about long-term implications as their options narrow. 78% of job seekers believe that coronavirus will negatively impact their long-term career progression. Many are being forced to look outside of their desired area of employment, 74% are applying for jobs that they would not previously have considered.

Apprehension about working from home

Young job hunters also highlighted concerns about working from home as they try to enter the world of work without having experience in the office environment.

  • 65% of respondents noted they have apprehensions about working from home
  • The primary reason cited being it will be harder to make friends with my colleagues (30%), closely followed by it will be harder to get help if I struggle on a task (24%)

Young people are blaming the government for not supporting them

There is growing anger amongst young people as they try to find work. Over three-quarters (78%) of respondents believe that the government is not doing enough to support them to find work.

Many are taking it upon themselves to learn new skills. 39% are doing free online courses in business, 30% are doing free online courses in programming and 30% are learning a new language. Over two-thirds agreed they’d benefit from free online training on office skills, office etiquette, and interview technique.

Sophie Hudson, General Manager at TalentPool said: “Behind the headlines, young people graduating from university are overwhelmingly struggling with finding jobs. Their options for work are narrowing all the time, and it’s taking them more time than ever before to find a job - over five months on average. Most worrying, over three-quarters think that the Coronavirus pandemic will negatively affect their long term careers.

“There’s a danger that these young people are permanently disadvantaged in their career by a combination of the time it takes to find work, and a lack of skills when they do find work. The fact is that they are not currently building those skills in a normal working environment.

“We need to support this new cohort of young people to ensure they have the skills they need for work to help us bounce back when we eventually see the back of this pandemic.”

TalentPool is launching the TalentPool Careers Academy, a free platform that supports job seekers to develop relevant skills, whether that be building their skills in excel or gaining a better understanding of general office etiquette and terminology.


About TalentPool

TalentPool is an AI-powered talent matching platform on a mission to change the way that companies find talent, and people find jobs. It matches candidates with 0-5 years’ experience with relevant roles at UK start-ups and SMEs. To date over 150,000 candidates and 1,000 companies have used the platform, including Monzo, Beauhurst, Deliveroo, iwoca and Hiscox.