This research project will address the UK's need for robust evidence on the pandemic's consequences for youth employment, learning and wellbeing.
The project will address social inequalities in the pandemic’s impact, and assess varying prospects for recovery among places, socio-economic groups and jobs.
It will also examine potential mechanisms to avoid long-term 'scarring' effects for careers and lifetime earnings.
This research is funded by the Economic and Social Research Council (ESRC), grant number ES/V01577X/1. The project will run for 18 months from 5 November 2020 until 4 May 2022.
Young people's employment prospects are hit hard by the pandemic's unfolding economic consequences. Workers aged 16-24 were more than twice as likely to work in 'lockdown' industries, and about three times more likely to be in potentially precarious employment than workers above 25.
Exiting research shows that up to a third of 18-24-year-olds have already lost their job or have been furloughed. Workers under 30 have also seen their hours cut harder and express higher job insecurity than prime-aged workers.
Prolonged and repeated unemployment and situations of not in education, employment, or training (NEET) can 'scar' youth's future career prospects and earnings. But education, work-related skills training, future planning and active employment support can help to insulate against scaring effects.
This research will illuminate what works to help young people to maintain employment, get back to work, and develop productive skills.
Our primary objectives are:
- to develop robust and timely intelligence on youth economic activity, psychosocial wellbeing, skills development and career outlooks
- to provide new evidence on potential pathways to mitigate the long-term scarring effects from the pandemic on youth’s careers and lifetime earnings through skill development and career readiness
- to influence public debate through regular publications activities across a range of communications platform to attract media interest
- to develop impact with stakeholders and policymakers to inform and influence policy and practice.
Using existing and new data, we will:
- examine successful transitions from school into jobs and post-18 education
- investigate the relationship of future optimism and career planning with youth wellbeing
- analyse the consequences of the pandemic on internship provision and training
- track local employment support provision and careers education initiatives.
To contextualise British trends and to explore the potential for policy programmes, we will compare changes in youths' job market transitions and career planning in the UK, with detailed findings for Germany and broader trends in Canada and Ireland.
To address our research questions, we will commission a survey of young adults in Britain, conduct interviews with local labour market stakeholders and young people, and analyse a range of secondary quantitative data sources.
- Golo Henseke, UCL Institute of Education
- Hans Dietrich, IAB Institute for Employment Research
- Andy Green, UCL Institute of Education
- Francis Green, UCL Institute of Education
- Ingrid Schoon, UCL Institute of Education
- Rachel Wilde, UCL Institute of Education
- Evidence and analyses
- The Darkest Hour? New Evidence of the Learning Experience, Well-being, and expectations of youth during the third national lockdown (PDF, 0.8MB). YEAH Briefing Paper #1. 1 April 2021
- Tracking Youth Employment Support Initiatives during COVID. LLAKES Blog. 31 March 2021.
- Towards an Integrative Taxonomy of Social-Emotional Competences, Frontiers in Psychology, 11 Mar 2021
- Young people’s perceptions of the short, medium, long-term consequences of the COVID-19 crisis (YouTube video), Emerging Minds, 3 Mar 2021.
- How to support young people against the risk of becoming NEET?, Rural NEET Youth Observatory, 27 Jan 2021.
- Will Covid-19 vaccines be enough to get the economy back on track, curb youth unemployment, and mitigate mental health effects?, IOE blog, 12 Jan 2021.
- CGY Conversations with... Dr Golo Henseke, UCL Centre for Global Youth, 17 Dec 2020.
- How to support young people in their school-to-work transitions in times of global crisis, Understanding Inequalities, 10 Dec 2020.