Last reviewed 19 August 2021

Employers are urged to create a million opportunities for young people (aged 16 to 30), through jobs, internships, work experience, apprenticeships, T-Levels or the Kickstart scheme, in order to help undo the damage done by the Covid pandemic.

The Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development (CIPD) launched its “One Million Chances” campaign as A level results day brought a fresh cohort of young people into what the CIPD has called the toughest labour market for a generation.

Openreach and Tesco are among the major companies that have already pledged their support for the initiative.

New survey data from the CIPD, based on responses from 2064 young people found that 43% of them feel the pandemic has harmed their long-term career prospects.

This may be because they have lost their job, or the industry or organisation they want to work in now has fewer openings, or because working from home has meant that they have missed out on networking and development opportunities.

The survey also found that 14% of young people not in work have applied for more than 30 jobs in the last three months, and over half of those not in work (51%) have not accessed any support services to help them look for work.

Nearly as many (44%) of those who are not currently in work, but looking for employment, attended university.

Senior skills adviser at the CIPD, Lizzie Crowley, said: “While Brexit and much talk of staff shortages in recent months may give the impression that it should be easy for young people to walk into a job, they are still often left at the back of the queue because employers tend to favour experienced workers”.

Employers can pledge their support for the campaign by using #1mChances and find out more by visiting www.cipd.co.uk/onemillionchances.

Comment from BrightHR’s CEO Alan Price

There are many government incentives in place to help young people find work, but perhaps these measures haven’t gone far enough.

As more attention is placed on this issue, employers may be enticed into offering opportunities to more young people, which will not only solve youth unemployment but also help employers fill skill gaps as they recover from the impact of the pandemic.