COVID-19 has hit the prospects of young people especially hard. Education has been interrupted, younger people are more likely to have been made unemployed and new graduates are saddled with debt and emerging into a world where quality jobs are scarce and economic activity is still unevenly distributed across the UK. As well as the direct economic impact on jobs and earnings there is also the adverse impact on long-term wellbeing and mental health.
At the same time, the economy is changing fast and COVID-19 has accelerated many pre-existing trends such as the shift to ecommerce and remote working. This new economy creates very visible near-term downsides with the loss of old jobs and ways of working but it also creates new and exciting long-term opportunities. Economic change is nothing new but the pace of economic change today is unprecedented.
Today‚’s young people are the future and if we can‚’t provide them with the opportunities that previous generations have enjoyed then we will fail as a country. The challenge is for us to accelerate these new opportunities, increase awareness of the new economy and enable our young people and the country to thrive in the decades to come.