Whilst reports from outlets such as The Telegraph reported that the UK – along with many other economies around the world – is set to enter a deep recession, many employees are worried about the effect that this may have on their careers and the jobs market.
New evidence sourced by the Institute of Student Employees (ISE) has found that school-leavers and graduates looking to enter the market for the first time this year will face the hardest struggle.
The report stated that young professionals will suffer the consequences of a mass move by many firms to slash entry-level jobs by nearly a quarter as a direct response to the fallout from COVID-19. All jobs considered to be graduate-level will see a decline of around 23%, owing to the ‘volatile’ jobs market forecast – with a further 15% shrinkage expected for 2021.
And whilst university-level applicants look set to take a deep hit from the swiftly changing market, all young workers may find it harder to secure new positions, according to the ISE forecasts.
Employers are seeking 32% fewer candidates for apprentice and school-leaver programmes than originally stated for 2020, whilst internships are set to slump by 40%.
Even those who currently have a pending job offer may find themselves in uncertain territory as one in seven employers have admitted that they have withdrawn jobs from their teams, and a further 14% are considering doing so as the pandemic progresses. Almost one third (31%) are actively delaying start dates, whilst more than half are asking new employees to go through induction processes entirely remotely.
“There is no denying that this will be a challenging year for young people entering the labour market. Some employers are backing graduates over non-graduates and others have found it too difficult to start new apprenticeships, which means that school-leavers will be among the hardest hit by the crisis,” Stephen Sherwood, Chief Executive of the ISE recently told The Guardian.
However, Sherwood did offer some hope to those actively seeking first time employment. He added: “This doesn’t mean that students should assume the jobs market is dead.
“Many employers are recruiting and history tells us that we still see unfilled vacancies in a downturn. Switching off is the worst thing students can do. It will only hinder their prospects further when the upturn comes and the jobs market recovers,” he added.