THE coronavirus pandemic has caused a “crisis of confidence” among young people in how they view their skills and preparedness for work, new research shows.

The Prince’s Trust is today highlighting the impact of the pandemic on young people’s self-esteem and confidence in their future career and skills for work.

The research – conducted by Censuswide, which surveyed 2007 16 to 25-year-olds in the UK – finds that 25% of young Scots worry they do not have the skills for the jobs that are available to them, while 50% feel that over the course of the pandemic, they have lost confidence in their ability “to do the job they are trained to do”.

Only 16% of young people in Scotland say they feel confident in their future career, and just 20% feel like they have “the confidence to go after the job they want”.

The findings of the report suggest that, across the UK, young people whose employment has been unstable – for example after spending time out of work during the pandemic – are more likely to report poor mental health.

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In Scotland, 59% agree they’ve “lost confidence in themselves” as a result of the pandemic and 46% of young people agree they don’t know how they’ll get their life “back on track”.

Similarly, 26% say the unstable jobs market makes them fearful of their future, with 60% agreeing that not being able to find a job makes them feel anxious.

Craig Wilson, senior head of service delivery for Scotland at The Prince’s Trust, said: “Today’s research shows that without increased support for young people in the UK, the legacy of the pandemic will be a substantial crisis of confidence in our future workforce.

“Young people have faced significant disruption to their employment and education, at a time when our economy and jobs market is in flux. As we look forward into 2022, there is still a huge amount to do to restore young people’s confidence and rebuild the skills they need for the jobs available now and the jobs of the future.

“Every day at The Prince’s Trust, we meet talented young people looking for opportunities to work and train. It is in all of our interests to support the younger generation into sustainable jobs, to help rebuild our economy.”

Despite the uncertainty felt among young Scottish people about their future careers, the report finds 42% agree that the time to retrain and gain new skills has made them feel Optimistic about their future.

In addition, 56% agree that as a result of the pandemic they are more grateful now for the life they have.