Thursday, October 22, 2020

Despondent young Brits giving up their ambitions in pandemic

Blaming the young for surges could have the effect of making them give up, say top psychologists.

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At least 30% of British youth say they have given up hope of getting their dream job because of Covid-19.

The Prince’s Trust charity surveyed 2,000 people aged from 16 to 25 across the UK. The results show that the pandemic is destroying their confidence in the future.

Nearly 30% believe they will have to take any job they can get rather than building a career working at something they love.

The report shows that the pandemic has done more than disrupt vital education, training and job opportunities for young people – it has drained them of enthusiasm, especially those from poorer backgrounds.

Nearly half of respondents from poorer homes think their ambitions are impossible to achieve and that they will never succeed in life.

UK Prince’s Trust chief executive, Jonathan Townsend, said action is needed to prevent a lost generation not only for their own futures, but because, “Their ambitions and potential are essential to the long-term recovery of the economy.”

Last week Prime Minister Boris Johnson blamed the recent national surge in Covid-19 cases on young people. Cases are indeed highest among those in their 20s, followed by those in their 30s.

He warned young people to consider their behaviour “for the sake of the health of your parents and grandparents”.

Health Secretary Matt Hancock last week blamed the wave of new coronavirus infections on “socialising by people in their 20s and 30s”.

But 50 top psychologists have written a letter warning Hancock that blaming young people for spikes in Covid-19 cases could encourage them to dump social distancing entirely and give up on other essential measures.

In other words, shaming the young could have the complete opposite effect to the one intended, and trigger a wave of new cases among despondent youngsters.

The letter concluded, “We cannot create an ‘us’ and ‘them’ because we will all be weaker for it.”

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