- A third of business leaders said they believe the younger generation will play a particularly significant role in helping UK businesses recover from the coronavirus pandemic
- They believe the younger generations will bring energy and enthusiasm, aptitude for technology, and creativity
- Barclays LifeSkills encourages business leaders to boost opportunities and training for young people, with reverse mentoring one of the key ways businesses can benefit from fresh ideas
The coronavirus has had significant impacts on youth unemployment and opportunities in the workplace. Data from the Office of National Statistics (ONS) released earlier this month indicates that the unemployment level among those aged 16-24 has risen to 13.4 per cent. Young people are one of the hardest hit generations, with a number of entry-level roles in the retail, hospitality and leisure sectors impacted by the pandemic.
New research released by LifeSkills created by Barclays highlights that the younger generation has a critical role to play in the UK’s recovery from Covid-19. In the research, a third (34 per cent) of business leaders surveyed agreed that the younger generation in particular will play a significant role in helping businesses survive and thrive in a post-Covid-19 world, due to the fresh ideas and innovative perspective they often bring to the workplace. The most common reasons why they believe this are their energy and enthusiasm (51 per cent), aptitude for technology (46 per cent), and creativity (40 per cent).
When asked, nine in ten (91 per cent) of business leaders said they would be interested in learning from the younger generation or those entering the world of work. Over half (54 per cent) had heard of the concept of ‘reverse mentoring,’ when junior staff are paired with those more experienced to swap insights and add perspective on tackling business challenges.
Nearly one in ten (9 per cent) business leaders say that reverse mentoring is already in place in their organisation. The bank is keen to encourage more businesses to follow suit, as young people aged 16-24 said that greater knowledge and experience of the industry, they want to work in would boost their employability prospects (33%).
Kirstie Mackey OBE created and launched the LifeSkills programme in 2013. She is Head of LifeSkills and is passionate about supporting young people through skills training and development. An experienced mentor, she found the experience of being a mentee fascinating.
Gary McPake, 18, is in his first year at the University of Glasgow studying Maths and Physics. He discovered LifeSkills at a school fair and has found the money management and CV skills training particularly helpful. As Kirstie’s mentor Gary shared his perspective on business challenges and recognise the importance of communication and problem-solving skills in business.