Half of employers say Brexit will leave young people worse off

Wednesday 25 October 2017

Half of employers say Brexit will leave young people worse off

 Half of employers say Brexit will have a negative impact on young people, according to a YouGov survey for the charity Young Women’s Trust.

49 per cent of the 800 HR decision-makers polled said that the economic implications of Brexit would negatively affect people aged 18 to 30 in the short-term, compared to 25 per cent who thought it would have a positive impact. 46 per cent believed it would have a negative long-term impact too, while 36 per cent were more optimistic.

A second survey for the charity of more than 4,000 young people, carried out by Populus Data Solutions, found that 42 per cent of those aged 16 to 30 said Brexit was a cause of anxiety.

The results show a regional divide in opinion. Employers in devolved nations and the south of England are much less positive about the short-term impact of Brexit on young people than those in the Midlands and the north of England.

Brexit table

The survey also shows that public sector employers are more worried about the impact of leaving the EU on young people than those in the private sector; 57 per cent of HR decision-makers in the public sector thought it would have a negative impact in the next three years, compared to 45 per cent in the private sector.

Young Women’s Trust chief executive Dr Carole Easton OBE said:

“Employers and young people alike tell us they are worried about young people’s prospects post-Brexit.

“Young people – and young women especially – are already struggling with low pay and increasing prices in the shops. We are finding that they are increasingly relying on food banks and falling into debt – and the worry is that this could get worse unless the government takes action.

“Much more needs to be done to improve young people’s prospects. This means giving them the right skills and support to find jobs, ensuring decent, flexible jobs are available, and paying a proper living wage that doesn’t discriminate against age. This would benefit businesses and the economy too.”

15 per cent of employers said they would be employing more young people in three years’ time as a result of Britain leaving the EU, compared to 11 per cent who said they would be employing fewer. 


Notes to editor:

  1. Young Women’s Trust supports and represents women aged 16-30 trapped by low or no pay and facing a life of poverty. The charity provides services and runs campaigns to make sure that the talents of young women don't go to waste.
  2. Young Women’s Trust commissioned YouGov to carry out a survey of HR decision-makers. All figures, unless otherwise stated, are from YouGov Plc. The total sample size was 800 employees with HR decision-making responsibility. The fieldwork was undertaken between 5th April and 3rd May 2017. The survey was carried out online. The figures have been weighted and are representative of the UK business population by sector and size.
  3. ‘Young people’ here are defined as aged 18-30.
  4. ‘Short-term’ is defined as in the next one to three years and ‘long-term’ as three years and longer.
  5. Employers in the education, retail and health sectors were most likely to say that Brexit would have a negative impact on young people; 63 per cent, 53 per cent and 50 per cent respectively said it would have a short-term negative impact and 52 per cent, 55 per cent and 53 per cent long-term.
  6. Young Women’s Trust research shows that young women are struggling financially. The charity commissioned Populus Data Solutions to conduct a survey of young people. A representative sample of 4,010 18-30 year-olds in England and Wales, from the Populus Live Online Panel, were surveyed between 4 and 14 July 2017. The survey found that:
  • an estimated five million young people are struggling to make ends meet;
  • 32 per cent of young people feel more anxious than this time last year (34 per cent of young women and 29 per cent of young men);
  • 42 per cent put their anxiety down to Brexit, 41 per cent down to worries about being able to afford to buy a home and 37 per cent down to their current financial situation; just 14 per cent cite social media as a cause;
  • 47 per cent feel worried for the future (52 per cent young women and 42 per cent of young men);
  • 41 per cent said it was a real struggle to make their cash last to the end of the month, compared to 28 per cent of young men; and
  • 48 per cent of young women – nearly half – said it would be a big financial problem if they had to replace a large item such as a fridge or a washing machine this year, compared to 39 per cent of young men.

For more information or to speak to a young woman who is affected, please contact Bex Bailey on 07963018281 or bex.bailey@youngwomenstrust.org.