Employers are twice as likely to say Brexit is bad for young workers

Monday 10 December 2018

YWT logoHalf of employers say Brexit will harm young people’s economic prospects in the short-term – twice the number that think it will be helpful, according to a YouGov survey for the charity Young Women’s Trust.  

Many employers also expressed concern about the longer-term financial impact on young people of the UK leaving the EU. 50 per cent of those with responsibility for hiring staff say that the economic implications of Brexit will negatively affect 18 to 30 year-olds in the long-term. This compares to 33 per cent who think it will have a positive effect. One in four (27 per cent) say they expect to employ fewer young people in three years’ time, following Britain’s exit from the European Union – a dramatic increase on last year's numbers.  

In a second survey for the charity of more than 4,000 young people, carried out by Populus Data Solutions, two in five of those aged 18 to 30 say Brexit is a cause of anxiety and 77 per cent express strong support for free trade with the EU. Of those surveyed, young Londoners are the most anxious about Brexit.  

Many, however, do not think Brexit will happen any time soon. One in ten young people think that the UK will still be in the EU by the time they are 40.  

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. 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 acts now.  

“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.” 

ENDS 

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 poll of those making employment decisions in 2018. The total sample size was 816 senior HR professionals / people managers. Fieldwork was undertaken between 12th April - 7th May 2018. The survey was carried out online. The figures have been weighted and are representative of the UK business population by size, sector and region. The survey shows that: 

  3. 51 per cent say that the economic implications of Brexit will negatively affect 18 to 30 year-olds in the short-term (compared to 49 per cent last year); 

  4. 50 per cent say that the economic implications of Brexit will negatively affect 18 to 30 year-olds in the long-term (compared to 46 per cent last year); and 

  5. 27 per cent, or one in four, say they expect to employ fewer young people in three years’ time (compared to 11 per cent, or one in ten, last year). 

  6. Young Women’s Trust commissioned YouGov to carry out the same survey last year, in 2017. 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. 2017’s survey showed that: 

  7. 15 per cent 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; 

  8. 49 per cent 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; and 

  9. 46 per cent believed it would have a negative long-term impact on young people, while 36 per cent were more optimistic. 

  10. ‘Short-term’ is defined as in the next one to three years and ‘long-term’ as three years and longer. 

  11. Young Women’s Trust research shows that young people are anxious about Brexit and 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 and 1,115 54-72 year-olds in England and Wales, with panel services provided by Populus Live, were surveyed between 29 June-16 July 2018. The survey shows that:  

  12. 38 per cent, or two in five, say that leaving EU makes them anxious; 

  13. 77 per cent say they strongly support free trade with EU; 

  14. 11 per cent, or one in ten, think UK will still be in EU by the time they’re 40; 

  15. young Londoners are the most anxious in the country about Brexit, with 44 per cent saying it makes them anxious compared to national average of 38 per cent; 

  16. four in ten young women (40 per cent) say it is a “real struggle” to make their cash last to the end of the month, compared to 29 per cent of young men. This rises to 58 per cent of women aged 25 to 30; 

  17. 28 per cent of young women and 21 per cent of young men say that their financial situation has got worse in the last 12 months; 

  18. 27 per cent of young women say their level of debt has got worse in the past year and one in four (23 per cent) say they are in debt “all of the time”; and 

  19. just five per cent of young women are currently debt free and 37 per cent don’t think they will be debt-free by the age of 40. 

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

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