Over half of Gen Z cite anxiety as employment barrier

Coca-Cola European Partners (CCEP) and UK Youth have announced a national programme to equip young people with confidence, skills and experience following research revealing that over half of 16-25 year-olds cite anxiety as the key barrier to gaining employment.

The Reach Up programme aims to help over half (55 per cent) of 16-25 year-olds that believe anxiety is a major barrier to securing employment. A third (31 per cent) of this age group said they had experienced anxiety and depression when job hunting and it had hindered their search.

The research was commissioned to mark the completion of the first pilot phase in the Reach Up programme, an initiative aimed at empowering young people furthest from the job market and equipping them with the skills they need to secure employment.

Despite the barriers’ impact on Generation Z’s ability to secure employment, the research revealed, positively, that almost a third (30 per cent) of 16-25 year-olds confirmed they found employment in less than one month after leaving education. However, despite record levels of employment in the UK and year-on-year improvements in the number of NEET young people (not in employment, education or training), almost one in four (22 per cent) revealed it has taken them at least a year to find a job.

Aligning with the focal areas of the research, CCEP & UK Youth’s tailored Reach Up programme was created to equip young people with skills to ready them for the workplace. The Reach Up programme aims to address some of the key issues unearthed by the research via a range of activities. These include workshops delivered by youth workers and CCEP volunteers; networking masterclasses; mock interviews; and real-life work experience through spending a day in the life of the CCEP’s field sales team and running their own community café. Following the completion of the pilot programme, 80 per cent of the group reported an increase in confidence and 94 per cent said they had received the knowledge they needed to find a job.

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