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Just 26% of students optimistic about their career prospects

Over three quarters of employers (76%) are continuing to recruit or particularly recruit young talent, despite the COVID-19 crisis, according to research from JobTeaser. The company’s report, ‘Employment, Recruitment, and the Realities of COVID-19: Are young people weathering the crisis?’, which surveyed 7,041 young people aged 18 to 27, 237 companies, and 175 Career Services in Higher Education institutions across 15 countries, found that just 24% have stopped hiring all together.

Half (50%), however, stated that current and September internship and apprenticeship programmes will be postponed. A quarter (24%) have reported they will continue with these online.

Almost all higher education institutions (94%) believe that this crisis will impact, or at least partially impact, student employment. For half (49%), their biggest priority now is helping students to find graduate jobs, work placements and internships.

Students also see this as a challenge, with 63% citing finding a job as their biggest challenge. Only a quarter (26%) of students and recent graduates are optimistic about their career prospects and 28% state that they have already changed their future career choices. Students (83%) are using this time to research jobs and companies, with 38% reporting spending more time doing this now than before the rise of COVID-19.

Michelle Craig, marketing manager, EMEA at JobTeaser commented, “This research shows us that despite uncertainty students are taking a proactive approach to their career preparations and are even more engaged than pre-COVID-19. However, there is a gap between student and employer strategies. As students proactively search for short term solutions to finding work, many employers are still navigating the situation and revising their recruitment activities, which may not be clear to universities and their students.”

Jérémy Lamri, director of research and innovation at JobTeaser and report contributor, added, “Here we can draw upon learnings from the 2008 recession when many companies stopped their employer branding efforts with young people. It took years to rebuild relationships with students and recent graduates. It highlights the importance of companies maintaining communication via employer branded content online in relation to the current situation, changes to processes, career guidance, and skill development opportunities that will reassure and support students whilst maintaining their talent pool, even if they are unable to recruit.”

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