A new survey has found that the vast majority of young people feel that they face discrimination in the workplace.

Only half (49 per cent) of adults aged under 25 feel confident they will have a secure job in the next five years, the poll by O2’s Think Big Programme found, while 72 per cent say there are not enough good quality jobs for young people.

Asked what the cause of this predicament is, 57 per cent said they believe employers discriminate against them because of their age, whilst 54 per cent blame poor advice and support in finding work.

As a result, almost one in four (23 per cent) young people feel depressed about their future.

To fix the problem, 81 per cent of those questioned said they think the government should incentivise employers to take on young people, while 73 per cent want businesses to provide more structured volunteering programmes to develop work skills.
“The message from young people is clear,” said Bill Eyres, head of the Think Big programme at O2.
“Given the very tough economic conditions and high levels of unemployment they face, they need support from government and organisations to help them take action.”

The research was undertaken as part of O2 Youth Matters – a long-term research project designed to gain a unique understanding and insight into the outlook, attitudes and opinions of young people.

Professor Tony Chapman, a youth and communities expert at Teesside University who has helped shape and develop the Youth Matters research project, said: “Young people are very aware of the many challenges that face them today.
“The survey results provide evidence to show just how worried young people are. It’s a warning shot to society, showing that steps must be taken to build the resilience of our young people.”

It follows recent figures from the Office for National Statistics revealed that youth employment rates in the UK have shrunk to their lowest level for 20 years.