The pandemic has hit most of us in many different ways, for younger people the impact has been dramatic. A survey has found that more than 40 per cent of young people aged 16-24 say they are putting their career or education plans on hold until the pandemic is over.

The research, commissioned by BAE Systems to mark National Apprenticeship Week, looks at the impact the pandemic has had on the ‘lost generation’ and their career aspirations.

New research commissioned by BAE systems, a provider of defence, aerospace and security solutions, has revealed the impact of the pandemic on young people and their careers – with over 40 per cent saying they plan to put their career or educational plans on hold until the pandemic has passed.

It’s clear that coronavirus has negatively impacted this group with over a fifth (21 per cent) saying they are now even more confused about their career path.

A further fifth (20 per cent) aged between 16-24 said the industry they wanted to work in has been deeply impacted by COVID-19.

When questioned about their motivation when it comes to a job, a main priority for young people was continuous learning and the chance to continue to develop their skills (31 per cent).

The top motivating factor for young people was a good salary with two-fifths of respondents (41 per cent) saying this was important to them.

However, they also said job stability and routine (30 per cent) and a career that is future-proofed (25 per cent) is as important to them.

In light of National Apprenticeship Week, almost two thirds (63 per cent) said they have or would consider an apprenticeship, of which, four in ten (41 per cent) cited gaining experience in the working world as a key driver.

Richard Hamer is Education and Skills Director at BAE Systems, he told us………

“It’s clear that currently, the path for young people looking to enter the job market is extremely tough. The ramifications of the Covid-19 pandemic are far reaching and have left students with greater uncertainty about their future. That’s why it’s important that those of us who can, must continue to create new opportunities for young people, working hand in hand with the Government and wider industry, to make available options known to young people.”

Richard Hamer – BAE

Apprenticeships play a significant role, providing people with the necessary skills to work in highly specialised and technical industries. Through on-the-job learning of practical skills, the opportunity to work alongside industry professionals and the provision of support at every step of their training, apprenticeships can offer an entry into a long-term and successful career.

We spoke to Richard Hamer and Kit Chew who is a final year engineering degree apprentice in air services.


There is some good here in South Wales. A housebuilder which is providing new homes near Radyr has teamed up with an electrical contractor to train 10 apprentice electricians at its new site.

CR Electrics, which is based in Gwaelod-y-Garth and works across South Wales, is supporting the apprentices at Bellway’s Rhiwlas at Plasdŵr, a new development of 120 homes off Llantrisant Road.

The apprentices are part of a scheme by work-based learning provider JTL, attending college once a week, with the other four days spent gaining work experience on site with CR Electrics.

Sales Manager for Bellway Wales, Daniel Shone told us…..

“At Bellway we offer a wide range of opportunities for apprentices as it enables us to take an active role in shaping the company’s future workforce.

“We are working with CR Electrics to ensure quality training for young people in the area at our Rhiwlas site. 

“Apprenticeships offer invaluable opportunities for those looking to learn new skills to go on and enjoy fulfilling careers, and we’re proud Bellway is part of the 5% Club, which comprises companies aiming to have five per cent of their workforce in ‘earn and learn’ positions.”

Cameron Keatley, an apprentice working on Bellway’s Rhiwlas at Plasdŵr development

Nathan Smith is the Managing Director of CR Electrics, he said………

“Apprenticeships are an excellent way forward for young people in the area, as the construction industry continues to grow every year.

This type of training provides a wage, work experience and learning through local colleges once a week. Once qualified, apprenticeships will allow young people to utilise skills they can further develop throughout their career and take different paths.

I went to university, and although I am happy with the route I took, looking back I think I should have gone straight into work placed learning. I don’t think schools pushed skilled apprenticeships enough when I was in school, and I’m not sure if they do these days. If 16-year-olds finishing school aren’t wanting to follow further education and they enjoy working with their hands I would definitely recommend this route!”

More information on careers at Bellway can be found HERE and for more information on CR Electrics, visit HERE.


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