Ensuring Generation Z is not Lost to the Pandemic: Young Enterprise

As the economic picture becomes clearer following COVID-19, much attention has focused on the impact the crisis will have on the newest entrants to the world of work: Generation Z (16-24). This group is widely expected to bear the worst impact of workplace shifts due to COVID-19, leaving education with fewer opportunities and career progression narrowing due to the crisis.

However, to overlook these candidates now is to overlook the skills that all organisations will need more of to stay relevant in the future. Let’s not forget this generation already has the greatest understanding of social media platforms and are digital natives to the tools that are so critical to the shifts we’ve seen in working practices as a result of the health crisis.

We recently spoke to Young Enterprise CEO Sharon Davies to hear more about this generation, what the organisation is trying to achieve, and the skills these workers can bring to the table:

Tell us a little about Young Enterprise – what’s it trying to achieve in the UK?

We want to help young people develop the entrepreneurial skills to succeed in the workplace. We want to create better employment prospects for young people and improve their social mobility. Finally, we want to improve financial literacy levels and forge financial mindsets that will help them in the business world.

What observations have you made about this generation?

They are entrepreneurial, as well as socially and digitally driven. From our experience, it is clear we have one of the most entrepreneurial generations to date – one that is also looking for work that provides a positive social impact. They are also resolute digital natives. Their vision of the world is shaped by the internet, and this is where their business intuition lies, too.

What can employers do to attract this new workforce?

Think hard on the skills needed to succeed in the role they advertise, and then target those people. Great academic qualifications won’t always guarantee success. Look to young people with real life experience, and whose values align with your organisation’s.


To learn more about Young Enterprise and their work, please visit their website. You can also find more insights on the next generation of talent in ManpowerGroup’s Human Age newspaper.