The COVID-19 pandemic has led to a crisis in the employment sector and the youth are the most affected. The DHL Goteach youth survey in Asia (carried out by the DPDHL Group) reports that around 90% of youth are "anxious" or "very anxious" about securing a job after completing their education, even though they believe that they are ready to enter the job market. It's an ironic finding in conjunction with today's emphasis on skilling and the recent World Youth Skills Day on 15 July.
Key findings of the study
Top considerations in securing a job: learning opportunities and compensation
Despite the awareness that the corona crisis has impacted their job market, 70% of Asian youth expect to land a job in less than six months upon completing their education. One of their key considerations is the opportunity to learn and be challenged. This is closely followed by job security, salary and benefits.
Key enablers to finding a job: recommendations and internships
38% feel that an internship is the best way to land a job. This study captured the responses of age groups 15 years and above, and most believe that a teacher’s recommendation is a close second to an internship. Online job portals, though in plenty, is the least preferred method of reaching out for jobs.
Most preferred industries: the 'recession-proof'
The youth is focused on recession proof industries or rather essential industries such as healthcare and education. This focus is a direct consequence of the pandemic. Interestingly, even within the said industries, entrepreneurship is a top pick for first jobs.
Susanne Novotny, Corporate Partnership Manager at SOS Children's Villages (one of DHL’s partner organisations) echoed this finding. "Young people just entering the workforce have witnessed an unprecedented crisis that would have influenced their view of the working world," she said. "It's therefore not surprising that most felt that the healthcare industry is somewhat recession-proof but equally, most young people might have preferred to start their own business to have better control over their own lives, careers and destiny."
Most important skills to land a job: interpersonal and communication skills
Interpersonal and language skills top the survey. There is a need here for mentorship programs that are designed to equip the youth with a broad range of knowledge and skills, essential to fulfill their potential in a rapidly changing world.
Christoph Selig, Vice-President, sustainability communications and programs, DPDHL Group, said that despite the pandemic receding in these parts of the world, the insecurity is natural since most economies in the region continue to battle different waves of Covid-19. "Whilst this inevitably impacts the hiring roadmap for businesses across multiple industries, it is heartening to see our youth recognising the challenges ahead, but yet remain optimistic about their own aptitude and abilities to secure a job upon completing their education," he said.