More than a third of young people in the U.K. believe they need to give up on hopes of getting their dream job in order to get "any job" as a result of the coronavirus pandemic, research has found.
Two in five young people expected to "never have a job I really love," which rose to more than half for those from poorer backgrounds.
These were the findings of a poll of 2,000 16-25 year-olds in the U.K., conducted by market researcher Censuswide on behalf of Prince Charles' youth charity The Prince's Trust earlier this month.
Young people have been disproportionately affected by the economic fallout of the pandemic in terms of unemployment and disruption to education or training.
Earlier this month, the U.K.'s Office for National Statistics highlighted a large increase in youth unemployment in the second quarter of year. Meanwhile, the United Nations' International Labor Organization reported last month that some 42% of young people around the world, who were still working during the pandemic, had lost income due to the crisis.
And according to The Prince's Trust survey, nearly three in five of the young people it polled feared having no job. Nearly half of those not in education, employment or training worried they would never get a job.
More than two in five young Britons believed their future goals now seemed "impossible to achieve," rising to half of the under-25s surveyed from poorer backgrounds. Those deemed to be from poorer backgrounds were respondents who stated they had free school meals while growing up.
Nearly two-fifths of under-25s thought that they would "never succeed in life," increasing to almost half of young people polled from poorer homes.
Another 36% of young people in the U.K. had "lost hope" overall for the future.
In the nearer-term, 39% of under-25s in the U.K. said they had given up on their aspirations for the year ahead.
Jonathan Townsend, U.K. CEO of The Prince's Trust, said the findings showed that the pandemic had "done more than disrupt vital education, training and job opportunities for young people."
"It has eroded their confidence in their future, to a point where some feel they won't ever be able to succeed in life," he stated.
This "aspiration gap" was hitting those from disadvantaged backgrounds the hardest, he added.
"It is truly a responsibility for all of us to ensure the odds don't stay stacked against these young people," Townsend argued.
"We must support them to upskill, retrain and access job opportunities, or else we risk losing their ambition and potential to long-term unemployment — to the detriment of their future and to the recovery of our economy," he warned.