A report from The Prince’s Trust and LADbible Group suggests that the younger generation do not feel able to chase their dream jobs, citing a lack of opportunity (36 per cent) as the number one obstacle. Other factors that are holding young people from having a dream job are money (35 per cent), lack of self-confidence (32 per cent), lack of experience (33 per cent) and the increased cost-of-living (30 per cent).

The top three characteristics Gen Z look for in a “dream job” are doing something that makes them happy (64 per cent), something they enjoy (60 per cent) and feeling financially secure (49 per cent). Working part time (10 per cent), running their own business (20 per cent) and working remotely (24 per cent) were the lowest priorities when thinking about a “dream job”. Despite this, only 7 per cent of respondents say they have and are currently in their dream job.

Overall, the younger generation is only planning for the short term, against the backdrop of economic uncertainty. 60 per cent of young people say they need to prioritise any job over their dream job at the moment, and 40 per cent have changed their career plans in the past year. More than half (57 per cent) say they have lowered their long-term aspirations over the past two years, suggesting young people are having to become more pragmatic in what they prioritise when it comes to their working lives.

The cost of living (57 per cent), the UK economy (44 per cent) and their mental health (39 per cent) are cited as having the biggest impact on young people’s future plans. Half of those surveyed say they are not planning beyond the next six months. When asked about their long-term life goals, maintaining good physical and mental health, and living happily were amongst the top answers.

Lindsey Wright, Head of Future Sectors at The Prince’s Trust said: “In the current economic climate, young people are prioritising a job that provides financial stability, as the cost of living rises and long-term planning feels out of reach for so many.

“This report shows that although aspirations and expectations are being lowered among this generation of young people, the dream job is not being abandoned but being redefined. It is absolutely crucial that we continue to support young people, particularly those who are already facing disadvantage, to achieve their potential. At The Prince’s Trust, our free courses offer support and guidance that help young people gain the skills and confidence they need to thrive in work.”

Emily Driscoll, Head of Data, Intelligence & Planning at LADBible Group, said: “This research offers an in depth look at how younger people are planning their careers, and the impact the cost-of-living crisis is having not only on the now but on young people’s futures and aspirations. We are proud to have partnered with The Prince’s Trust on this and to shine a light on the barriers facing young people, and to highlight what support is on offer.”


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