A new report commissioned by HM Lord-Lieutenant of Hertfordshire, Robert Voss CBE CStJ, highlights the impact COVID-19 has had on young people over the past 12 months.
A series of focus groups was set up by the Lieutenancy following a meeting called by the Lord-Lieutenant on 15th December 2020, involving local community leaders to discuss the post-pandemic prospects of young people in Hertfordshire. The purpose was to hear directly from young people about the impact of COVID-19 on their lives and future aspirations.
19 groups from 11 organisations participated in virtual sessions between 3 February to 19 March 2021. Sixth formers from state secondary schools and colleges, cadets and one group from The Prince’s Trust Hertfordshire Team Programme took part in group sessions of five to seven students of mixed gender and ability.
Each group was asked six questions relating to how their studies, mental health and aspirations for the future had been affected by the pandemic. Young people were encouraged to speak openly about their feelings, hopes and fears. Their responses, captured in the below report by Deputy Lieutenants Jo Connell and Marion Brown, demonstrate the impact the pandemic has had on all aspects of their lives.
Key findings include:
The report also asks questions to all those who have a stake in young people’s welfare and education to see what more can be done to provide support.
Robert Voss CBE CStJ, HM Lord–Lieutenant of Hertfordshire, said: “This is just the start of a vital countywide conversation between our young people, schools, colleges, universities, youth organisations and employers. By listening to the voice of youth and working together, we can find out how best to support and empower them to go on to lead fulfilling, productive lives in the future.
“The findings will also be taken forward by the Chambers of Commerce and other business representative organisations, with a view to strengthening links between local businesses and schools, colleges and the university to ensure the messaging and signposting around opportunities for young people in Hertfordshire is consistent and proactively communicated.”
Hertfordshire LEP was one of the organisations that took part in the Young Persons’ Group convened by the Lord-Lieutenant. Over the past decade, the LEP has partnered with higher and further education to create the foundations for growth for our current and future workforce. Our latest campaign aims to grow the skills that Hertfordshire needs and create more employment opportunities.
Win £3,000 for your school or youth group!
The Lord-Lieutenant’s report highlights that, now more than ever, young people need to know where to access information to help make decisions about their future career paths, training and skills development options.
Hertfordshire Opportunities Portal (HOP), powered by Hertfordshire LEP, is the premier gateway in Hertfordshire connecting young people to local employment, apprenticeship and training opportunities.
To help spread the word about this fantastic free resource, Hertfordshire LEP is offering £3,000 to the school or youth group that registers the most young people, their parents and carers on HOP.
The organisation with the most individual registrations on HOP by 9th July 2021 will be awarded a prize of £3,000 to go towards careers education resources. The prize will be presented to the winning school or youth group on 15th July by HM Lord-Lieutenant of Hertfordshire, Robert Voss CBE CStJ.
Adrian Hawkins OBE, Chair of Hertfordshire LEP's Skills & Employment Board, said: “We are delighted to deliver this important report on behalf of HM Lord-Lieutenant of Hertfordshire. It gives us a snapshot into the very real hopes and fears of this generation and presents an opportunity to signpost young people to available sources of advice and support. That is why we are running this competition. I would like to thank the Lord-Lieutenant for his ongoing support in helping to raise awareness of this portal. Where there is HOP, there is HOPE!”
The competition is open to all state secondary schools and youth groups with students or individuals registered on the HOP website (hopinto.co.uk). The judge’s decision is final. The prize must go towards career education resources. Closing date for entries is 9th July 2021.
By listening to the voice of youth and working together, we can find out how best to support and empower them to go on to lead fulfilling, productive lives in the future.