2020 has undoubtedly been a very difficult year for most people. While older people have borne the brunt of health impacts from COVID-19, younger people have faced a crisis of their own: job losses and unemployment

Increasingly, news outlets are referring to children and young people as the ‘COVID generation’, characterising this age group as one that may be blighted by lost opportunities and diminished prospects for years to come. Younger workers are most likely to have lost jobs or be furloughed as a result of the pandemic, and of course so many young people have little to no experience in the job market at all – something that is likely to count against them when they are competing for jobs with increasing numbers of overqualified applicants. 

Nowadays, we hear many horror stories of job-hunting. We hear tales of 1000s of applicants competing for each position, of jobs advertised then pulled at the last minute as a result of local lockdowns. We know that graduate opportunities, ever elusive, are extremely thin on the ground.

So at Backbench, we are looking for writer contributions on this subject. We want to know how you see the job market in these troubled times. Do you see this situation as a temporary depression that can be overcome with the creation of new jobs, or do you feel the effects of what is happening now will be felt for decades to come? Have you found work harder to come by, or do you feel that new niches have opened up? We want to hear your thoughts – both philosophical and political, and we want to hear your stories – both personal and poignant. 

Some ideas for what you could write about include:

  • Personal experiences of the job hunt – stories of managing rejection and/or success. 
  • Practical advice on coping with job-hunting in tricky times, and on dealing with employment uncertainty.
  • Stories of whether your personal experiences with coronavirus or long-COVID have had an impact on your job search or workplace experiences.
  • Musings on how we can solve the jobs crisis.
  • Musings on whether the world of work as we know it is fit for the future.
  • Stories of innovation in tricky times.

We will be accepting submissions on an ongoing basis, so please do send your articles to editor@bbench.co.uk. Please do also email if you have any questions or comments about this campaign. 

However this pandemic is panning out for you, we hope to offer a platform for your voices to all be heard, and shine a light on this truly challenging crisis that affects so many of us. 

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