Mapping Young London - A view into young Londoners after a year of lockdown

What you need to know:

Co-designed with young people, the report shows housing, employment, and mental health are the most important issues for young Londoners now, with COVID-19 and lockdown having a huge impact on these issues.

It proposes three key solutions all of which with young people's voices at the heart of creating policy including:

  • investment in existing and new high-quality spaces for young people;
  • a revitalised creative careers information service;
  • proactive measures to enable under-represented young people to access entry-level work schemes and support structures.

This report from Partnership for Young London, funded by us, looks at the impact that COVID-19 has had on young people in the city as well as the support and change that young Londoners want to see moving forward.

Young Londoners have faced one of the hardest years in recent memory, with the pandemic and lockdown impacting their education, their employment, their housing, and their mental health.

The report has been co-designed with young people, with a survey and focus groups that spoke to over 1,600 young Londoners aged 16-25 from a range of lived experiences, from refugees and migrants to those with experience of homelessness or insecure housing.

22 organisations from across the city have also contributed with their own research, or having involved young people that they work with. The report highlights the huge range of work taking place across London including solutions that will make a difference.

Key findings

  • Priorities - Housing, employment, and mental health are the most important issues for young Londoners now, with COVID-19 and lockdown having a huge impact on these issues.
  • COVID-19 and lockdown - Young people are overwhelming unhappy with the Government’s response to the pandemic, with three in four (76.2%) believing the response was bad or very bad.
  • Housing - Young Londoners are worried about not having a stable or safe space to stay (40.3%), with one in three having their housing situation impacted by COVID-19 and lockdown (31%).
  • Employment - Two thirds (66.6%) said that COVID-19 and lockdown has impacted their, or someone in their household’s employment, and half (51.4%) had said that their future employment plans had changed.
  • Mental and physical health - Young Londoners are facing a mental health crisis, with a third (34.4%) reporting wellbeing scores indicating depression, and a majority (75.5%) indicating poor wellbeing.
  • Education - Half (52.4%) of university students were dissatisfied or very dissatisfied with their University’s transition to digital learning, with many talking about feeling isolated, or trapped paying rent.
  • Safety and the police - A majority (83.8%) of those surveyed said that they believed that there is systematic racism in the police, with even more (88%) saying that they supported Black Lives Matter.
  • Discrimination - Just less than half (45.2%) of those surveyed said that they had experienced discrimination in London, while two thirds (74.4%) said they thought discrimination was common in London.
  • Fairness and finance - One in five (20.2%) of those surveyed said that their financial situation meant that they have to go without essentials.
  • Politics and the media - A third (32.3%) of those surveyed said they were at least satisfied with the job Sadiq Khan was doing as London.
  • Youth services - Nine out of ten (88%) of those surveyed said that they do not feel that they have a say in how youth services are set up and run.

Key recommendations

Partnership for Young London wants the Government, business and funding partners to invest in programmes that are proven to build skills, confidence and resilience in young people because, as opportunities open up again post COVID, they want young people to be fully ready for the world of work. For that to happen they propose:

  1. Investment in existing and new high-quality spaces for young people, where they can access support, learn skills and gain experience.
  2. A revitalised creative careers information service that includes advice on self-employment, entrepreneurship and skills development.
  3. Proactive measures to enable under-represented young people to access entry-level work schemes and support structures.
  4. To get this right, young people’s voices must be at the centre of government policy.