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Most Gen Z job seekers (nine in 10) in India are demotivated after seven in 10 of those surveyed didn’t get a positive response from employers after waiting for long periods during the second Covid wave, a LinkedIn report showed on Thursday.

A similar proportion (70 per cent) said their applications were either cancelled or delayed indefinitely and due to these setbacks, 90 per cent of Gen Z job applicants are left dejected.

The findings from the LinkedIn survey, titled ‘Career Aspirations Gen Z India’, done along with German research firm GfK, revealed that 72 per cent students and 65 per cent Gen Z were professionally impacted during the second wave of Covid-19 in the country.

“Employers must treat this as a distress call to urgently reimagine how they hire and develop talent to prevent young professionals from being left behind,” said Ashutosh Gupta, India Country Manager, LinkedIn.

“Skills are the currency for workforce transformation and the only viable solution to tackle the evolving workforce dilemma,” Gupta said in a statement.

The survey focused on insights of 1,000 Gen Z students and professionals in the age group of 18 to 24 years in the month of June.

When asked what they felt was the biggest barrier to get ahead in the pandemic, Gen Z Indians cited ‘fewer opportunities’, followed by ‘slower recruitment’ and ‘higher competition’ as the top three reasons affecting their job search.

Other barriers in pursuing job opportunities include lack of guidance for skilling and increased familial responsibilities due to Covid-19.

Nearly 72 per cent of students stated that internship opportunities had also greatly reduced during the pandemic’s second wave.

Among those who are currently employed, 32 per cent of Gen Z Indians experienced a pay cut while 25 per cent lost a job opening because the company cancelled the job role due to the pandemic.

In fact, the survey showed, 40 per cent of those with higher academic aspirations have postponed or cancelled their plans due to safety concerns, financial constraints, and travel restrictions.

“Such is the disruption that every fifth Gen Z Indian is now pivoting to a different learning programme than originally planned,” the report mentioned.

About 46 per cent of Gen Z Indians are now looking for mentors who can guide them towards the right skilling pathways and they are sharpening their focus on upgrading their skills to improve their self-confidence, widen career opportunities, and fast-track growth and productivity, the report noted.

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