Elizabeth Bray: Struggling to plan a career with recession looming

With many consumers self isolating, or even suffering with this illness, will high streets cease to

With many consumers self isolating, or even suffering with this illness, will high streets cease to exist? - Credit: Getty Images/iStockphoto

Life, especially under current circumstances, seems to be about making light of dark situations.

Elizabeth Bray, columnist for the Torbay Weekly

Elizabeth Bray, columnist for the Torbay Weekly - Credit: Archant

Always looking for the bright side. Having that one thing to look forward to, that one thing that you wish on to just get through a terrible working week.

This may simply be an Indian takeaway and a facemask on a Friday night with just the company of your pet, or plans to watch an ABBA tribute band at the Spinning Wheel, or even blissfully enjoying the idea of having no plans whatsoever.

Lately, for all of us, this has been the excitement of hairdressers, pubs, and restaurants reopening and for many A-level students at South Devon College, it is the prospects of starting our university applications.

Deciding our futures means we must analyse all aspects, all options that are not even a possibility now.

With the already limited employment sectors/options in Torbay, especially for the young people accessing higher education, the inevitable, dawning recession will only make this already exasperatingly stressful period, more so.

The reopening of hairdressers, pubs and restaurants can be argued to have been premature: it was undoubtedly an attempt to cushion the impact of the economic situation, despite the increasing positive cases of the virus.

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However, last week I took the train to Exeter Central, on a Monday, at midday in peak-season July, and I had an entire carriage to myself: at one point, I had an entire restaurant to myself too.

Why is this? England is predominately known for its ageing population, more so Devon, and they play a key component in the English economy – it relies on the older generation as consumers.

In Torbay, the latest population estimates show we are home to 134,300 people and 52 per cent of this are aged 45 and over. The national average is 42 per cent.

On the other end of the spectrum, 27 per cent of the residents of Torbay are aged between 20 and 44. This is seven per cent below the national average: it is even lower for those aged younger.

This highlights how unproportionable the Bay is to all other 649 constituencies and places us at an even unfair position regarding support for our young people as well as, shows us to be an anomaly in regard to recovering from the pandemic.

Covid-19 notably effects the older generation more so than those who are planning their future careers, and so it can be questioned will the economic situation ever recover in Torbay?

With many consumers self isolating, or even suffering with this illness, will high streets cease to exist?

Even an ITV news headline reads 'Torbay could be one of the country's worst affected areas by the coronavirus crisis report reveals'.

Many of us students will struggle to plan for a successful career when there is an impending recession.

We are told higher education is the best route for a well-paying job but employment was not guaranteed after completing a three-year degree at a top university during a booming economy, and it certainly will not be at the beginning of economic distress.

Typically, when a young person 'talks politics' many adults may not think us as credible and you, reading this, may question whether I know what a recession even is.

Despite us making around 27 per cent of the population in Torbay, we are nonetheless worried about our future and worry about a Government that has made little to no significant advancement in aiding young people during and after university: in the last election, if only 18 to 24 year olds had voted, the Tories would not have won a single seat in Parliament.

When will we become a priority?