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Nearly half of young people say they do not feel confident speaking about themselves in a job interview, Barclays LifeSkills research reveals

  • Former Arsenal star turned broadcaster Ian Wright, Barclays Football ambassador, teams up with Barclays LifeSkills for its 10th anniversary to help young people recognise their core transferable skills as they enter the workforce.
  • New research from LifeSkills shows almost half of people aged 16 to 23 said they do not feel confident speaking about themselves in job interviews despite having a wealth of skills valued by employers.
  • Ian Wright took part in a Barclays LifeSkills workshop at Altrincham College in Manchester this week.

To celebrate its 10th anniversary, and reaching the milestone of helping 18 million people, Barclays LifeSkills invited Ian Wright to share his own experience of changing careers with young people who will soon be looking to enter the world of work.

The former Arsenal star turned broadcaster, and Barclays Football Ambassador, joined a LifeSkills workshop titled ‘Kickstart Your Career’ at Altrincham College, Manchester, with sixth-form students on Monday.

The event took place as new research from LifeSkills shows that almost half of young people (45 per cent) do not feel confident speaking about themselves in job interviews, with many admitting to not recognising what they can offer potential employers. Forty-six per cent said that a clearer understanding of what their core transferable skills are would have helped them with their nerves.

Nine out of 10 (94) people surveyed said that they participate in extracurricular activities such as sports, theatre groups, computer gaming or creating content for social media, which all lend themselves to qualities such as leadership, aiming high, problem solving, communication, adaptability, resilience, and creativity. Despite this, more than a fifth (23 per cent) do not see them as desirable to employers, which is where Barclays LifeSkills can help.

LifeSkills aims to equip young people with the skills and experience needed to successfully transition from education to work. A key element of the programme is workshops such as ‘Kickstart Your Career’ in schools and colleges in communities around the UK, delivered by partner The Talent Foundry.

Kirstie Mackey OBE, Head of LifeSkills at Barclays, said: “Our research shows a real need for better understanding around skillset. Feedback from the ‘Kickstart Your Career’ day has shown how important workshops like these are in proving to young people that they already have what they need to be successful.

“Our aim has been to empower the future workforce to feel assured in their skills when starting out in their careers, which we’re glad to have been successful in throughout the last 10 years. In an ever-changing job market, jobseekers need to be resilient and adaptable, seeing where their skills lie to ensure they’re placing their best foot forward.”

Ian wright has partnered with LifeSkills for its 10th anniversary to inspire young people to recognise their strengths.

Ian Wright, Barclays Football Ambassador, said: “I got rejected a lot when I was trying to get my break into professional football. It does knock your confidence, but it also makes you realise how hard you have to work to make it as a professional, and that stays with you no matter what your job is.

“As a player, the pressure to be on top form and to score in every game was always there, but it’s what we trained for, and what our coaches and managers prepared us to do every time we went out on the training pitch. I knew how important it was to aim high and perform well, but we were a team, too, so we also wanted to do well for each other.

“Then when I retired from playing, I went straight into TV. But I knew nothing about broadcasting. I had to adapt quickly and surround myself with people who knew a lot more than I did and who were prepared to help me, like my coaches always had. Preparation was key for me, and it still is now.

LifeSkills offers a range of resources for young people to help them kick off their careers by developing the skills essential to move forward in today’s evolving workplace.  For more information about Barclays LifeSkills visit


The research was conducted by Censuswide with 2,008 respondents 16-23 between 14.02.23 to 16.02 23. Censuswide abide by and employ members of the Market Research Society which is based on the ESOMAR principles and are members of The British Polling Council.

About Barclays
Barclays is a British universal bank. We are diversified by business, by different types of customer and client, and geography. Our businesses include consumer banking and payments operations around the world, as well as a top-tier, full service, global corporate and investment bank, all of which are supported by our service company which provides technology, operations, and functional services across the Group.

For further information about Barclays, please visit our website

About Barclays LifeSkills

Since 2013, the Barclays LifeSkills programme has helped over 18 million people to build the knowledge, core transferable skills, and confidence they need to get into or progress in work, whether that’s a young person preparing for their first job, or someone wanting to make changes in their career or even start their own business. The programme provides free lesson plans, modules, and interactive tools to support educators with young people or adult learners, plus access to online tools and resources for independent learners and families.

For further information, please visit

About Barclays Community Football Fund

The innovative fund helps to reduce inequalities in football, with grants made available annually to groups that wish to start offering football, or expand their existing programmes to new, under-represented audiences. The programme focuses on including girls and young people from lower socio-economic and under-represented groups: including racially diverse communities, people with disabilities, and people from the LGBTQ+ community.

The fund will support 5,500 community groups across the UK with a total investment of £1mn a year. This will engage more than 300,000 young people in inclusive football activities.

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