COVID-19: Future proofing qualifications

This factsheet COVID-19: Future proofing qualifications provides information to employers on how to make recruitment processes more accessible to young people. This can, in the first instance be achieved by moving beyond fixed attitudes towards qualifications and experience.

About this factsheet

The Future proofing: Qualifications and COVID-19 factsheet provides information on

  • changes to subject grade assessment in the UK following the COVID-19 pandemic
  • calls to action for businesses
  • accessible recruitment.


As the immediate threat of the COVID-19 pandemic affects the health of the economy, the futures of young people who are leaving the education system remains uncertain. As well as experiencing significant disruption to their education, young people face the prospect of entering a constricted labour market.

After summer exams were cancelled in 2020, exam regulators in the four regions of the UK asked schools to estimate what grades pupils would have achieved, had exams taken place.

We know that responsible businesses can be a part of the solution by looking beyond qualifications to assess young people.

Business in the Community (BITC) has worked with more than 200 businesses to assess how to make recruitment processes more accessible to young people. It is now time for more to do the same in response to this crisis. Making these changes will also help drive forward the social mobility agenda.

Further information

For further guidance on behaviour-based recruitment, writing job descriptions to attract young people, and making your hiring process fairer and more accessible, read BITC’s Future Proof resources. Guidance on essential skills can also be found on our website.

Business in the Community is creating a skilled and inclusive workforce for today and tomorrow