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Key worker roles in London abandoned by Gen Z as rent prices soar ‘What would London be without all of these people?’

Young people in London are abandoning key worker professions due to their poor salaries amid a rising rental crisis, a financial literary campaigner has said.

Rent prices in the capital were up 11.2 per cent year-on-year in March 2024, according to the latest data from the Office for National Statistics (ONS) – the highest-ever increase since the ONS started keeping records.

The soaring rents have significantly impacted key workers, with a recent report from Generation Rent revealing that no single London borough would be affordable for a bus driver, cleaner, or care worker to rent.

Adam Beales, known online as Adam B, spoke to GB News about the challenges facing young people trying to enter the “dire” property market, particularly those already interested in key worker roles.

London sky line/Someone wearing scrubs/Letting signs/Bus driver

Key worker roles in London abandoned by Gen Z as rent prices soar


He said: “It appears that an increasing number of young individuals are recognising the challenges associated with pursuing careers in key worker professions.

“Specifically, there’s a growing awareness about the limited opportunities for financial growth and advancement within these roles.

“This realisation is prompting concerns about the long-term implications for their financial security and career satisfaction.”

Beales conceded that whilst career decisions are “complex” and “personal”, many young people are being drawn to professions which offer better financial security in the light of the rental crisis.

“The impact of London’s high living and rental costs on young people’s career choices is complex. While long-term financial stability is becoming a more significant consideration due to the city’s economic demands and recent interest rate hikes, career decisions remain deeply personal.

“However, many young individuals are increasingly drawn to careers that promise better financial security, influenced by the rising awareness of housing affordability and economic stability.”

Discussing the effects of young people in the capital abandoning these roles, Beales, a television presenter, said: “The repercussions of discouraging young people from key worker roles due to low pay are significant. Staffing shortages in essential services like healthcare could lead to diminished care quality and longer wait times, placing undue stress on existing workers.


Nurse in hospital

Beales worries that staffing shortages in healthcare professions could lead to diminished quality of care


“To combat these shortages, the NHS and public sectors may face increased recruitment and training costs, straining public finances.

“Furthermore, as high-paying careers become the perceived gateway to homeownership, the key worker shortage could worsen, driving up housing costs and deepening socio-economic disparities.”

London Renters Union also spoke with GB News about their fears over young potential key workers being pushed out of the city.

A spokesperson said: “We’ve got nurses and teachers and care workers and bus drivers who are unable to afford to live in the city and you know what? What would London be without all of these people? London needs nurses and teachers just as much as anywhere else.”

Citing the Generation Rent put out in February, the London Renters Union said the rising rent prices coupled with low salaries are “pushing out these workers” who often have to turn to overcrowded housing or resort to moving further out and enduring “crazy long commutes”.

Their worries come after the Renters Reform Bill passed its third reading in the House of Commons last week.

For sale and to let signs

London Renters Union also spoke with GB News about their fears over young potential key workers being pushed out of the city due to rising rents


The new bill has a clause which would pause outlawing Section 21s – the legal mechanism that allows tenants to provide a reason – until a review of the court system has taken place.

Siobhan Donnachie, Campaigns Officer at the London Renters Union, said: “In its current state, the Tories’ bill will fail to give renters any real security in our homes.

“After five long years, there is still no end in sight to the slew of evictions forcing tens of thousands of us into homelessness.”

She called on Labour to step up and commit to protecting renters from eviction.

Outlawing Section 21 notices could empower private tenants to complain or take action against landlords and property issues, without fear of being evicted.

Speaking during the debate last week, Levelling Up Minister Jacob Young defended the Government’s stance, saying that ending no-fault evictions straight away would “cause chaos in the sector”, adding: “It is far better for tenants and landlords alike if we make sure this change happens in an orderly way.”

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