Talk about having confidence in those who lead you – nearly one third of Generation Y believe that their employers will lay off staff because of the downturn in the economy, according to a survey by Talent2.

But it seems this viewpoint is not as pessimistic as that of the general population. Almost half of respondents saying they expect substantial downsizing in the coming months.

The research also revealed that 23 percent of Gen Yers interviewed believe that their boss lacks the skill set necessary to manage their way successfully through rocky times.

A breakdown by profession showed almost 40 percent of Gen Yers in the IT sector believe their company will downsize and around 55 percent have no confidence in their senior management.

It’s likely that the recent global financial woes and threats of recession have encouraged these feelings of trepidation but Talent2’s John Banks thinks that maybe Gen Yers are jumping the gun a bit.

“When people are seriously worried about their jobs the mood is typically one of disengagement with management, and so the issue quickly becomes one of retention. Employee retention programs are vital in lean times and given that Australia will weather the global downturn, its important to think ahead,” says Banks.

The staff retention issue has reared its beauty and the beast faces lately – a look at Fairfax Media‘s intentions to cull 550 jobs and HP‘s plans to reduce its workforce following its acquisition of EDS, certainly doesn’t help with employee confidence.