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'Sharp rise' in job opportunities as employers seek to take on school-leavers

12 Aug 2015

The number of employers planning to hire school-leavers, apprentices and graduates has risen sharply, according to a survey by the Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development (CIPD).

Results from the CIPD’s quarterly Labour Market Outlook survey,  which questions 1,026 HR professionals and employers, suggested that 33% of organisations with ‘hard-to-fill vacancies’ were planning to hire more young people to fill those gaps. That represents an 11 point rise on the previous quarter.

Some 26% of respondents said they wanted to hire more graduates, while 12% plan to recruit more school leavers - a major increase when compared with the 9% figure in spring 2014.

Gerwyn Davies, CIPD labour market analyst, said: ‘After a long, dark decade, the prospects for young people are finally looking brighter. The tightening labour market is undoubtedly encouraging more employers to turn to a wider range of younger recruits.  However, it is also due to a recognition among a growing number of employers that they need to develop talent to limit the potential for future labour shortages and pay pressures.’

He added: ‘Looking further ahead, the introduction of the [compulsory] national living wage may boost the attractiveness of employing workers aged below 25 further, which could see young people reverse recent trends by becoming the new winners in a new era for the jobs market.’

The CIPD said that findings help to explain the latest ONS data showing that the employment rate for 16-24 year olds not in full-time education had risen to 74%, its highest level since 2008.