Businesses are failing to make use of the IT skills of the those recuits known as the "Facebook Generation" who have left education in the past three years, according to a report commissioned by database firm FileMaker.
IT confidence of new recruits is at an all-time high, found the research, which surveyed 1,000 recent school leavers or graduates who are in the early stages of employment.
The report found that 82% of 16- to 18-year-olds surveyed felt confident about their level of general IT skills going into the workplace, which was a higher percentage than those who felt confident about their interpersonal skills (64%).
Survey respondents said 62% of their time is spent using a computer at work, 51% actively use technology to be creative in their jobs, and 51% thought about creative ways to use technology at work.
But school leavers in the early stages of employment said they are not given the opportunity to use the software packages they learnt during education.
For example, 85% of those surveyed learnt to use PowerPoint software but only 39% reported using it at work. A massive 88% learnt to use spreadsheet software, but only 65% use it as part of their job.
Tony Speakman, regional manager for FileMaker, northern Europe, said, "This generation has grown up IT savvy, and educators have done a good job ensuring that they have the skills to take into the workplace. These new recruits are then shocked to find that once they actually gain employment they do not have the opportunity to use all of the skills that they have mastered.
"Businesses need to wise up and tap into the knowledge and enthusiasm this generation has to offer. If they do not fully understand how to utilise the capabilities of this skilled workforce they will suffer in the long run."