Two in every five employers are more likely to recruit a young person or school leaver who has done at least six weeks' high-quality work experience, according to a survey by ICM Research.
The research points to Traineeships, which were launched last year to improve young people’s employability prospects.
A Traineeship is designed to provide work experience and support with English and maths needed to gain an apprenticeship or job.
The survey revealed that almost half (49%) of employers would consider creating new roles for young people who impressed them during work experience placements.
Skills and enterprise minister Matthew Hancock said: “Creating more opportunities for young people to gain experience and confidence is crucial if we want to help them secure employment. Traineeships could be the difference which gives these young people their first break, unlocking their potential and giving them the work experience employers are looking for.
“However, it’s not just about work experience; the work preparation training offered through the Traineeship, such as CV writing and interview skills, together with English and maths, is of equal importance. It's all part of our long-term economic plan to help young people to reach their potential."
Over half (59%) admitted to hiring young people into entry-level roles in the past five years, and 54% said this was due to the fact that the candidate had prepared well for the interview.
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Three-quarters (74%) of employers polled said they would be more likely to recruit a young person or school leaver if they showed they had prepared well for the interview.
Almost half (48%) said they would recruit a young person or school leaver if they had a good reference from an employer or training organisation, while 45% said an eye-catching and well thought out CV would improve candidates' chances in an interview.
The survey also revealed that 42% of employers would like to do more to help young people to secure roles. Some 63% said they want to improve candidates’ confidence and 57% want to increase skills and ability to do the job.
Since its launch, hundreds of employers, have committed to adding young people through the Traineeship initiative, including the BBC, BT, Hollies Day Nursery, Port of Tilbury, Siemens and Virgin Media.
Chris Starling, head of apprenticeships at Virgin Media, said: “Traineeships are a great opportunity for both the business and the individual. Not only can the employer get to know the trainee, but the trainee can get real exposure to the type of career that is available and make an informed decision that is best for them. Traineeships offer a great opportunity for us to harness and develop the talent of any candidate who has just missed out on being offered an apprenticeship.
“The first three people who completed Traineeships with us have since been offered intermediate apprenticeships at Virgin Media and recruitment to the programme will continue on an ongoing basis.”
Next StepsYoung candidates with Traineeship experience more likely to gain job roles, according to ICM Research.