Last updated: 02.12.14

Employers unable to fill entry-level vacancies

Over the last three years, around one in seven (16 per cent) employers were unable to fill their entry-level job vacancies, according to new research.

The report published by, entitled 'UK Labour Market Insights - The Entry-Level Dilemma', revealed that despite candidates entering the labour market today being reportedly more qualified than in recent years, 43 per cent of employers said too many applicants lacked sufficient 'employability' skills, such as literacy, numeracy, self-management and teamwork.

Not only this, but it was said that candidates' attitudes and approaches to work lacked positivity and proactiveness.

Since 2007, the number of qualified young people in the UK has risen by 200,000. However, the report showed that the skills held by entry-level candidates and those in demand by employers did not correlate.

At the launch of the report, Stephen Isherwood - chief executive of the Association of Graduate Recruiters - said: "There are plenty of jobs and plenty of qualified young people, but the relevant skills and employability are lacking."

He said that the broad labour market means that young people are faced with "too much choice", which could spark confusion or ambiguity about which career path to go down.

Experts at the launch event suggested that enhancing the level of careers advice offered to students in schools, long before they reach university age, could help to prepare young people for the labour market.

James Frearson of said: "There are a number of things employers can do to help entry-level candidates, such as providing more opportunities for candidates to learn about what is expected of them in the workplace.

"Paid work experience placements to those still in education, and more investment in on-the-job training and apprenticeships are a great place to start."

Employers who recruit candidates straight from university could therefore be skimming over a pool of entry-level talent from trainees and apprentices, which Spencer Thompson - senior economic analyst at IPPR - refers to as "the forgotten 50 per cent".