The "long, dark decade" for young jobseekers could be coming to an end, as the number of businesses planning to hire school-leavers, apprentices and graduates has seen a sharp rise, according to a new report.
The Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development's (CIPD) latest Labour Market Outlook report surveyed 1,026 HR professionals and employers in the UK and found that 33 per cent of businesses with "hard-to-fill" vacancies are intending to fill the gaps by recruiting more young people.
This figure displays a marked increase in hiring intentions in comparison to the last spring quarter, when just 22 per cent of employers planned to recruit more young jobseekers.
What's more, the latest report revealed that 26 per cent of respondents plan to hire more graduates, while 12 per cent intend to recruit more school-leavers - an increase from just nine per cent reported in spring last year.
Gerwyn Davies, labour market analyst at the CIPD, said: "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."
Mr Davies highlighted the fact that the availability of more high-quality apprenticeships, along with the increased recruitment pressures employers face, should enable more young people to get a foot on the employment ladder.
"However, employers need to support this recruitment drive by ensuring that they have the people management practices in place to support the effective utilisation of skills, which is critical to job retention and productivity," he added.