UKCES report calls for radical shift in recruitment practice

First published on Thu, April 11, 2013.

A recent report published by the UK Commission for Employment and Skills highlights the difficulties faced by young people seeking jobs in the UK.

Scaling the Youth Employment Challenge, available here, has outlined a “Catch 22 situation” faced by many jobseekers, who are shut out of the jobs market because of a lack of experience, but who cannot gain experience because of a lack of employment.

The report finds:

  • A rise in the number of employers using word of mouth recommendations to recruit (29 per cent), and a corresponding drop in the number of employers formally advertising vacancies 
  • Employers citing lack of experience as a major reason for rejecting young peoples’ job applications, yet only 1 in 4 offering work experience to young people 
  • Apprenticeships are a key route into work for young people, and only 15 per cent of employers currently offer apprenticeship opportunities, while 32 per cent say they plan to in the future. 

Catherine Large, Joint CEO, Creative & Cultural Skills, says:

“This report highlights the way we still have to go to tackle youth unemployment in the UK. What’s needed is a fundamental change to the way industry views and supports the future workforce.

“Our Skills Academy partners have shown the enormous benefits of opening doors to young people through apprenticeships and work experience opportunities. As this report finds, this kind of collaboration between the skills system and the employment system is vital.

“Pilot initiatives such as the Creative Employment Programme and the Employer Ownership of Skills Pilot are huge steps in the right direction, and we hope this report encourages further engagement from employers at what is an important moment for the creative industries.”

For more information on the Creative Employment Programme, please visit

Policy Archive