Young British workers face a “huge challenge” from older and more experienced foreign rivals, Employment Minister Chris Grayling has warned.
Chris Grayling said the “deep-rooted problem” meant prospective employees born in the UK were often at a disadvantage when applying for jobs.
Business lobby groups have warned that young people were being failed by an education system that left them unprepared for the world of work.
Mr Grayling said those leaving school, college or university “without experience” faced a challenge: “You’ve got these young people who are up against somebody who may be five or six years older, who has had the get up and go to cross a continent, to come to the UK.
“[They are] up against somebody who has no previous experience and has just left school or college here. And employers are very often giving that older person the chance, rather than that young inexperienced person.”
The number of unemployed 16 to 24-year-olds has hit 1.04 million, although this includes 311,000 in full-time education.
Phil McCabe, of the Forum of Private Business lobby group, said: “Unfortunately, it is a sad indictment of the UK’s education system that it is not producing the right level of work-ready young people.”
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