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CIPD urges businesses to tackle youth unemployment

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More than a third of UK employers have "stepped up" to help bridge the gap between education and work, according to research published today by the CIPD.

As youth unemployment continues to show few signs of falling, the CIPD is urging businesses to engage with schools to help overcome the problem.

The study, conducted by the CIPD as part of its Learning to Work programme, found that many employers have increased the number of access routes into their organisations for young people.

Among employers who offer apprenticeship schemes, 56% report they have increased the number over the past 12 months. The study of 1,000 employers also showed the amount of traineeships and school-leaver programmes on offer has increased in many organisations.

However, the study found that despite the increase in the number of access routes, too few employers were receiving applications from young people aged 16-24. Around a quarter (24%) of employers did not receive a single application from a young person over the past year and 31% of private sector organisations had no applications from young people.

CIPD chief executive Peter Cheese said: "Employer contact has a significant impact on young people, and should form part of wider efforts to help overcome youth unemployment.

"However, it's important to recognise that schools can be bombarded with individual requests from businesses."