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Are you a young person from Norfolk struggling to break into the world of work? Survey suggests young people face an uphill struggle to get a job

PUBLISHED: 14:08 28 April 2014 | UPDATED: 14:52 28 April 2014

Young people face increased competition in the work place. Picture: Press Association.

Young people face increased competition in the work place. Picture: Press Association.

More than one in seven young people have applied for at least 20 jobs, while many are willing to work for free if it helps them find employment, according to a new study.

A survey of 1,000 people aged between 16 and 24 found that most believed there was a stigma attached to unemployment.

Recruitment firm Adecco said its study revealed that half of young people would work for nothing in a bid to get on the jobs ladder.

A third had applied for more than 10 jobs, and 14% for over 20 posts, revealing how difficult it is to even secure an interview, said the report.

It comes as new measures aimed at the long-term unemployed come into force today, with people facing benefit sanctions if they refuse to take part.

The government said Jobcentre staff will have more options to support the hardest to help under Help to Work. There will be “intensive” coaching, a requirement to meet an adviser every day or doing community work for up to six months.

Alex Fleming, managing director of Adecco, said: “Our research has shown that for many young people, lack of work experience is holding them back. Over half young people cited lack of work experience as the main reason for rejection at interview stage.

“Many are finding the struggle to get onto the employment ladder so difficult that they are willing to work for free to gain quality work experience. This is unfair.

“Young people deserve quality work experience. Employers need to be more engaged in education and work closely with schools so that young people enter the jobs market having already had valuable work placements.

“Parents also need to play their part by not only demanding schools provide work experience placements, but also ensure that their children take up the opportunity.”

Lack of work experience was highlighted by many of those surveyed, although one in 10 admitted being late for a job interview, or not being properly dressed.

• Are you a young person struggling to break into the world of work? Contact business writer Ben Woods on 01603 772426 or email ben.woods@archant.co.uk, or share view on the comments section below.

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