The new study of 500 business decision makers by Arch Apprentices provided an insight into essential qualities in potential employees. The research uncovered that many think it should be essential for young people to partake in work experience, to give young people early involvement in a professional environment.

Almost all of those surveyed (93%) thought that work experience and careers advice should be compulsory in schools.

When hiring young people within their business the majority looked for enthusiasm (74%) – followed closely by a good understanding of the role (61%), relevant work experience (54%) or any work experience at all (34%).

However, further research did show that finding these qualities within young candidates wasn’t always easy. Almost half (43%) admitted that they struggle to find enthusiastic young people to take positions. 39% said that the majority of their applicants have no/very limited experience in the work place and 28% believe that the majority of applicants have irrelevant qualifications.

The research uncovered that employers believe that work experience helps prepare young people for business (68%) and will help prepare them on the types of jobs which are desirable to business, boosting their skills (64%). Over half (57%) also believe that it helps to install a strong work ethic.

Ben Rowland from Arch Apprentice said: “We have a duty to the young people to provide them with the right information at the right time, to prepare them for a career that is fulfilling, rewarding and in touch with the digital world we now live in.

“Compulsory work experience would go some way to providing this, but there’s more we can do – employers, parents schools and training providers need to come together to arm young people with more information about their options  including skills based  apprenticeships, not just university.”