Unemployment: UK In Youth Jobs Crisis
Young people are finding it increasingly difficult to get full time work as employers choose experienced candidates and fill positions quickly.
Researchers who sent out 2,000 applications from fictitious 16 to 24-year-olds found most employers did not reply to them at all.
The Joseph Rowntree Foundation made the applications for more than 650 job vacancies as sales assistants, cleaners, office administrators and kitchen staff.
Each made-up candidate had at least five good GCSEs and relevant work experience.
The study found there were between 24 and 66 unemployed people for every retail vacancy, depending on the supply of jobs in different areas.
Almost eight out of ten of the positions paid under £7 an hour, and less than a quarter were offering full-time work during the day.
Chris Goulden, head of poverty at JRF, said their findings show that for young people today getting a job is a job in itself.
"It's important we have measures that provide more full-time, decent-paying jobs that can ensure work pays," he said.
"A lack of success in the jobs market saps confidence, demotivates and leaves a scar across a generation of young people, while part-time, low-pay work traps people in poverty."
At Darlington College in County Durham students are given help to try to find work, but 17-year-old Joshua Russell found it impossible to get even a part time job at the age of 16.
"I was too young and I didn't have the work experience needed. There's just too many people applying for one job and there just weren't enough available," he explained.
Laura Lennon, aged 19, took a year out before starting her journalism course, but found no-one wanted an A level student.
"I applied for Orange, on the phones, but apparently you need experience answering phones," she said.
Meanwhile a report by the TUC has found that young black men have experienced the sharpest rise in unemployment since the coalition came to power, with more than one in four of all black 16 to 24-year-olds currently out of work.
The reports followed similar studies in recent days showing a big rise in long-term unemployment among young people.
General Secretary Brendan Barber said: "The UK is in the midst of a youth jobs crisis. Over a million youngsters are out of work and many more are struggling to find the finances needed to further their education.
"Last week the Prime Minister singled out employment as a great success of the government. That's cold comfort to the one in four young black men struggling for work, or the one in six jobless young black women."