Youth Unemployment
Firms placed the highest value (47%) on a young person's attitude when weighing up whether to make a job offerReuters

Having a good attitude is much more important for young people who are attempting to land a job than their qualifications or experience, according to UK employers.

Industry body the Recruitment and Employment Confederation, which questioned 600 companies as part of its latest JobsOutlook survey, also found employment prospects for young people are picking up, with two thirds (64%) of employers having hired a young person in the last year.

The research revealed employers placed the highest value (47%) on a young person's attitude when weighing up whether to make a job offer or not.

In contrast, one in five (20%) employers said they were interested in the level of qualification young people achieve (such as A-levels or GCSEs) and only 4% said specific exam results and grades were the most important factor when making a hiring decision.

"It's the best time in six years to be a young person coming into the jobs market," said Kevin Green, chief executive of the REC.

"Employer hiring intentions are high and more employers are reaching capacity with their existing workforce and will have to take on new staff.

"Qualifications can be a good indicator of ability but our survey shows employers place a high value on attitude."

The JobsOutlook report also revealed growth in the UK jobs market looks set to continue throughout the year, with eight out of ten employers (79%) planning to increase their permanent staff in the next 12 months.

The findings come after the Office for National Statistics said the UK youth unemployment rate (for 16 to 24 year olds) fell to 16.9% in the three months to June, down from 17.8% in the three months to May.

But, despite the drop, the youth jobless rate is well above the most recent total unemployment rate of 6.4% in the three months to June.