Findings show that 81% of employers would be hesitant in employing inexperienced youngsters.
The poll conducted by Peninsula employment law firm shows that the majority of employers are reluctant to take on workers in the 16-18 year old age bracket. A huge 76% admitted they believe that youth workers in that age range would be a liability for the business.
Inexperience was cited as the biggest concern for bosses. A quarter of respondents saying that irresponsibility was their main worry.
Commenting on the findings, Peninsula head Peter Done said: “ Employers must observe the benefits as well as the negatives of recruiting younger employees. With recruitment employers must always remember that there is always two sides to the coin and these must be observed in order to make the best decisions for any business.”
Speaking to HRZone the Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development (CIPD) warned that from 2006 age discrimination would be illegal.
Ben Willmott, CIPD employee relations adviser said: "Our own research shows that you are only truly free from age discrimination when applying for jobs when you are aged between 35 and 40, a mere half decade in a working career that could span five decades.
“In a tight labour market, with employers regularly experiencing recruitment difficulties, it makes no business sense to discriminate purely on the grounds of age. And from 2006 employers who allow age to prejudice their recruitment decision will be breaking the law. Employers should focus on the person, their skills and their capacity to learn, not the date on the birth certificate."
The survey polled 486 employers across a range of industries in the UK.