Skip to main content

Disadvantaged young people looking for work:: a job in itself?

This report describes the task for jobseekers in the UK labour market in 2010–11. It focuses on young jobseekers with limited education and skills, and particularly on those from disadvantaged neighbourhoods.

The research covers three areas of the UK with varying levels of unemployment. It explores the availability of jobs and the number of jobseekers. It reports interviews with employers and young jobseekers. It also reveals the results of a unique experiment involving over 2,000 applications by fictional candidates to real jobs.

The research shows that:

• The recession has affected job supply in all areas. Intense competition means advertised jobs can be filled within days or even hours. Even well-qualified candidates can face repeated rejection. Jobseekers without constant access to the internet are at a disadvantage.
• Competition varies between places and types of work. Widening the types of job or distance searched over does not always reduce competition. Good local intelligence is vital.
• Despite widespread belief in ‘postcode discrimination’, there was no statistically significant difference in the success rates of fictional applicants from areas with poor reputations or other places.
• Location does matter. Many employers overtly prefer candidates who live nearby.