One in seven firms has been unable to fill an entry-level vacancy in the past three years.
At the same time, 15 per cent of recent graduates remain unemployed, and 20 per cent of those who left school in the past year with good GCSEs are out of work.
The worst performing group is those who left school with poor GCSEs – 28 per cent are unemployed.
By contrast, only five per cent of those with trade apprenticeships have been unable to find a job.
“There are a number of things employers can do to help entry-level candidates prepare for the world of work, such as providing more opportunities for candidates to learn about what is expected of them in the workplace,” said Totaljobs’ James Frearson.