Young people use text speak in job applications

Image caption Insurers Admiral said many young candidates' application forms have poor grammar and spelling

Young jobseekers are submitting applications in text speak and need more help to prepare them for working life, according to a report.

They also overestimate the cost of getting a job, "preferring the safety net of the benefits system instead".

The report by AMs has suggested ways to redress a "fundamental imbalance towards academic study".

But the Welsh government said youth unemployment was falling faster than in other parts of the UK.

The assembly's enterprise and business committee heard from employers who said too many young people leave school without essential numeracy and literacy skills.

There was also a lack of so-called "soft" or "work-ready" skills, such as time-keeping and knowing how to answer the phone.

'Fundamental imbalance'

Insurers Admiral said many young candidates failed, despite the company not asking for formal qualifications, because of poor grammar and spelling on application forms.

"A lot of it is like text-speak, there is no punctuation or upper case," the company said.

Committee chairman William Graham said: "One of our key findings was that there remains a fundamental imbalance towards academic study that is out of step with the employment opportunities available to young people and does little to prepare them for working life."

A Welsh government spokesman added: "We remain committed to supporting young people into work and the continued success of programmes such as Jobs Growth Wales and Welsh government-funded apprenticeships are testament to this.

"However we acknowledge that there are still opportunities for improvement."

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