Nearly four out of five firms in the north have highlighted the importance of hiring and retaining young people to their future success.
The major survey, carried out by development agency Highlands and Islands Enterprise (HIE), flagged up a number of challenges companies face in recruiting a new generation of talent in the region, as well as the benefits they can bring.
Of 1,000 companies questioned for HIE’s regular business panel survey, 79% said taking on young people was important to them, with the figure highest among larger enterprises with 25 or more employees.
Finding candidates with the required skills and right attitude and work ethic were the main recruitment problems identified. Location, accommodation for partners and availability of childcare were also seen as challenges.
The fresh perspective young people bring to firms was highlighted by 79% of respondents as the main benefit, while 77% hailed their communication skills, 77% their desire to keep learning and 76% their time management skills.
Carroll Buxton, HIE’s director of regional development, said: “With this being the Year of Young People, we have taken the opportunity in our survey to explore some of the main issues around the importance of young people to the region’s workforce.
“From the feedback, it is clear many employers recognise the benefits associated with having young people as part of their team and are taking steps to secure those benefits for their own business.”
She added: “This feedback has been very useful in highlighting, not only the benefits, but the challenges of recruiting and retaining younger employees.
“These are things we are helping many firms with and that will inform the work we and other organisations are doing in attracting young talent to the region.”