Six in 10 young people in Northern Ireland feel that their education did not prepare them for the realities of work, according to a report today.
The research by The Prince's Trust found that young people feel they are missing out on jobs because most employers do not give feedback to unsuccessful candidates following interviews.
The Futures at Stake 2020 report also revealed that over half of young people aged 16 to 30 feel they have missed out on roles because they were not given a fair chance to show off their skills properly.
And around three-quarters of those surveyed said they were missing out as they were not given proper feedback by employers.
The report also found that employers themselves feel that skills shortages are being prolonged by old-fashioned recruitment practices.
Some 62% of young people maintain their education did not equip them for work. However, at 64%, the percentage of employers who feel school leavers are lacking the necessary skills for work was slightly higher.
Rhys McDonald (19), from Coalisland, was in and out of work until March last year when he found himself unemployed for eight months.
During that time he regularly applied for jobs without hearing back from employers. However, he applied for a programme with The Prince's Trust and, after signing up to its Get Into Retail programme, he secured a permanent contract with Tesco in Dungannon.
Mark Dougan, the charity's NI director, said some employers used recruitment processes which made it hard for young people to get their first job.
"We provide employers with innovative methods of recruitment, such as our short pre-employment courses for young people, and we are relentless in our efforts to ensure all young people have the tools they need to start their career," he said.