Majority of Sussex business plan to expand workforce in next 12 months

Close to two thirds (60%) of businesses in East and West Sussex plan to recruit additional staff in the next year as part of an expansion programme, a new survey has revealed.

However younger candidates may miss out on these opportunities as only 19% of employers thought that young people were ready for work. Just over half (55%) said that young people were sometimes ready for work and a quarter (26%) said that young people were not work-ready at all.

The survey was carried out by, a family of online jobs boards, to gain a better understanding of job prospects for young people over the next 12 months.

Employers were also questioned about the skills and personal qualities they look for when recruiting. The number one requirement for a young candidate is good communication skills, which was cited by 75% of respondents. Adaptability and flexibility, personal impact and confidence and initiative were respectively the next most sought after skills. Less than a third (32%) of respondents cited relevant experience in their top three requirements for hiring a young person.
However, all respondents had encountered poor quality applications from young people. Over half of prospective employers said that young people fail to research the role properly. Employers also complained about poor spelling and grammar (49%), lack of people skills (41%) and bad time-keeping (35%).

Nicky Binning, managing director of, said: “It’s really positive to hear that more jobs are being created which will provide opportunities and better prospects for young people.

“However it seems that some young people are failing to get hired, not because they lack the relevant experience, but because they don’t research the role they are applying for properly. Employers are also being turned off by bad spelling and grammar. It’s a shame, as with a bit of attention to detail, many young candidates could significantly improve their job prospects.” works with local businesses, schools, colleges and training providers to provide advice and guidance for young people entering the workplace. They have set up two employability websites, and, in partnership with local authorities and businesses. These portals are designed to inspire young people into work, create pathways to employment and address many of the challenges cited above by employers.

Nicky Binning has the following advice for prospective job candidates of all ages: “Do your research before applying for the job. Check that you understand what it involves and what is expected of you. Ask someone to check your application form or CV for spelling and grammar before sending it off. If you get an interview, aim to arrive 15 minutes before your appointment so that you are not late. Finally, even though you are probably nervous, try and look confident by standing tall, looking the interviewer in the eye and remembering to smile.”

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