With an estimated 45 applications for every low-skilled job, the Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development warns that school leavers and the long-term unemployed could be left out of the running.

The number of applicants per vacancy is expected to rise further once the government clampdown on benefits claimants comes into effect.

The CIPD’s quarterly survey of employers found that the increase in competition could lead to recruiters barring whole groups of candidates.

According to the study, 14% of employers said they would not consider employing school leavers and 11% would not recruit from the ranks of the long-term unemployed.

Gerwyn Davies, CIPD labour market adviser, said: ‘With more than 40 applicants typically chasing every low-skilled job already; there’s a danger that the stricter requirements being imposed by government on benefit recipients to look for work, coupled with the ongoing shift towards online recruitment, may lead to even more applicants for employers to consider for each vacancy in the future.’

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