Job prospects for young people are improving as firms fill skills gaps, ending a "bleak" decade for youth employment, according to a report.
Research by the Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development (CIPD) found an increase in the number of employers planning to hire more apprentices and school-leavers.
A survey of more than 1,000 companies found that half were taking measures to boost the skills of their workforce in response to recruitment difficulties, while a third were looking to take on more apprentices.
Gerwyn Davies, labour market analyst for the CIPD, said: "After a long, dark decade, the prospects for young people are finally looking brighter. The tightening labour market is undoubtedly encouraging more employers to turn to a wider range of younger recruits.
"However, it is also due to a recognition among a growing number of employers that they need to develop talent to limit the potential for future labour shortages and pay pressures.
"The increase in the number of high-quality apprenticeships and the ongoing recruitment pressures faced by employers should mean that the pathway to sustainable employment will be within the reach of more young people."
The report was published ahead of new unemployment figures on Wednesday.