A new campaign to give young people the chance to go on work experience placements has been launched by the government.
More than 30 businesses are backing the drive, with the aim of encouraging scores of firms to create opportunities for youngsters to spend time in the world of work.
The announcement, made ahead of new unemployment figures, includes a drive to encourage "youth ambassadors" to offer advice on how to gain work experience.
Employment Minister Priti Patel said: "Young people tell me they can't get a job without work experience, but they can't get work experience without a job.
"That is why we are launching the campaign to give young people practical advice about making the most of their summer holidays - and beyond - to gain valuable business skills."
Ministers pointed out that youth unemployment has fallen to its lowest level since 2008.
Javed Khan, Barnardo's chief executive, said: "Axing compulsory work experience under the last government was a mistake, robbing thousands of young people of the chance to gain valuable skills.
"Young people want to work and contribute to the country's economy and work placements can make the difference between them getting a job or not.
"This new programme is well meaning but to benefit all young people we need a statutory obligation on all schools to provide work experience."