Employers often complain young people leave school or college without the skills or experience needed for the workplace.
Now a new website, launched today by adult education body Niace, aims to change all that.
What Employers Want is targeted at young people and providers, and contains direct advice from businesses about what they want and expect from job applicants.
It includes practical topics on how to complete application forms, prepare for job interviews and how to progress in careers.
Around 40 employers, including Barclays, Spirit Pubs and Topps Tiles, helped create the website, on which they explain what they are looking for in a young person and how important qualifications and experience are.
The website stresses the importance of young people displaying a positive attitude, "soft skills" such as communication and teamwork, key qualifications and prior experience of the workplace environment, as well as literacy, numeracy and IT skills.
David Hughes, chief executive of Niace, said the many young people have found it difficult to find a job.
“What Employers Want gives young people – and learning providers - unique insight into how to prepare, whether it’s for a full or part-time job, for an apprenticeship or traineeship,” he said.
“Qualifications, a positive attitude, willingness to learn and transferable skills are important to employers, but more importantly they want young people to bring fresh ideas and passion into their role.
“They are not expecting young people to be fully-developed and fully-skilled because they recognise that young people need time and opportunities to learn and grow. In fact, most welcome the opportunity to ‘shape’ young people."
Niace hopes the website will encourage learning organisations to work directly with employers so they can meet more young people who are "job ready".