More than four out of 10 new employees taken on by the retail sector in the last 12 months have been aged between 16 and 21.
So says the British Retail Consortium, a survey of whose members found that 42% of new starters were aged 21 or younger, which equates to at least 13,500 jobs for this age group.
Across the UK, retailing also provides 42% of 16 to 17 year olds in employment with a job. Similarly, it provides 40% of employment for 18 to 19 year olds and 25% for 20 to 24 year olds.
Under-25s are the age group facing some of the biggest problems getting work in the current climate.
The BRC’s director general, Stephen Robertson, commented: “We’ve produced clear and detailed evidence that retail is one of the sectors most likely to give young people the job breaks they need.
“The August riots were blamed by some on growing frustration among that generation. School and college leavers are facing an incredibly tough time getting into work. Retail found itself in the frontline of the attacks, ironic when it’s actually in the frontline of the solution.”