By Jonathan Davies

Young jobseekers are using 'text speak' on job applications, according to a report by Welsh Assembly Ministers, leading to calls for young people to be better prepared for working life.

The report by the assembly's enterprise and business committee said the employers spoke of the number of people leaving school without numeracy and literacy skills.

The report also identified a lack of "soft" work skills like answering the phone or time-keeping.

Assembly Ministers (AMs) said that young jobseekers also overestimate the cost of finding a job, with many "preferring the safety net of the benefits system instead".

Insurance firm Admiral, which has offices in Cardiff, Swansea and Newport, told Ministers that despite not requiring formal qualifications, many young applicants were rejected because of poor punctuation and grammar on their applications.

Admiral said: “We do not ask for any formal qualifications, but we expect the spelling and grammar on the application form to be of a certain standard.

"A lot of it is like text-speak, there is no punctuation or upper case."

Committee chairman William Graham said: "One of our key findings was that there remains a fundamental imbalance towards academic study that is out of step with the employment opportunities available to young people and does little to prepare them for working life."

A Welsh government spokesperson added: "We remain committed to supporting young people into work and the continued success of programmes such as Jobs Growth Wales and Welsh government-funded apprenticeships are testament to this.

"However we acknowledge that there are still opportunities for improvement."