Three out of four businesses in some parts of the UK do not offer any work experience placements to young people, according to a new study.

Northern Ireland is the worst region, with just 25% of firms providing work experience opportunities, followed by East Midlands (36%), the South East (37%) and North West (38%).

GoThinkBig, a website offering support to youngsters trying to find work, said its research among 1,125 young people and 500 businesses revealed that a raft of smaller companies are not offering anyone the chance to gain work experience.

Tokunbo Ajasa-Oluwa, head of GoThinkBig, said: "With 950,000 young people unemployed in the UK, we'd urge more businesses to open their doors and welcome in young talent. It's a fantastic way to energise your workplace, encourage fresh thinking and capitalise on young people's latent digital skills and willingness to learn.

"All our research shows that experience is the key to opening the door to the world of work - this is what so many employers look at when assessing candidates for full-time jobs."