More than a third of private sector firms plan to hire more staff over the next year, CBI survey reveals

More than a third of private firms expect to hire new staff over the next year, according to a new report.

A survey of 300 firms by the CBI found that more than 33% plan to expand their workforce over the next 12 months.

Many of these new jobs are likely to be in skilled areas, the CBI said, with firms in the science and hi-tech sectors currently enjoying the best recruitment prospects.

The CBI's report comes after recent figures showed that unemployment has fallen.

The employment rate rose to 71.3% in the third quarter of the year - a rise of 0.5% from the previous quarter and an increase of 0.9% compared with the same period in 2011.

But the CBI said the Government needs to do more to help young people find work, particularly those who are looking for skilled jobs.

It warned that young people from disadvantaged backgrounds are still struggling to find jobs due to a lack of skills and training.

The group's chief policy director Katja Hall said: "While the jobs figures tell a promising story, too many young people from disadvantaged backgrounds are not getting jobs because - as the survey shows - job creation at a skilled level requires skills and attitudes which we do not help them to develop."

The latest figures suggest that the UK's unemployment rate has fallen to just 7.9%. According to the statistics, 29.59 million people between the ages of 16 and 64 were in employment during the period from June to August - a rise of 212,000 from March to May, and up 510,000 from a year earlier.

Despite the promising figures, the CBI's findings suggest that almost six in 10 employers believe that a lack of aspiration and role models is continuing to prevent young people from finding success in the jobs market.

Ms Hall hailed the performance of the UK's flexible labour market in generating jobs despite the "sluggish" economy as a "mini-miracle", and added: "The challenge for the Government and businesses is to ensure that barriers to employment can be overcome."

Copyright Press Association 2012