The retail sector has created at least 13,500 jobs for young people in the past 12 months, according to the BRC.

A survey of BRC members found 42% of starters in the past year were aged between 16 and 21. The survey also found the retail sector employed 42% of 16 to 17-year-olds, 40% of 18 to 19-year-olds and 25% of 20 to 24-year-olds.

Under-25s were facing some of the biggest problems getting work in the current climate, said the BRC, which earlier this week held a debate at the Liberal Democrat conference considering what retail contributes to society.

“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,” said BRC director general Stephen Robertson. “The August riots were blamed by some on growing frustration among that generation. School and ­college leavers are facing a tough time getting work. Retail found itself in the frontline of the attacks, ironic when it’s in the frontline of the solution.”

Meanwhile, The National Skills Academy for Retail is calling for schools and ­colleges to take part in its Retail Ambassador Programme to help attract young talent. The scheme which was launched in 2009, which allows Retail Ambassadors to volunteer their time to champion the industry to young people across the UK. Visit