Only one in four youngsters nearing the end of their time in school have been given the chance of a work placement, new research has shown.
Most of those offered work experience complained it was "irrelevant and poor quality", the study by City & Guilds revealed.
A survey of more than 3,000 young people by the vocational education organisation showed that only 26% of those aged between 16 and 18 had been offered the chance of work experience.
Chris Jones, chief executive of City & Guilds, said the research identified gaps between education and employment, adding: "We have to plan how we are going to close those gaps and stop our young people from slipping through the system.
"We are calling for an All-Party Parliamentary Group to bring together key stakeholders across education, business and the Government to tackle this problem - working together, to get young people working.
"We believe more needs to be done to ensure young people get the advice and experience they deserve and we believe we are ideally placed to help realise this goal."
A protester wearing a Guy Fawkes mask holds up a sign as members of Occupy DC and union activists protest in front of the White House during a May Day demonstration in Washington on May 1, 2012. More than 20 arrests were reported in various cities, including 10 at Los Angeles international airport and others in Oakland and Seattle, where shop windows were smashed. AFP PHOTO/Nicholas KAMM (Photo credit should read NICHOLAS KAMM/AFP/GettyImages)
A giraffe eats flowers on May 1, 2012 in Warsaw's zoo as temperatures in central Poland reached 30 Celcius. AFP PHOTO / JANEK SKARZYNSKI (Photo credit should read JANEK SKARZYNSKI/AFP/GettyImages)
Women from the Sunrise Order dressed as nymphs attend the ritual of the ellipse at the annual festival of the Vale do Amanhecer, or Sunrise Valley Festival, in Planaltina, Brazil, Tuesday, May 1, 2012. Vale do Amanhecer is a spiritual community founded in 1959 by the medium Tia Neiva and its doctrine contains elements from Christianity, Spiritualism, Mysticism, Afro-Brazilian religions and ancient Egyptian beliefs. The community has more than 600 temples throughout Brazil and other countries. (AP Photo/Eraldo Peres)
Militants and labour union members gather around a burning the effigy of Philippine President Benigno Aquino in Manila on May 1, 2012 as part of the May Day protests demanding higher wages and policies that would make it harder to fire workers. Aquino has said he is trying to help labour but has warned that giving too many benefits will make the country less competitive, costing more jobs. AFP PHOTO/NOEL CELIS (Photo credit should read NOEL CELIS/AFP/GettyImages)
A member of a team from Gloucester Fire and Rescue service looks for hidden obstructions before launching a boat scout the flooded areas of Tewkesbury in Gloucestershire after heavy overnight rainfall. Picture date: Tuesday May 1, 2012. Photo credit should read: Tim Ireland/PA Wire
The Birth of Mongoose Lemur Twins Last month, Busch Gardens witnessed an uncommon event: the birth of mongoose lemur twins. The two babies were born to 17-year-old mother Rosalita and 18-year-old father Guillermo. Rosalita's first baby - a male named Duggan - was also born at Busch Gardens and moved to another zoo for breeding. Busch Gardens zoo staff aren't yet sure if the new babies are male or female. All baby mongoose lemurs look the same at birth, but at around six to eight months of age, males start to change colour and develop their red "beard" and cheeks. Females have a darker face and white beard. USA - May 2012 MANDATORY CREDIT: Matt Marriott/Busch Gardens Tampa Bay/WENN Supplied by WENN.com
Argentine Velez Sarfield's player Ivan Bella (C) kicks the ball against Colombia's Atletico Nacional during their Copa Libertadores football match at Atanasio Girardot stadium in Medellin, Antioquia department, Colombia on May 1, 2012. AFP PHOTO/Raul ARBOLEDA (Photo credit should read RAUL ARBOLEDA/AFP/GettyImages)