Recruitment body concerned about part-time effect on skillsA UK recruitment organisation said it is worried about the development of younger workers’ skills while in part-time employment.

The Recruitment Society said that younger people, particularly those in unskilled jobs, may find that they struggle to make themselves "more marketable" as their careers progress.

Its chairman Steve Huxham indicated that older part-time employees may have already developed specific talent before the recession and are currently underusing their nurtured know-how.

He observed that many unemployed older white-collar workers between jobs may be "picking up a contract here and there", sometimes on hourly pay and utilising their skills through this route.

"They aren’t in an ideal situation but are trying to make enough, via various contracts, to pay their mortgages," he added.

This follows research from the Institute for Public Policy Research that showed the number of part-time employees had risen by 40 per cent since the recession began.

By Ross George