Millions of young British workers feel pressurised at work and are more likely to be stressed than their older counterparts, suggests a new report by GfK NOP Engage.

The finding suggests that 2.4 million young people in Britain could be suffering from stress, compared to just one in four (24 per cent) of workers in their 60s who report similar problems.

Many young workers believed that their bosses were asking them to do more as a result of the economic downturn (39 per cent) while 31 per cent complained of long hours and 32 per cent said they were not given the resources to do their jobs effectively.

These factors partly explain why the UK received a mediocre ranking in the study for engagement of young people at work, ranked 17th out of the 29 countries surveyed. Nine out of ten under-30s are less than highly engaged with their employers, while those in their 60s are notably higher engaged, researchers said.

Sukhi Ghataore, director at GfK NOP Engage, said: “Businesses that view young staff as cheap and expendable may well come to count the cost. In the UK, we have a recognised ageing population and so the younger generations are becoming exponentially more important in the workplace, as well as to the nation – they are not only companies’ future talent, but also represent the future financial stability of Britain. It is therefore crucial that they are nurtured, to encourage maximum productivity and retention.”