Most teenagers believe work experience should be compulsory in schools and colleges, according to a new study.
The Career Colleges Trust said its research suggested the Government was wrong to remove work experience from the curriculum in 2012.
Almost two out of five of the 1,000 youngsters surveyed by the charity said they had not been offered any work experience by their school, with half organising their own placement.
Secondary and grammar schools were least likely to offer to help pupils experience the world of work, said the report.
Trust chief executive Ruth Gilbert said: “It is clear from this research that today’s teenagers are desperate for good work experience opportunities and are very much aware of the benefit this will have on their future career.”
A Department for Education spokesperson said: “Our careers statutory guidance makes it clear that secondary schools should offer their pupils encounters with the world of work as part of their careers strategy.
“This could include work placements, work experience or other employer-based activities such as talks, visits or careers fairs.”