A new survey reveals that many workers feel they are being under-utilised by their employers.
The study by Markit shows there is a widespread desire among part-time employees to work for longer periods. Some 40 per cent of the 1,000 households surveyed expressed a desire for more work.
Younger employees in particular have a strong desire for longer hours, with one in five expressing such a preference. This figure falls to 11 per cent in the over-55 age bracket.
Males and public sector workers tend to be more eager for extra work than women and those in the private sector.
One in four workers – particularly those in manufacturing, energy, transport and utilities sectors – believe they are overqualified for their current role.
Public sector workers are more likely to feel they are overqualified than their private sector counterparts, while females are more likely to have this opinion than males.
Some 36 per cent of workers believe their current employers could do more to make use of their abilities. Younger people in particular tend to feel that their skills are being under-utilised.
In addition, some 23 per cent of all employees feel they have too much work to do, compared with 18 per cent who feel they could do more without too much effort. Full-time employees are more likely to feel they are overworked than part-time staff.
Commenting on the survey, Chris Williamson, chief economist at Markit, said: "The survey highlights a worrying waste of talent, with just over one-in-three employees feeling their employer could make more use of their skills and abilities.
"This hits 47 per cent in the 18-24 age bracket, and tops out at 48 per cent in the North East. More than one in every four employees feels overqualified."
He went on to say there is evidence of a mismatch between the skills and abilities people have and those required by employers, as many companies are struggling to find staff to fill their vacant positions.