Work experience is failing to give youngsters the insight they need into the world of work, according to a report.
Two-thirds of the 1,100 people surveyed said they had carried out menial tasks such as tea making, photocopying or form filling during their placements rather than learning about the job. For one in five this is all they did.
The placement left a third no further forward in knowing what career they wanted to pursue, the poll by legal firm Allen & Overy found.
David Morley, Allen & Overy Senior Partner, said: "The survey shows us people are doing work experience but that they struggle to find it and it isn't doing what it needs to.
"The private sector has a real role to play in teaching the talent of the future what is possible and how to reach their potential.
"In particular, work experience needs to be accessible to all, including those who might not have the kind of informal connections, which often makes such a difference."