Training could help with employment prospectsThose not in full-time work during the recession should focus on building up their skills, says one career development expert.

Gerwyn Davies, public policy adviser at the Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development (CIPD) said that as future recruitment is likely to remain "muted" job-seekers should take advantage of time off work to develop professional skills.

Qualifications are still the most important factor that employers look for when recruiting, he added.

Figures released by the Office for National Statistics suggested that the number of people in part-time employment has risen in recent months.

May saw the number of part-time workers rise by 3,000 to 7.53 million, in three months.

Mr Davies’ comments follow news from the Confederation of British Industry (CBI) that business leaders are calling for alternatives to redundancy.

The CBI’s report stresses that in order to remain attractive to overseas investors, the UK must do more to stem job losses and improve professional skills.