Employers need to use the skills and talents of their existing workforce if they are to survive the recession.

That is according to the results of a survey undertaken by the Work Foundation, which revealed that 40 per cent of employees are over-qualified for their job.

The survey also revealed that 65 per cent of those questioned believed they worked for firms that were "rule and policy bound", but just five per cent were happy with that style of management.

Commenting on the existing situation, Ian Brinkley, co-author of the Knowledge Workers and Knowledge Work report, and associate director at The Work Foundation, said: "So far in this recession employers have been
reluctant to lose the skills, talents and experience of their workforces.

"Yet at the same time they seem to be failing to make the most of them. Many people could be doing more, but are denied the chance to do so."

He said that companies should be aiming to "give people more responsibility" and he suggested that they aim for "more autonomy for people and less intensive management".

David Kern, chief economist at the British Chambers of Commerce, recently called on the government to introduce "temporary measures such as wage subsidies" to help businesses through the recession.