What are the Benefits For Students?
Thousands of highly able 18-year-olds are turning down the university route and claiming roles previously deemed possible only for graduates. Reasons for this include:
Earn while you learn
Avoiding student debt is an attractive prospect for school leavers. Joining an apprenticeship scheme as an alternative to university means earning a wage while you work towards completing a qualification.
Experience in the workplace
Entering the world of work in a chosen field provides school leavers with on the job experience, which employers can value more than a degree.
Achieving a prestigious qualification
As well as gaining practical skills and experience, school leavers have the opportunity to work towards a respected qualification. As a result, these students are equipped with the knowledge needed to succeed in their chosen career.
Interview with a School Leaver
We speak to business professional Skye Van-Witten, who completed her AAT and ICAEW qualifications at FI after choosing an apprenticeship over university.
“I choose to study as an apprentice because I had no interest in going to University. I wanted to get straight into the workplace. It also meant no debt!”
Read our interview with Skye here.
What are the Benefits For Employers?
Whether you run a small, medium or large organisation, there are compelling benefits to recruiting and developing younger talent:
Expectations of reward are lower at the school leaver entry point when compared with graduates. Parity of reward with graduates is typically achieved at the point of qualification.
Raw talent can be found at all levels of the education system. Opening entry routes to 18 year olds increases the pool of raw talent organisations can access. Wider access to talent can enable employers to benefit from wider experience with transferable value for their clients.
Younger employees often enter the workplace with less rigid expectations of their role. This enables them to be more agile and adapt to changes in their work role and environment as required by the organisation to respond to changes in the market or client needs. School leavers are often open to opportunities for change in order to explore future options for their career direction.
School leavers often have fewer preconceived ideas about employers. This enables organisations with a supportive people strategy to create a strong connection with their school-leaver intake. The typical length of a school-leaver programme is 4-6 years.
School leavers can gain experience in your organisation as part of a structured work experience placement. Consequently, this provides them with the opportunity to learn about your organisation and the opportunities for a career in your industry. You have the opportunity to learn more about your potential employees before you commit to training them.
Read more about the benefits of a school leaver programme from employer Kirk Newsholme.
School Leaver Report
There is now much publicly available data to support the business case for employing school leavers in your organisation. If you are currently considering starting a school-leaver programme, have recently done so and you are reviewing how well it has been implemented – or perhaps you want to enhance a well-established programme – this report produced by FI and AAT will give you insight.