As an employer, you want to be sure you’re bringing the right talent into your organisation - people who are dedicated, willing to learn and able to come up with innovative ideas.

When recruiting for a new member of staff, it’s common to seek a graduate or someone who has a few years of experience under their belt. However, those who are fresh out of school are often overlooked. But why?

In this guide, we’ll show you how a school leaver can bring a wealth of benefits to your organisation.

Apprenticeship popularity

With more and more school leavers choosing an apprenticeship over college or university, apprenticeships are seen as a viable option for young people today. Apprenticeships are an alternative to the university route into employment, and they are not a second-rate option.

As the popularity for apprenticeships rises, there are many eager, career-focused school leavers wanting to pursue an apprenticeship. And with the average retention rate for apprentices and school leavers among top employers currently sitting at 91%, employing a school leaver is becoming a no-brainer.

High-calibre of candidates

Employing a school leaver as soon as they leave school or college means you can get the first pick of the crop. There is a well-known myth - albeit wrong - that apprenticeships are not for “top” employing a school leaverstudents. However we know that this is definitely not the case. Many school leavers are finishing school or college with excellent grades - one of these being Ryan Maley, former marketing apprentice and business graduate. Ryan finished school with A*s in his GCSEs and As in his A-levels, and undertook an apprenticeship:

“I feel that the route I took to get my degree, starting with an apprenticeship, then progressing through the foundation degree to my honours degree, has given me the best of both worlds.  I’ve been earning all the time, and gaining valuable experience that has helped me in my studies.”

Employers have ranked apprentices as 15% more employable than young people with degrees or other qualifications - with higher apprentices being the most employable of all young people.

Bridge the gap

Some employers believe that employing a graduate can bring a high level of academic knowledge to the business, however graduates who join your team may have little to no experience of the world of work. Although hiring a school leaver as an apprentice can help with acquiring the technical skills for the job, they may not bring the same high level of specialism to the role.

To overcome the gap between getting an employee with hands-on experience as well as an academic education - employing an apprentice onto a higher level or degree apprenticeship can provide the solution. Degree apprentices usually spend four days a week training on-the-job, and the other day studying at university. This means the employer can get the best of both worlds - practical, workplace skills and academic learning to go alongside it.

Over to you

We’ve hopefully shed some light on the benefits of employing a school leaver, however if you’ve got any questions about the Levy, be sure to get in touch via LinkedIn or Twitter.

If you’re looking for bespoke advice on upskilling your existing employees or taking on new apprentices, don’t hesitate to get in touch with our team of Levy experts:

Talk to our Levy team →