How to set up a school leaver programme

Employers across the UK run some great school leaver programmes and the following questions seem to be key as their answers will help you on your way to setting up your school leaver programme.

Why did your business decide to set up a school leaver programme?

To grow our own talent for the future.

How did you devise the programme?

The important aspect was to develop a programme where the individual could spend a period of time on formal study at college or university and then be able to apply the theory to reality in a practical situation – at the office or on site – throughout the whole development programme.

We also wanted to ensure that we provided behavioural and business development as well: team working, communication, problem analysis, planning and organising and finance, project management, negotiation and influencing skills.

Formal training is delivered in two-week slots across the two or three year programme.

How do you work with the Colleges or Universities involved?

We’ve worked hand in hand with Colleges and Universities who helped to tailor this course specifically to our business’s needs.

It’s suitable both for people who have never studied before beyond A-level, as well as for those who already have a background or experience in the specific role the apprenticeship is in.

What funding is offered to students?

For our Degree Level Apprenticeship, we offer students full funding with a competitive starting salary, a car for travel during training, full-board accommodation while at our specialist training centre, pension scheme, 25 days’ annual leave plus statutory holidays and a Sharesave options.

How do you ensure you recruit the best school leavers?

We have key academic entrance requirements. We need to ensure that individuals are set up for success when they join our business and they are not struggling with the course from day one.

We then take them through many recruitment stages so that they can demonstrate all their current skills and capabilities, for example on-line application forms and motivations for the role; video interviews; assessment centres, which include a competency based interview; group exercises and planning and presentation exercises.

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