Due to the rising costs of university fees, various government initiatives and a focus on staff retention, many organisations are moving away from the more traditional routes into employment and are instead looking to school leavers to enhance their businesses. However, this new workforce comes with several important considerations…

Low Costs

A school leaver will usually earn a lower salary than a more experienced candidate but you do need to factor in the time spent training, monitoring and developing them. Without proper planning, this could mean pulling in resources from other areas of your business. For a long-term position, training providers can help you with many parts of the process including recruitment, customising development programmes and accessing government funding – you might even be eligible for an apprenticeship grant if the role is suitable.

A Blank Canvas

There’s a real advantage for you as an employer in being able to train a candidate from scratch. They won’t be set in their ways in terms of work patterns, bad habits or previously established experience so you can recruit for raw talent and enthusiasm and mould them in the way that best fits your business. The skills they learn will be exactly what they need for the job and they can be shaped to become the perfect match for the role.

A New Perspective

A fresh outlook is a valuable resource and the right school leaver can bring a great deal of creativity and energy to their position. Because they’ve grown up using computers and social media from a very early age, young people often have very strong technology skills which can be a real advantage in this fast-moving digital world. If they’re still learning while employed within your business, they’ll also bring back the most up to date information from their training so you can apply this to your own working practices.


Without the extra commitments that might come with a more experienced candidate, a school leaver is generally more open to challenging work environments such as unsociable hours or alternative work patterns. In addition to this, you can free up your existing staff to concentrate on what they do best and perhaps even enhance their abilities further. The process of planning, monitoring, guiding and evaluating an inexperienced colleague is a great way to develop core management skills.

Looking Ahead

By offering an apprenticeship or a long-term opportunity to a school leaver you’re investing in the future direction of your business, building a workforce and focusing on the skills you need to grow. Successful candidates often turn into long term members of staff and rise through the ranks within the organisation to become loyal and valued professionals.

Return On Investment

Although 80% of companies who employ apprentices report a significant increase in employee retention, there is a risk that they will move on and you won’t reap the rewards of the time and effort you’ve put in to their development. Once they’ve built up a bank of experience, they may look to further their career at a rival company that offers them more benefits or a greater opportunity for progression. If you can’t match that offer, you could end up losing an employee that you’ve heavily invested in and face the additional costs of finding and training a suitable replacement.

Giving Back

Today’s high unemployment has hit young people particularly hard so providing someone with skills and experience at the start of their working life and watching them grow is hugely rewarding. Building links with local schools and colleges is also a great way to raise your profile and help attract young people to your business which could help to reduce your recruitment costs in the future.

Don’t forget that we’re always on hand for your recruitment needs so please get in touch if we can help.