7 ways to engage schools and school leavers

May 30, 2023 | Apprentices & school leaver, Home Featured, How-to

Apprentices are essential to future talent strategies. Leigh Patching from TheTalentPeople and GetMyFirstJob shares advice on engaging schools and school leavers.

It takes a cohesive partnership between employers and educators to ensure young people are aware of their career path opportunities.

With this in mind, we spoke with educators and employers alike to find out what’s working best when engaging schools and school leavers.


1. Early engagement

Allowing young people to be introduced to career options at an early age will help them make future choices. This broadens their horizons and inspires them to explore options they may not have previously considered.

Doing this before they choose their GCSE subjects will help them decide what best suits them and their future plans.


2. Be flexible in your approach

Develop workshops and resources that help schools meet the Gatsby Benchmark. This is mutually beneficial allowing both employers and educators to meet their targets and pipeline.


3. Hybrid model

The combination of both virtual and in-person approaches are working well. Online workshops, competitions, virtual worlds and video content are allowing students interactive experiences. When this is coupled with in-person events the results are really valuable.

Read more about choosing whether to run online, hybrid or in-person careers events.


4. Positive role models

Having a current apprentice or an ambassador sharing real-life experiences of what it’s like to work in a role is proving to be impactful. Showing diversity and being inclusive is important.

These representatives allow young people to have peer-to-peer interactions, which help them see themselves in possible future roles. They are a key tool to fostering positive engagement with school leavers.


5. Keep influencers in mind

Parents and carers need to be well informed when it comes to the future career paths their children are taking.

Providing resources and holding events outside of work hours allows them opportunities to learn more.


6. Remove barriers to entry

Eligibility criteria are sometimes seen as too high. Making these as low as possible is crucial for accessibility.

Simplifying the application process by removing the need for a CV and using a strengths-based approach makes opportunities so much more accessible. Focusing on a person’s strengths and highlighting their transferable skills allows young people and employers to see their potential and ability.

You can read more about the benefits of strengths-based recruitment.


7. Offer continual support

For a young person, stepping into the world of work can sometimes feel daunting. But by offering continual support throughout the process, the transition from school to work can be a positive one.


You may also be interested in

How are employers recruiting school and college leavers?

How to use apprenticeships to maximise business growth

What is the average apprentice and school leaver salary?

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