Many young people are now seeking an apprenticeship or full-time employment after receipt of their A Level results.

So, as an employer, your big question might be this: ‘What could college leavers bring to my business?’

It’s a way to encourage new talent into your organisation

Nurturing home grown talent and developing young people’s skills can help address a lack of sector-specific or niche experience. The engineering sector is still in the grip of a skills shortage, with one report* citing a need for 69,000 additional engineers each year, just to meet industry demand.

One customer, BRE, introduced an Apprenticeship Scheme created solely for school leavers in order to tackle this issue. The scheme enabled BRE to attract and nurture young talent – ultimately allowing the organisation to grow its ‘own stars of the future’.

Similarly, the IT and Technology industry is still suffering from a skills shortage, and many employers are turning to early careers or apprenticeships to develop their own talent. We are in fact, and are now on our third apprenticeship. Lewis joined us shortly after his A Level results, and is now one of our great team of web developers.

After A Level results, college leaves are ready to learn and soak up your company culture

Tara Bishop, who launched BRE’s scheme, described school and college leavers as a ‘blank canvas’. With no preconceived ideas (or bad habits!), these new employees offer you the opportunity to develop team members who will be loyal, motivated and understand the business inside and out.

College leavers can also bring a wonderfully fresh and new perspective to your team. Without industry knowledge or experience, some of their ideas might not always be practical or realistic, but a fresh approach can still be hugely valuable.

And how do you make it work for both of you?

College leavers will need – and expect – sound career development advice and training. Structure will be important, as will a clearly assigned mentor or line manager who will be able to guide them through the ups and downs of starting full-time employment after A Levels.

Spend some time at the beginning of their appointment outlining the different areas of the business, and allow them the opportunity to experience various roles, so as to garner a well-rounded understanding of your operating structure.

Regular appraisals, setting of objectives and opportunities to attend training or work towards professional qualifications will also be valuable (of course, if they are joining you on an apprenticeship scheme, formal training is an essential component).

These initiatives will not only help your new starter to settle in and experience rewarding levels of engagement, but will also ensure your business benefits from as much skill and knowledge as possible.

And if you can’t jump straight into offering a job suitable for college leavers?

Consider offering summer work experience or a paid internship, so a young person can gather some industry experience after their A Level results. Or, as a first step, you could consider contacting your local college or sixth form to offer a careers talk to students next term, just to start building links with academia in your community.

Who knows what doors it could open for you…

*Stats published on

Find out more

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Our first IT Apprentice – one year on

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About the author

Tristan Potter

Tristan has a decade's worth of experience writing content and copy for organisations across Bristol and the Southwest of England. He has written on a diverse range of topics, including technology, philosophy, politics, and recruitment. His writing has appeared in The Drum, HR Grapevine, and The Guardian, among other publications. He joined Hireserve in March 2022.