Whether leaving education after GCSEs, BTECs or A-Levels, today’s school leavers are joining the workforce without the skills employers need. 

Employers can take action to help their employability – and it starts in the classroom.

Build links with schools in your area

Businesses and local education providers can work together to effect change.

Inspire the next generation of employees

Consider providing a careers talk in either a classroom or assembly to share your workplace experience. Real life examples can significantly influence students in considering a path they hadn’t previously contemplated. They may even decide to take professional qualifications they didn’t know existed!

Prepare those intending to join the workforce 

If the prospect of public speaking makes you shudder, why not participate in an employability workshop? These can enhance the focus of soft skills – time keeping, resilience and being a team player.

Recruit prospective talent 

If your business is an SME with a small marketing and recruitment budget, engaging with schools can do wonders in boosting your future talent pool.

How can you get involved?

Consider approaching schools in your local community – many will not have the resources to reach out proactively. It’s also worth noting that you may have a local educational charity, which will act as a bridge between your organisation and local schools.

Share your positive stories

Sharing your experiences not only benefits your own business but may inspire another organisation into offering the same to young people in the future.


Perceptions of apprenticeships are now changing, but there is still a lack of understanding in the business community of the opportunity they can present. Help challenge this preconception.

If you’ve experienced the benefits of an apprenticeship scheme, share your organisation’s story. Create a positive case study that you can share with industry colleagues, clients and partners. Share your experiences on social media and at networking events.

Become an apprenticeship ambassador by showing that there is a strong case for offering alternative routes into work. Champion the opportunities they present for young people.

Work experience

The same goes for work experience and internships. The days of making tea and sorting the post are long past. You can help change the impression of the two being seen as source of free work with little value.

Where possible (and appropriate), give your interns and work experience students the opportunity to share their experiences and which skills they have developed. This could be on your company Facebook page, on a company blog or at an event.

Even a relatively short amount of time spent in the workplace can really help build the confidence of a young person. It also enables them to gain the skills to make them that bit more employable when meeting a prospective employer.

We’re all able to help school leavers develop skills for the workplace

We can all play our part in changing the skills landscape and any small change is a step in the right direction.

If employers forge greater connections with local education providers, we can engage and inform the upcoming working generation, showcasing the opportunities they may not otherwise hear about and inspiring students in ways we may never expect.

We can be part of a conversation which positively promotes apprenticeships, internships and vocational training to our fellow business leaders.

Find out more

Browse the library: Employability initiatives

Talent pools: Is your ATS ready for passive talent?

Graduates, apprentices and more: Meet the Hireserve team


About the author

Tristan Potter

From recruitment into central government, to financial services and the charitable sector, Leah has worked across many sectors in her wide ranging career! Now working as Hireserve's Senior Marketing Executive, Leah covers all things marketing - from maintaining the social media feed to managing logistics for our stands at big exhibitions across the country.