Top Employers for School & College Leavers Awards: finalists announced

The results are in: the best employers for apprenticeships, school leaver programmes and sponsored degrees, as voted for by those who really matter: school leavers. This time the new Degree Apprenticeships get their very own category. 

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AllAboutSchoolLeavers.co.uk has revealed the finalists in its fourth annual ranking of the UK’s top employers for school and college leavers, ahead of its awards ceremony at London’s City Hall.

The shortlist, based on the real-life experiences of apprentices and school leaver trainees from 100 UK organisations, features high profile names from the professional services industry, the world of construction and engineering, retail giants like Marks & Spencer, broadcasting companies, and even city councils.

The one thing they have in common? They’ve all been nominated for their exemplary work in developing school leaver opportunities: Intermediate Apprenticeships, Advanced Apprenticeships, Higher Apprenticeships, the new Degree Apprenticeships, school leaver programmes and sponsored degrees.

Young people working in the school leaver training world were asked to complete employee satisfaction surveys, covering every aspect of their working lives, from job satisfaction and career progression, to company culture and work-life balance.

Four of the 29 categories were judged by an industry panel, deciding on awards like the School or College Leaver of the Year award, and the Most Innovative School & College Leaver Recruitment Campaign award – recognising organisations’ forward thinking recruitment methods using modern techniques such as Whatsapp campaigns and online media.

This year AllAboutSchoolLeavers.co.uk has added a new Degree Apprenticeships category, recognising the new programmes launched nationally in 2015.

Industry-specific categories will acknowledge the top employers in their particular fields for the first time this year, for example Top Employer – Public Sector, Top Employer – Engineering and Top Employer – Creative Industries.

Jack Denton, director and co-founder of AllAboutSchoolLeavers.co.uk, said: “Its tough trying to figure out what you want to do with your life and many people never work it out. We think it’s one of the most important decisions in your life and would like to help as many young people as possible figure it out for themselves, in an impartial way. We don’t think there is a ‘best route’ to a career, rather a wide range of routes that each suit different individuals. 

“Our awards, solely based on the opinions of the people currently participating in these training programmes, help other young people see which areas employers are excelling in, and who offers them the best opportunities. As our awards have grown over the last few years, we’ve realised how important it is to to make them easy to understand – by adding new industry specific categories we’re helping young people identify the best employers in the sectors they are most interested in.”

The winners will be announced at an awards ceremony in London’s City Hall – in the same room where Sadiq Khan’s victory in the London mayoral race was announced earlier this month – on Thursday 26 May, sponsored by EY and Laing O’ Rourke.

The finalists…

Top Employer – Overall

Finalists and winner to be announced at awards ceremony

Best School & College Leaver Recruitment Website

Balfour Beatty

BDO

Jaguar Land Rover

Laing O'Rourke

National Grid

PwC

Sky

Best Use of Social Media in a School & College Leaver Recruitment Campaign

BDO

EY

IBM

Jaguar Land Rover

National Grid

PwC

Sky

Best Training

Be Wiser Insurance

BMW

Hays Travel

TUI UK & Ireland

Mercedes-Benz

Savers

The National Physical Laboratory

Best for Skills Development

BMW

Busy Bees Training Academy

TUI UK & Ireland

Kennedys

Savers

Schroders

Sky

Best for Career Progression

Barratt Developments

Be Wiser Insurance

BMW

EE

Hazlewoods

Kennedys

Mercedes-Benz

NG Bailey

Best Level of Support

British Sugar

Hays Travel

TUI UK & Ireland

JLL

Mercedes-Benz

Savers

Schroders     

Sky

Best for Job Satisfaction

Be Wiser Insurance

Hays Travel

JLL

Mercedes-Benz

NG Bailey

Savers

Schroders

Best Company Culture

Autonet Insurance

EE

Haymarket Media Group

Hays Travel

Mercedes-Benz

Nomura

Savers

Schroders

Best Intermediate Apprenticeship

Autonet Insurance

Barratt Developments

Coventry City Council

DSTL

Hays Travel

Peugeot Citroen Retail Group

Savers

Sky

Best Advanced Apprenticeship

Barclays

Be Wiser Insurance

BMW

EE

J.P. Morgan

JLL

Mercedes-Benz

Nomura

Best Higher Apprenticeship

3M

Barclays

Hanson

J.P. Morgan

National Grid

Smith & Williamson

Visa Europe

Best Degree Apprenticeship

Barclays

BT

Capgemini

IBM

Jaguar Land Rover

Lloyds Banking Group

RBS

Best School Leaver Programme

Accenture

EY

IBM

TUI UK & Ireland

Mazars

National Grid

Schroders

Best Sponsored Degree

Aecom

Barratt Developments

CGI

EY

Laing O'Rourke

Morgan Sindall

PwC

Top Employer - Accounting & Professional Services

Accenture

Crowe Clark Whitehill

EY

Hazlewoods

Mazars

MHA MacIntyre Hudson

PwC

Smith & Williamson

Top Employer - Banking & Financial Services

Autonet Insurance

AXA

Barclays

Be Wiser Insurance

Henderson Global Investors

J.P. Morgan

Nomura

Schroders

Top Employer - Creative Industries

BBC

Creative Pioneers

Ginger Nut Media

Haymarket Media Group

ITV

Sky

Tangerine

Top Employer - Energy & Utilities

Aecom

Anglian Water

BP

EDF Energy

National Grid

Severn Trent Water

Top Employer – Engineering

Bentley Motors

BMW

British Sugar

Jaguar Land Rover

Marshall Aerospace

Mercedes-Benz

NG Bailey

Top Employer - Hospitality & Tourism

Greene King

Hays Travel

InterContinental Hotels Group

TUI UK & Ireland

KFC

Top Employer - IT & Technology

Arqiva

BT

Capgemini

CGI

Fujitsu

IBM

Virgin Media

Visa Europe

Top Employer - Property & Construction

Arup

Barratt Developments

Connells Group

Hanson

JLL

Laing O'Rourke

Morgan Sindall

Top Employer - Public Sector

Civil Service

Coventry City Council

Cambridge University Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust

DSTL

National Audit Office

Nottingham City Council

Transport for London

Top Employer - Retail

Boots 

EE

Harrods

Marks & Spencer

Peugeot Citroen Retail Group

Savers

Superdrug 

School/College Leaver of the Year

Aaron Shearer, Royal Mail Group

Amber Westmoreland, EY

Jemima Armstrong, GSK

Jemma Barrett, KFC

Josie Brazier, Jaguar Land Rover

Rory Milnes, Mindshare via Creative Pioneers

Best School & College Leaver Recruitment Campaign

Civil Service

Escalla

EY

Creative Pioneers

Jaguar Land Rover

Marks & Spencer

Best Use of School & College Engagement in a Recruitment Campaign

Coventry City Council

Jaguar Land Rover

J.P. Morgan

Royal Mail Group

TUI UK & Ireland

Most Innovative School & College Leaver Recruitment Campaign

Coventry City Council

EY

Creative Pioneers

Jaguar Land Rover

Marks & Spencer

Nottingham City Council

Thales

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