Finalists revealed: top UK employers for school leavers

The annual breakdown of the companies offering the best opportunities to school and college leavers has been announced, ahead of a glittering awards ceremony later this month. 

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AllAboutSchoolLeavers.co.uk has revealed the finalists in its fifth annual ranking of the UK’s top employers for school leavers, ahead of The School Leaver Awards ceremony at The Waldorf Hilton Hotel, hosted by comedian Ed Byrne.

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, broadcasting and media 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 36 categories were shortlisted by an industry panel, for example the School Leaver of the Year award, and the Most Innovative Recruitment Campaign award – recognising organisations’ forward thinking recruitment methods using modern techniques such as WhatsApp campaigns and online media.

“With the new Apprenticeship Levy introduced this April, there are more programmes than ever for young people to choose from. 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."

Two of the categories – Best Website and Best Social Media – were shortlisted by a student panel made up of a cross-section of the AllAboutSchoolLeavers.co.uk student database.

Industry-specific categories will acknowledge the top employers in their particular fields, for example Top Employer – Public Sector, Top Employer – Engineering and Top Employer – Accounting & Professional Services.

Jack Denton, director and co-founder of AllAboutSchoolLeavers.co.uk, said: “With the new Apprenticeship Levy introduced this April, there are more programmes than ever for young people to choose from. 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 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 Waldorf Hilton Hotel, on Thursday 25 May 2017, sponsored by EY and supported by Laing O’ Rourke.

The finalists in full:

Top Employer - Overall

Finalists and winner to be announced at awards ceremony

Best Website (shortlisted by student panel)

BDO

BT

CGI

EY

Laing O'Rourke

Mazars

Mercedes-Benz

Nomura

PwC

TUI

Best Social Media (shortlisted by student panel)

BDO

EY

IBM

Jaguar Land Rover

JLL

Laing O'Rourke

National Grid

PwC

Severn Trent Water

Volvo

Best Training

Bentley

Eversheds

Goldman Sachs

Haymarket Media Group

Mace

Savers

Schroders

Softcat

Superdrug

The Juice Academy

Best for Skills Development

A4G

Arup

Barclays

BP

Goldman Sachs

Menzies

Nomura

Schroders

Softcat

Virgin Media

Best for Career Progression

Arup

Bentley

Eversheds

Goldman Sachs

Haymarket Media Group

Hill Dickinson

Kennedys

Nomura

Softcat

WSP

Best Level of Support

Eversheds

Goldman Sachs

Hill Dickinson

Kennedys

KFC

Mace

Savers

Severn Trent Water

The Skills Company

WSP

Best Job Satisfaction

Basildon Borough Council

Bentley

Capgemini

Goldman Sachs

Kennedys

Morrisons

Savers

Severn Trent Water

The Skills Company

Virgin Media

Best Company Culture

Arup

Bentley

Capgemini

Eversheds

Goldman Sachs

Haymarket Media Group

Mace

Mediacom

NATS

Schroders

Best Intermediate Apprenticeship

Basildon Borough Council

JLL

John Deere

Mercedes-Benz

NATS

Plymouth City Council

Robins and Day

Savers

Shoosmiths

Superdrug

Best Advanced Apprenticeship

Arup

Bentley

Haymarket Media Group

KFC

PKF Cooper Parry

Plymouth City Council

Softcat

The Juice Academy

Toyota

Virgin Media

Best Higher Apprenticeship

Bentley

EY

Kennedys

Lloyds Banking Group

National Grid

Nomura

Severn Trent Water

Smith & Williamson

Transport for London

TUI

Best Degree Apprenticeship

Barclays

Capgemini

Currie & Brown

Eversheds

Goldman Sachs

Lloyds Banking Group

Mace

Nestle

PKF Cooper Parry

Best School Leaver Programme

Schroders

A4G

BP

Hazlewoods

Laing O'Rourke

Mace

Menzies

MHA MacIntyre Hudson

PwC

Shoosmiths

Best Sponsored Degree

Aecom

Balfour Beatty

CGI

Morgan Sindall

Morrisons

PwC

Top Employer – Small School Leaver intake

A4G

BP

Eversheds

Goldman Sachs

Haymarket Media Group

Kennedys

KFC

Nomura

Smith & Williamson

TUI

Top Employer – Medium School Leaver intake

Arup

Bentley

Capgemini

Mace

Plymouth City Council

Schroders

Severn Trent Water

Softcat

The Juice Academy

WSP

Top Employer – Large School Leaver intake

Barclays

EY

Lloyds Banking Group

Mercedes-Benz

National Grid

PwC

Savers

Superdrug

Transport for London

Virgin Media

 

Industry specific awards:

Top Employer - Accounting & Professional Services

A4G

BDO

EY

Hazlewoods

Lovewell Blake

Menzies

MHA MacIntyre Hudson

PKF Cooper Parry

PwC

Smith & Williamson

Top Employer – Automotive

Bentley

Jaguar Land Rover

Mercedes-Benz

Renault Trucks

Toyota

Volvo Trucks

Top Employer - Banking & Financial Services

Autonet Insurance

Barclays

Fidelity

Goldman Sachs

Lloyds Banking Group

Markerstudy Group

Nomura

Schroders

Top Employer – Construction

Arup

Balfour Beatty

BAM Nuttall

Currie & Brown

JLL

Laing O'Rourke

Mace

Morgan Sindall

Top Employer - Energy & Utilities

Aecom

BP

National Grid

Severn Trent Water

Top Employer – Engineering

Alstom

Arcadis

British Sugar

Kone

Leonardo Helicopters

Mercedes AMG High Performance Powertrains

NATS

NG Bailey

Tata Steel

WSP

Top Employer - Hospitality & Tourism

Greene King

Heineken

KFC

Thomas Cook

TUI

Top Employer - IT & Technology

Arvato UK & Ireland

BT

Capgemini

CGI

Fujitsu

IBM

Softcat

Virgin Media

Top Employer - Law

Eversheds

Gordons

Hill Dickinson

Irwin Mitchell

Kennedys

Shoosmiths

Top Employer - Public Sector

Plymouth City Council

Basildon Borough Council

Cambridge University Hospitals

 NHS Foundation Trust

City of Lincoln Council

Civil Service

DSTL

London Borough of Hillingdon

National Audit Office

Nottingham City Council

Transport for London

Top Employer – Retail

Enterprise Rent-A-Car

Harrods

Marks & Spencer

Morrisons

Robins and Day

Savers

Superdrug

Top Employer – Science & FMCG

3M

GSK

Nestle

STFC Rutherford

Appleton Laboratory

Teledyne e2v

The National Physical

Laboratory

Shortlisted by Expert Panel:

School Leaver of the Year

Alex Blatch, Nomura

Alistair Wheeler, BT

Ben Maynard, IBM

Bradley Whiting, GSK

Chris Achiampong, IBM

Hamzah Ahmed, National Grid

Hannah Black, Severn Trent Water

Harry Edwards, EY

Sam Coulson, GSK

Best Recruitment Campaign

CGI

EY

Marks & Spencer

Mazars

Severn Trent Water

The Skills Company

Best School Engagement in a Recruitment Campaign

CGI

Severn Trent Water

The Skills Company

Most Innovative Recruitment Campaign

CGI

EY

Marks & Spencer

Mazars

Severn Trent

 

Judging Panel:

John Rogers

Chief Executive

Skills for Health & Skills for Justice

 

Nigel Hollett

Chief Executive

Summit Skills

           

Stephen Isherwood

Chief Executive

AGR

 

Lydia Edwards

Assistant Brand Manager

National Skills Academy for Food & Drink

 

Steve Nash

CEO

The Institute of the Motor Industry

 

Jonathan Ledger

CEO

Proskills

 

Pauline Tambling CBE

CEO

Creative and Cultural Skills

 

Sharon Stephens

Head of Member and Business Development

The Chartered Institute of Building (CIOB)

 

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