Top UK employers for school leavers: finalists announced

The finalists for the best school leaver employers in the UK have been unveiled, ahead of the School Leaver Awards 2018 in May. 

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The annual breakdown of UK employers offering the best opportunities to school leavers has just been announced, helping young people all over the nation make big decisions about the future.

Early careers experts AllAboutSchoolLeavers, have revealed the finalists in its sixth annual ranking of the UK’s top employers for school leavers. The shortlist, based on the real-life experiences of apprentices and school leaver trainees from 100 UK organisations, features high profile names from the arts and media, professional services industry, the world of construction and engineering, retail giants, and even city councils.

They’ve all been nominated for their exemplary work in developing school leaver opportunities: Intermediate Apprenticeships, Advanced Apprenticeships, Higher Apprenticeships, Degree Apprenticeships and school leaver programmes.

For the first time a Top Employer in Media & the Arts is being awarded – a sign of how varied apprenticeships and other school leaver opportunities have become – as well as the new Diversity & Inclusion Award.

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.

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

 

“The new categories we’ve added this year demonstrate how more industries are embracing apprenticeships, and how the school leaver market is aligning with the graduate one, taking issues like diversity as seriously as any other type of recruitment. Opportunities for those who want to avoid university debt, or just do something a bit different with their career, have never had a more exciting time to do so.” 

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 – Media & the Arts, and Top Employer – Accounting & Professional Services.

Jack Denton, director and co-founder of AllAboutSchoolLeavers.co.uk, said: “With apprenticeship programmes – especially Degree Apprenticeships – becoming part of an increasingly busy national conversation about school leaver options, rankings like ours help young people cut through the noise and see immediately who’s offering the best opportunities. Even better: it’s their peers who have decided who is listed on top.

“The new categories we’ve added this year – our Top Employer in Media & the Arts, and the Diversity & Inclusion Award – demonstrate how more industries are embracing apprenticeships, and how the school leaver market is aligning with the graduate one, taking issues like diversity as seriously as any other type of recruitment. Opportunities for those who want to avoid university debt, or just do something a bit different with their career, have never had a more exciting time to do so.”   

AllAboutSchoolLeavers’ industry panel will announce the shortlist for the prestigious School Leaver of the Year Award at the end of March.

All category winners will be announced at an awards ceremony in London on Thursday 17 May, complete with celebrity host comedian Josh Widdicombe.

The finalists in full:

 

Top Employer for School Leavers

Finalists and winner to be announced at awards ceremony

Best Intermediate Apprenticeship

Busy Bees Training Academy

CBRE

ENGIE

KFC

Laing O’Rourke

Lovewell Blake

The Porsche Apprentice Programme

Robins & Day

Savers

Shoosmiths

 

Best Advanced Apprenticeship

Bentley Motors

BT

Cambridge University Hospital NHS Foundation Trust

EY

Fidelity International

Irwin Mitchell

Mercedes AMG High Performance Powertrains

Mercedes Benz

National Grid

Tata Steel

Best Higher Apprenticeship

Kennedys

Mace Group

MediaCom

MHA MacIntyre Hudson

Moore Stephens

NG Bailey

Nomura

PwC

Schroders

TUI UK & Ireland

Best Degree Apprenticeship

Atkins

Bentley Motors

BT

Capgemini

Eversheds Sutherland

EY

Goldman Sachs

Lloyds Banking Group

Morgan Sindall

Morrisons

Best School Leaver Programme

Bank of England

BDO

BP

Grant Thornton

Laing O’Rourke

Mace Group

Mazars

MHA MacIntryre Hudson

PwC

Smith & Williamson

Top Employer – Small School Leaver intake

BP

Fidelity International

Goldman Sachs

Irwin Mitchell

Kennedys

Mace Group

MediaCom

Mercedes AMG High Performance Powertrains

Nomura

Smith & Williamson

Top Employer – Medium School Leaver intake

Bentley Motors

Grant Thornton

Laing O'Rourke

MHA MacIntyre Hudson

Moore Stephens

Morgan Sindall

Morrisons

National Grid

Robins & Day

Schroders

Top Employer – Large School Leaver intake

BDO

BT

Busy Bees Training Academy

ENGIE

EY

Lloyds Banking Group

Mercedes Benz

PwC

Tata Steel

TUI UK & Ireland

Best Website (shortlisted by student panel)
Barclays Bank

BDO

Grant Thornton

Laing O'Rourke

Mercedes Benz

Moore Stephens

Morrisons

PwC

Robins & Day

Best Social Media (shortlisted by student panel)

British Sugar

BT

EY

Mazars

National Grid

Nestlé

CGI

Jaguar Land Rover

PwC

The Diversity & Inclusion Award (shortlisted by expert panel)

CGI

CyberFirst

Grant Thornton

Mazars

Schroders

Best Training

Bentley Motors

Eversheds Sutherland

Goldman Sachs

Mace Group

Mercedes Benz

Moore Stephens

Morrisons

National Grid

Softcat

Troup Bywaters + Anders

Best Training Provider

Bentley Motors

Busy Bees Training Academy

KFC

Laing O'Rourke

MHA MacIntryre Hudson

Moore Stephens

The Porsche Apprentice Programme

Robins & Day

Savers

Softcat

Best for Skills Development

British Sugar

Eversheds Sutherland

Grant Thornton

Heineken

Kennedys

Mace Group

Nomura

PwC

Smith & Williamson

Womble Bond Dickinson

Best Level of Support

Bentley Motors

DAC Beachcroft

Fidelity International

Goldman Sachs

MediaCom

Moore Stephens

National Grid

Nestlé

Nomura

Robins & Day

Best for Career Progression

Bentley Motors

BT

CBRE

DAC Beachcroft

Fidelity International

Goldman Sachs

Hazlewoods

Mace Group

Nomura

Troup Bywaters + Anders

Best Job Satisfaction

Bentley Motors

Goldman Sachs

Heineken

Irwin Mitchell

Kennedys

Morgan Sindall

National Grid

Nomura

Royal Mail

Schroders

Best Company Culture

Barclays Bank

Bentley Motors

BP

Eversheds Sutherland

Goldman Sachs

Gowling WLG

Kennedys

Mace Group

Morgan Sindall

National Grid

 

Best Recruitment Campaign (shortlisted by expert panel)

CGI

CyberFirst

Greene King

EY

Marks & Spencer

Severn Trent

Best School Engagement in a Recruitment Campaign (shortlisted by expert panel)

A4G

Bentley Motors

Busy Bees Training Academy

CGI

EY

Marks & Spencer

Mercedes AMG High Performance Powertrains

Tata Steel

Most Innovative Recruitment Campaign (shortlisted by expert panel)

Arvato UK

CGI

EY

Marks & Spencer

 

Industry specific awards:

Top Employer - Accounting & Professional Services

Moore Stephens

BDO

EY

Grant Thornton

Lovewell Blake

Mazars

Menzies LLP

MHA MacIntyre Hudson

PwC

Smith & Williamson

Top Employer – Automotive

Bentley Motors

Jaguar Land Rover

Mercedes Benz

The Porsche Apprentice Programme

Renault Trucks

Toyota & Lexus Academy

Volvo Trucks

Top Employer - Banking & Financial Services

Bank of England

Barclays Bank

Fidelity International

Goldman Sachs

Lloyds Banking Group

Nomura

Schroders

UBS

Top Employer – Construction

BAM Nuttall

Laing O'Rourke

Mace Group

Morgan Sindall

Wates

Top Employer - Energy & Utilities

BP

BT

ENGIE

National Grid

Severn Trent Water

UK Power Networks

Dwr Cymru Welsh Water

Top Employer – Engineering

Atkins

British Sugar

Heineken

Mercedes AMG High Performance Powertrains

NG Bailey

Royal Mail

Tata Steel

TDS Midlands

Troup Bywaters + Anders

WSP

Top Employer - Health & Social Care

Anchor Trust

Busy Bees Training Academy

Cambridge University Hospital NHS Foundation Trust

Top Employer - Hospitality & Tourism

Greene King

KFC

TUI UK & Ireland

Top Employer - IT & Technology

Arvato UK

Capgemini

CGI

Softcat

Top Employer – Law

DAC Beachcroft

Eversheds Sutherland

Gordons LLP

Gowling WLG

Irwin Mitchell

Kennedys

Shoosmiths

Womble Bond Dickinson

Top Employer – Media & the Arts

BBC

IPG Media Brands

MediaCom

Royal Opera House

The Juice Academy

Top Employer - Public Sector

Basildon Borough Council

Devon County Council

GCHQ

London Borough of Hackney

London Borough of Hillingdon

Plymouth City Council

Transport for London (TfL)

Top Employer - Retail

Harrods

Marks & Spencer

Morrisons

Robins & Day

Savers

Superdrug

Top Employer - Science & FMCG

3M

Bakkavor

DSTL

Nestlé

STFC Rutherford Appleton Laboratory

Teledyne e2v

The Hut Group

 

Judging Panel:

 

Jonathan Ledger  – Chief Executive Officer, The Global Skills Ledger

Sharon Stephens  – Head of Member and Business Development, UK Chamber of Shipping

Steve Nash – Chief Executive, The Institute of the Motor Industry

Stephen Isherwood – CEO, Institute of Student Employers

Robert West – Programme Director, Creative and Cultural Skills

Nick Ellins – Chief Executive, Energy & Utility Skills

Amy Gough – Director of Operations, Chartered Institute of Building (CIOB)

Suki Kalirai – Chairman, Institute for Apprenticeships

Sue Hurst – Head of Schools Outreach Programmes, Civil Service

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