Why Recruiting ‘A’ Level Leavers Adds Up to Business Benefits

As another cohort of undergraduates heads off to university and the party conferences reiterate the importance of apprenticeships, you could be forgiven for thinking that routes into a career are limited to one of the other: they’re not.  Or at least they shouldn’t be.

At Haworths Chartered Accountants, we have learned the value of recruiting high achieving ‘A’ level school leavers and training them with a combination of in-house development and accredited qualifications to nurture the professionals of the future.

So where’s the added value in this approach? Firstly, we know that we’re getting! The 18-year-olds we recruit in this way have achieved good grades at GCSE and ‘A’ level so we can be confident that they have the core academic skills and motivated approach to learning that they will need to meet the demands of qualifying as a chartered accountant.

Secondly, it enables us to recruit young candidates with the added maturity of an extra two years at school as compared to apprentices, without paying a premium for a well-educated but unqualified graduates.  In this way we are able to mould our trainees in our own best practice systems from day one, while offering them an attractive starting salary of £xx and paid study leave to ensure they achieve their full potential in their professional exams.

The only difficulty can be in finding the right ‘A’ Level leaver candidates to fill these opportunities. We live in a culture where the most academically able are steered towards university, while those who want to take a workplace training approach to a career are encouraged to take the apprenticeship route.

While, clearly, both of those approaches to building a successful career have their own merits, it’s important that employers, schools and parents open their eyes to the fact that there are other options too.

With the cost of a university education rising, including both fees and living expenses, many ‘A’ level students are nervous about taking on large amounts of debt with no guarantee of a job at the end of it.

Only by providing high level workplace training roles that help talented young people into professional services careers with a well-defined career development path can employers offer a viable alternative to both apprenticeships and university, creating opportunity for companies and candidates alike.