Employment and apprenticeships

Although the majority of our students move on to full time university courses we are keen that they consider the full range of options before making a decision. A growing number of employers offer high quality school leaver schemes, sponsored degrees and apprenticeships. Students who are interested in exploring these opportunities are offered on-going support from our careers advisers. Some students decide to keep their options open by applying for employment as well as university or college and then make their decision once offers have been received.

Students who do not know what type of career they would like to go into are encouraged to spend time carefully considering their own skills and interests and exploring different careers using the wide range of careers information available on-line and in the careers library. Once students have begun to narrow down their choices they are supported to explore their ideas in more depth through work experience, industry insight days and discussions with professionals who work in their chosen career area.

Our careers programme includes job search techniques, employability skills, preparation of CVs and covering letters and opportunities for practice interviews. In addition students can access individual advice and guidance on all aspects of the recruitment and selection procedure such as on-line applications, psychometric tests and assessment centres at the time when they require support.

Our careers advisers are well informed about apprenticeships and school leaver training schemes and we keep abreast with job market information locally and nationally. The careers department is regularly notified of school leaver opportunities in local and national companies and students can get details of current vacancies from the careers library and job vacancy noticeboard.

Apprenticeships take between one and four years to complete and cover well over 1,000 job roles across all the employment sectors in areas such as design, IT and healthcare as well as business and engineering related roles. Apprentices earn a wage paid by the employer and learn job specific skills alongside study for nationally recognised qualifications. There are 3 entry levels – intermediate, advanced and higher apprenticeships. Some higher apprenticeships offer the opportunity to study for a foundation degree and the possibility of progression to an honours degree. Information on the different types and levels of apprenticeships can be found on the www.apprenticeships.org.uk website, which also has a vacancy search facility.

School Leaver Training Schemes are separate from the National Apprenticeship Service but are also offered by a wide variety of employers. They usually involve part-time study for a degree or professional qualifications through day release or block release alongside paid employment and on-the job training. There is no central register of these schemes but they are often advertised on a company’s own website and on some of the websites listed below. There is strong competition for these schemes but those students who have allowed sufficient time to build up evidence to demonstrate the skills and enthusiasm that employers are looking for have often gained offers of employment.

Self-employment requires a good business idea, as well as the skills and knowledge to run your own business and a source of finance to cover start up costs. Students interested in this pathway are strongly encouraged to develop their business acumen through participation in the enterprise activities offered in school as well as external events and competitions. Shell LiveWIRE provides free advice and support to young entrepreneurs aged 16-30 who are starting or running their own business and The Prince's Trust offers business start-up advice through its enterprise programme. More information is available from the National Careers Service including practical advice from webinars.

Useful Websites

Information on over 750 job profiles, advice on job hunting, starting your own business and regional job market information provided by the Local Enterprise Partnerships.

Information on all types of apprenticeships. Register to search and apply for vacancies.

Advice and vacancy information on school leaver programmes, apprenticeships, sponsored degrees, gap year activities and distance learning.

Includes an extensive list of school leaver programmes and internship opportunities.

Advice, jobs and career information for students interested in school leaver schemes.

Subscribe to the newsletter and magazine for information on apprenticeships and school leaver programmes.

Universal Jobmatch is the Government website where you can search and apply for full and part time jobs.

Employment4Students contains a wide range of holiday and gap year jobs, part time work, internships and graduate opportunities.

Provides tips on writing your CV, finding a job and handling interviews.

Information service for careers in the NHS in England. Register to make the most of the NHS vacancy search.

Information on careers in the finance sector. Register to be kept up to date with job and work experience opportunities.

Includes information on the job market, top employers and employment opportunities in the Leeds region.


Guide for graduates to boost career prospects.