Why More Employers Are Benefitting From The Implementation Of School Leaver Programmes And Apprenticeships

by Andre on February 21st, 2014  Andre

The future of your business is down to the talented staff you employ and your recruitment strategy is crucial in attracting the best young applicants for this. Upon recruitment, it’s all about training the young people you have recruited to meet the future needs of your business. So how are methods developing over the coming years and what can you do to make sure your company is recruiting, developing and retaining the best young talent out there?

For various reasons, such as the increasing costs of going to university, for example, firms now need to look at the way they recruit staff to make sure the company continues to work effectively and remains competitive in the 21st century. For many years, Britain has existed in a culture that the only way for young people to have a successful career is to get good A-level results, go to university and then begin a career upon graduation. This means, in the past, many companies had to rely upon the creation of effective graduate programmes and could not really acquire Britain’s brightest talents until they had graduated from university in their early 20s.

However, thanks to various developments such as government initiatives, the increasing cost of going to university for students and also the drive of employer’s in exploring new avenues in sustainable recruitment, that culture is slowly being eroded and other options can now be considered both by school leavers and employers. It’s a win win situation for both employers and employees.

Apprenticeships and school leaver programmes now offer school leavers and other young people genuine alternatives for career success rather than the traditional university route. Nowadays, in 2014, just because a young person chooses not to take the university route, it doesn’t mean they can’t have a bright career ahead of them and this, in turn, has led to a more marked shake up in traditional recruitment strategies. While graduate career programmes are certainly still valuable for the future success of firms, businesses are now starting to think about how they can adjust their recruitment strategy so that they tap into the even younger talent that’s out there and have good staff retention in the future. Setting up school leaver programmes and / or apprenticeships within the company are proving to be an effective way of doing this.

Apprenticeships And School Leaver Programmes Are Changing Image

As far as the traditional university route is concerned, we are still in relatively early days when considering alternatives to this. However, speed of change is picking up pace and the perception that there is no career success unless you go to university is slowly disappearing. Does your company’s recruitment strategy take this into account?

Apprenticeships and school leaver programmes are increasingly being pushed as, and seen as, a way to drive the the economy of the United Kingdom forward by creating a committed and highly skilled workforce for the future. Depending on the nature of your business, adopting one or both of these recruitment strategies means you shouldn’t miss out on some of the best potential young talent out there. In using these schemes, many of the top companies in the United Kingdom  are snapping up some of the brightest young people in the country and are providing high quality training for them to contribute to the continuing development of their firm. These days many young school leavers either don’t want to to study full time at university or they cannot financially afford to do that. Offering School leaver programmes and / or apprenticeships are just two ways that your business can make sure it doesn’t miss out on these people.

Compared to apprenticeships, school leaver programmes are relatively new to the ‘alternatives to university scene’ and are dynamic in that companies who adopt this recruitment strategy are continually developing the structure of the programmes to increase their effectiveness and to make sure they are still attracting the best young applicants. School leaver programmes are fast becoming more popular with both employers and employees as they become more well known and many of the businesses that set up school leaver programmes in the past are now increasing their intake of young people onto the programmes. This is both because there are more applicants each year and because businesses are finding them to be an effective recruitment strategy both for attracting new talent and for staff retention. Is your company in the mix when it comes to employing talented school leavers?

School leaver programmes are not suitable for all industries and perhaps employing school leavers on an apprenticeship scheme would more benefit your business. Apprenticeships are slightly different to school leaver programmes in that they have a long and established history in the United Kingdom. As far as apprenticeships are concerned, this has been both an advantage and a disadvantage. They are traditionally associated with young people – usually males – learning a trade, and as such, have struggled in the past to shake off their blue collar image.

While this perception still may exist in the United Kingdom amongst some people (the parents of some students still think of apprenticeships in this way and consider university to be the best route for their child), government efforts to extend and promote the range of apprenticeship schemes and rethinks in recruitment strategies by many top employers are changing this. School leavers are now seeing apprenticeships of all levels as completely viable alternative entries to a successful career rather than needing to study full time for a university degree.

Many of the United Kingdom’s employers are realising this and have adapted their recruitment strategy to implement existing apprenticeship schemes and also to develop new ones that will both help drive their business forward and attract the best young school leavers. Is your company’s recruitment strategy set up to attract young people onto apprenticeship schemes that could in turn develop their skills, improve your staff retention and drive your firm forward in the future?

How Are Employers Using School Leaver Programmes And Apprenticeships To Their Benefit?

For some sectors, it’s not a case of having to decide which is the best between school leaver programmes, apprenticeships and graduate programmes, but rather a case of working out how all three of them can be implemented into the company recruitment strategy so that the most suitable candidates are found for the right jobs and careers. Because there is a programme of training, development, mentoring and further qualifications involved, loyalty to the firm and staff retention is also improved.


Many big employers in the United Kingdom have been able to take all these options into consideration and implement them into the company. PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC) are considered to be one of the ‘big four’ auditors in the United Kingdom and are a good example of a company who have incorporated school leaver programmes and higher apprenticeships, as well as their graduate programmes, into their recruitment strategy. By running a higher apprenticeship scheme, it is companies like this that are helping to get rid of the blue collar image of apprenticeships that we mentioned above.

It’s also evident that PricewaterhouseCoopers can see value in their schemes. They think there is room for a variety of recruitment strategies and development schemes because they now have talented young people from various economic and academic backgrounds coming to their firm via a variety of routes. Accountancy companies are well known for making use of school leaver programmes to develop and train their young staff and some of these are now well established with stiff competition amongst school leavers for places. PwC have taken this further and are now also working with other smaller companies in helping them to develop their own apprenticeship schemes so that they too can benefit from taking their young recruits through a structured programme where both the apprentice and the company benefit. The apprentice receives nationally recognised training and qualifications and the company therefore benefits from having a better qualified, more skilled recruit.

Law Firms

In the United Kingdom, there is a long tradition of how young talent breaks into the world of law. This has usually been a student graduating with a degree in law and then going on to work for a law firm until they became fully qualified. However, some firms are now thinking outside of this tradition as they realised they were losing out on talent of young people who couldn’t go to university, on many occasions due to economic reasons.

Described as a groundbreaking change, in April of 2013, the Higher Apprenticeship in Legal Services was launched. It is a real break from the traditional university route into law and successful completion of the apprenticeship gives young people a qualification that is equivalent to the first year of a degree – it is known as CILEX (Chartered Institute of Legal Executives) Level 4. The CILEX Level 4 means law firms in the United Kingdom can still tap into the talent of young people from less wealthy families; those who opted out of university for economic reasons. The CILEX Level 4 has given law firms real alternatives in recruiting the best young people and more law companies are taking it up across the United Kingdom. CILEX Level 3 has already been developed and firms adopting this apprenticeship also.

This shake up in recruitment for law firms has also meant changes in the way law companies run their day to day business. Whereas before, highly experienced staff and partners were spending lots of time on administrative work, much of this can now be passed on to young apprenticeships who are learning on the job and the more qualified people can concentrate on their tasks. Law firms are finding big benefits in the recruitment of young people through apprenticeships.

Looking Forward – Is Your Company Making Use Of School Leaver Programmes, Apprenticeships Or Other Means Of Getting The Best For Your Firm From Young Recruits?

At the moment, it is only the larger United Kingdom companies in a few sectors that have developed school leaver programmes for those students who choose not to go onto full time study at university. The retail, finance, engineering, hospitality & tourism, accountancy and IT sectors are all areas where school leaver programmes are to be found. They are rapidly increasing in popularity with both school leavers and the companies themselves and increased competition for places means these firms get their pick of the United Kingdom’s best young talent.

Retail giant Tesco, are constantly assessing their recruitment strategy and they are currently experimenting with a pilot school leaver programme that takes on school leavers at 16 years old. This is a tailored programme that aims to take those recruits right up to store management level over a period of a few years while gaining recognised qualifications at the same time. Companies such as Tesco are finding benefits in recruiting young school leavers because they come with less ‘baggage.’ They are finding it is easier to mould these young people into the company leaders of the future.

Accredited apprenticeships provide a national structure for the development of your young staff  where they gain on the job training combined with job related qualifications that are studied for outside of the workplace. If you are unsure as to whether your company could make use of an apprenticeship scheme within your recruitment strategy, take a look at this list of types of apprenticeships. Also, for more detailed information about what an apprenticeship might entail, you could also read our student page, What Is An Apprenticeship?

Naturally, as an employer, you want a recruitment strategy that allows you to find the best young people to work for your company and never has the choice been so good for both recruiters and school leavers and students. You want the best staff and these days, that doesn’t necessarily have to be a team solely made up of university graduates. Thanks to school leaver programmes and apprenticeships, your company now has the opportunity to employ a mixture of people from a variety of backgrounds and each will bring something different to the table.

Having had the student lifestyle experience, both socially and academically, for at least the previous three years, your graduates may well be more mature and possibly have more developed social and communication skills on top of their university degree. Your young school leavers on the other hand, whether via a school leaver programme or an apprenticeship, have possibly been chosen from a large pool of applicants (some companies receive over 100 applications for each available place on a school leaver programme). In theory, this means you have been able to choose from a number of suitable applicants and train them directly to the requirements of your firm. Whichever background they are from, all your young people are driven and your investment in them should pay dividends for your company in the future.

Staff retention is a priority for most companies out there and making sure you employ the best staff in the first place is the most cost effective way of doing this as well as the fact that it will save you a lot of time. Whether you have established graduate training programmes, school leaver programmes, apprenticeships or other staff development schemes for your company, you still need to consider the best people for the job. Take a look at our essential interview questions to help your find the best employees.

10 Reasons Why You Should Give Young People A Student Job Opportunity With Your Company

by Andre on January 21st, 2014  Andre

Reasons To Recruit Students

Depending on the type of business you run – you might do bulk recruitment for seasonal staff over busy periods such as Christmas or summer, for example, or your recruitment strategy might just be to recruit staff as and when vacancies arise in your company. Whatever the case, there are probably many students and young people out there who would jump at the chance to be awarded a part time student job, seasonal work or even full time work (some students may be looking for jobs whilst doing a gap year) with your company.

Whatever your recruitment strategy, the process can be costly and time consuming so it is obviously important you get the right people who are reliable, hard-working and who are going to make a positive contribution to the development of your business. Students can make up a valuable part of your existing team whether it is on a temporary basis or for a more long term role.

1. Providing Jobs For Students Means You Are Giving Back

Before we get into the nitty gritty of how students are going to benefit you and your company, let’s first consider how, by employing them, you will benefit them and in turn, the future workforce of the United Kingdom.

Many companies are now starting to employ university students and even young school leavers because they can provide them with necessary training and give them valuable on the job work experience and transferable skills. Some of this is done more formally in the guise of apprenticeships or school leaver programmes but students can also pick up valuable skills from the casual, seasonal or part time student jobs you might have available, too.

By providing jobs for students, you are making your contribution to their future. Depending on your company, you might be able to train them in a formal qualification where certificates are awarded (basic food hygiene, for example). You are loading them with experiences they can transfer to their CV for future job applications and, of course, if they work well for you, you can provide them with a glowing reference to back up what is written on the CV. And of course, making student jobs available means you will be easing the financial burden on the young people working for you while they are studying.

Not sold by the altruistic argument? Okay, read on to find out what’s in it for you, the student job recruiter…

2. Students Can Be Flexible With Their Time

More and more these days, companies need to stress the importance of flexibility when recruiting staff. If you have the type of firm that requires staff to have a certain degree of flexibility with their time, these can be ideal jobs for students. Many degree courses only need students to be in university for a few hours a week and, in lots of cases, that’s the only concrete demand on the student’s time. The rest of the time, they could well be the ones you call on when you need staff to cover illness, holidays or busy periods.

3. Many Students Have Good Communication Skills

When in tutorials and lectures students are encouraged to discuss aspects of their specialism. Some students might be in debating societies or spokespeople for groups they are members of. The fact that most students have an active social life should not be ignored, either. An active social life develops confidence and social skills. Advertising jobs for students as part of your recruitment strategy means you could end up with a team of young staff working for you who are able to communicate well with customers, with other staff members and also with representatives of other firms who deal with your company.

4. Students Tend To Be Resilient Individuals

Staff retention is always a concern for employers – the last thing you want to do is to spend time and money on a recruitment drive, award people the jobs and then lose a number of them because they just can’t handle the job.

Students are young people who are often living away from home for the first time. When they first went to university, they were in unfamiliar surroundings with unfamiliar people. Chances are they have overcome homesickness, they are missing friends and family but they’ve also made new friends, they’re fending for themselves and they’ve had to accustom themselves to a whole new way of study.

All of this means if you include jobs for students in your recruitment strategy, you might not be employing someone who is going to quit their job at the first sign of the going getting slightly tough.

5. Providing Student Jobs Could Be Good For Your Staff Retention

Obviously, many companies have staff retention in mind when they plan their recruitment strategy. When you interview young people who are looking for student jobs, they are likely to enter your company in an entry-level role on a part time or seasonal basis.

Whether you have apprenticeships, school leaver programmes, graduate trainee programmes or management training in place at your firm, the students you employ could be the people who go on to fill these roles on completion of their studies. This means the time and money you spend on graduate recruitment could be reduced. You already know the qualities and strengths of your employee and they are already familiar with the workings of your business.

Staff retention is important for companies – having a good team of employees you can trust to carry the firm forward and help it succeed in the future. Good staff retention begins with recruitment strategy and the questions companies use to interview applicants. So, if you do decide to include employment for students in your recruitment strategy, how do you make sure you are getting the best students to match the needs of your firm? For some ideas and tips, take a look at my blog post about essential interview questions to find the best student employees.

6. Providing Employment For Students Can Inject Innovation Into Your Company

Young people and students, especially university students, are under the tutorship of some of the leading minds in the United Kingdom, if not the world. The knowledge those tutors have passed to their students can in turn be used to benefit your company.

And even if your student is not yet at university, they are young – they have grown up in a technological environment that is changing at rapid pace. Young students can be an asset to your company because, even on an informal, social level, they are constantly adapting to technological advances and have no fear of change. You might find they can input a few ideas to your firm that you had never considered previously.

7. Students Usually Have High Quality Analytical and Problem Solving Skills

Whatever subjects they are studying, during their study time at college or university, students are regularly given tasks which require them to look closely at a particular situation and come up with an informed, reasoned opinion about it. This might involve reading and essay writing, or it might be in the form of hands on, practical tasks. Whatever the case, these are valuable, transferable skills that can easily be carried forward into all types of seasonal and part time student jobs.

And, when it comes to the problem solving skills that students might possess, these are not just developed from the academic side of their life. Throughout their time at college and university, students learn to think on their feet; developing creative methods of trying to be more resourceful with their limited funds, for example. In your workplace, this could be a definite advantage when difficulties or regular daily challenges arise because your student staff should be able to rise to those challenges and be excited by them rather than fearing them.

8. Students Are Completely Familiar With Working Under Pressure To Meet Deadlines

Again, it is about keeping in mind the transferable skills that students are developing while they are at college and university. Whether it is course work, meeting assignment deadlines, completing exams within the given time or solving practical problems in a controlled environment, these are all deadlines that students must meet on a regular basis. And often, particularly with exams, they are expected to submit quality work within a given space of time in a stressful situation. Indeed, some students even thrive from working under this type of pressure.

Whatever type of company you own or run, making space for student jobs in your recruitment strategy means you can draw on the students’ abilities to work under this pressured environment. Maybe you need your staff to reach particular targets such as sales targets. Or maybe you need your staff to be able to remain calm and confident in potentially volatile situations such as crowd control. Students tend to be relaxed under pressure because this is a part of their daily life. Give them a student job with your company and you could see the benefits quickly.

9. Students Tend To Be Good Team Players

All companies need staff who are able to work together as part of a team to get tasks done and contribute to the growth and development of the firm heading into the future.

Students can be good team players for a variety of reasons. They might play as part of a college or university sports team; in which case, they will know all about the importance of camaraderie, helping others out when needed and falling into the team where necessary. This is a valuable transferable skill to take into the workplace if they are given student jobs with your firm.

On a day to day level, students are in the classroom or other place of education, working in groups with fellow students on a regular basis. These could be young people they wouldn’t necessarily be friends with outside of the classroom and yet they make a good team in completing set tasks to a high standard. Students are able to adapt to working as part of a team with people they may be unfamiliar with – because at university, they are in an environment where people have come to study from all over the United Kingdom (and even different parts of the world) and these young people are from different walks of life.

In many cases, students will be living in a student house or halls of residence with other people of a similar age. Working together as part of a team to make their accommodation function – being considerate to others, being mindful of their different habits and activities and working through inevitable disputes – means students should be able to fall into your team in the workplace relatively seamlessly.

10. Students Can Make Effective Leaders

Obviously, if you have vacancies at your company and you want to advertise jobs for students as part of your recruitment strategy, it depends on the nature of your business whether or not a student or other young person would be suitable for a leadership role. For example, students can make effective team leaders in seasonal roles such as summer activity camps and they can also make very successful leaders in customer assistant roles or in catering positions. Their strength is in their diversity.

Students need to be accountable to themselves, as well as their supervisors, while completing their studies, making sure their time management is effective and taking charge of their own finances. Skills such as this that are developed naturally can be used to good effective in leadership roles in the work place.

In Conclusion

These are just ten of the reasons why your company might benefit if you have student jobs embedded into your recruitment strategy. If you would like to recruit young people, students or graduates for any openings you have at your company, take a look at the e4s employer page to see the packages we have available. Registration is completely free. Click the following link to find out more: Recruiting Students. Simplified.

How To Recruit The Best Students Or Graduates AND Make Sure You Retain Them

by Andre on November 30th, 2013  Andre

The success and growth of all firms is ultimately down to the quality of the employees working there and so, when you are on your next recruitment drive, you need to make sure you get the best people for the job. The young people, students and graduates are out there and many of them could well be the ideal person to fill your vacant positions. As an employer, you will know that recruitment can be expensive, time consuming and, at the end of it all, you still may not have found the person or people you really need. So how do you make sure you attract the best applicants for your job or career vacancies and retain them long term for the future success of your firm?

Be Innovative

Innovation in recruitment is essential in not only attracting the best applicants to fill your vacancies; it also aids sustainable recruitment. Making your company more visible and accessible to those you are hoping to recruit in the future means your applicants will know more about your company and its ethos beforehand. When you are recruiting further down the line, this means you are more likely to attract young people, students and graduates who will be proud to be a part of your company and so they are more likely to remain in the job longer.

Just as your firm will be hoping for innovation and dynamism from your new young recruits, they in turn will be looking to work for a company that is equally innovative and dynamic. And, when they stay in the job, this ultimately means you save time and money in the future.

Have you studied your recruitment policy recently? If it doesn’t match the image of your company, make some changes to it so that it reflects what you are about and ensures you are attracting the best applicants for your roles.

Consider Doing Your Own Recruitment

Outsourcing your recruitment to recruitment companies can be invaluable when you are pushed for time but there is also the risk that you could end up with a batch of candidates who don’t exactly match your requirements. This means you either don’t fill your vacancies or your new graduate recruit disappears as soon as they receive an offer that more suits them.

Many companies are now mixing different strategies and treating their recruitment as a long term, ongoing process rather than a one-off drive when the need arises. Rather than taking a shot in the dark and inviting people for interview purely from what that person has written on their CV and application form, they are getting to know young people, students and graduates over a period of time via a variety of sources. These days, thanks to the internet and the ever-evolving world of social media, that task has been made even easier, and it means you can also build your brand as a good employer.

So what are the strategies you can employ for more targeted and sustainable recruitment?

Leverage Your Online Presence

These days, an ‘online presence’ is not just about having a static website that just sits idly on the internet, buried somewhere deep down in the Google rankings. The use of different online strategies such as jobs boards like E4S, and social media channels and integrating those with your company website, should be an integral part of your online presence. After all, social media is where all those young people, students and graduates are hanging out online these days and those are the people you want to reach.

Your own company website is a valuable recruitment tool

First of all, have you got a ‘Job Vacancies’, ‘Careers’ or ‘Work For Us’ page on your website? This makes you immediately accessible to young recruits. What’s on that page? How are you making your company look appealing to potential applicants?

One very effective way to make your company look fun and dynamic is through staff testimonials. A few short videos from your young staff members where they describe their typical day, the challenges they face and what they most love about working for your company will go a long way in building trust and appealing to other young people you might want to recruit. Choose a person from each department who is willing to talk on camera, right from entry level jobs through to people on your graduate programmes, if you have them. Students and graduates are more likely to relate to people who could well be the their fellow team members and colleagues.

Videos such as this can be stored on YouTube and embedded into the recruitment page on your company website.

You could also have your own jobs board on your website. If your vacancies arise as and when, make sure they’re visible on your website. If you have set recruitment dates for big groups of temporary staff (for example, if you need extra hands over the Christmas period or you run a company that employs lots of seasonal summer staff) are these clearly visible on your website? And because you are doing your own recruitment, you can tailor these vacancies to attract exactly the type of people you want in your company.

Is your website up to date?

Also, when was the last time you spruced up your firm’s website? Young people want to know they’re going to work for a forward thinking, dynamic company that is going to excite and challenge them in their new role. Your website is an advert not just for what your company offers its buyers and customers but also an advert for future recruits. Does it look fresh and new? If it looks tired, dull and boring, potential young recruits could assume your company is tired, dull and boring.

Is your website mobile friendly?

These days, mobile phones are more likely to be smart phones and the number of young people viewing websites and social media outlets via their mobile is increasing. According to this research by NewMedia TrendWatch, by 2014, two thirds of the UK population will be smartphone users and the highest percentage of those people will be 18-24 year olds; your target student and graduate recruits. Your site must be mobile friendly.

Incorporate a blog into your website

Blogging is a highly effective way to drive traffic to your website and also build your online presence. You can use it to not only write about industry developments but also show daily life in your company. Ask young members of staff to write guest posts about their job, post about your social events or team building exercises and encourage comments and discussion. These are all good ways to attract and retain young people within your firm.

Job Boards

Did you know there is currently a rise in the number of young people using online job boards to look for work? Social media is going to be a big part of your online strategy but this should be interlinked with the use of job boards. A well written advert can still attract suitable candidates and therefore lead to good retention, especially if, like E4S, that job board is a trusted brand in itself and attracts students and graduates who are serious about looking for work.

A jobs board is a one stop shop for students who might be busy with last minute studies, essays and exams. You can link to your newly freshened up website from there and introduce your company to perfect candidates. And, if you have a good social media presence (we go further into this below), chances are, the young people looking for work might know your brand, anyway.

How Are You Leveraging Social Media?

These days, social media is more than just a tool for taking peeks at the profile of your potential employees to see what they get up to outside of work. As this article in HR Magazine says, although a recent survey of recruiters has revealed this still goes on, 77% of recruiters said they hired someone after finding them on social media.

Social media is free to use and also, more importantly, is packed full of young users. These are all the young people – school leavers, students and graduates – you can tap into and these are also the places for you to advertise yourself as a good employer to these young people. Also, if you are recruiting for particular roles and you have built up good relationships, your young social media followers are good referrers. They may well know just the person or people to fill your vacant positions.


Have you got a company Facebook page? If not, they are easy to set up and this is a place where you can encourage interaction between your company and the people who like your page. It’s a good way to get to know the types of people you would like to recruit. Where necessary, you can also use your Facebook page to do targeted posts so that they reach people in certain geographic areas or people of a particular age group.


Despite the fact you only have 140 characters to play with in any one tweet, as well as networking, you can also keep up with developments in your industry and follow recent recruitment trends. Twitter chats can also be organised between groups of people; a good tool you could leverage for remote recruitment purposes.


Young people in the United Kingdom are watching YouTube videos more and more. All those staff recruitment videos for your website can be stored on YouTube and embedded into your website. YouTube is now also the number 2 search engine on the net so you shouldn’t be ignoring this as a tool for attracting students and graduates to your company.


Google+ has had a mixed response from many social media users but that does not mean you should disregard it. Google+ Communities can be invaluable for creating discussion and getting to know what young people are looking for from their jobs and careers. Either join different ones or set one up yourself. Google+ hangouts are free and can also be good for interviews if your candidate lives a long way away because you can speak face to face. You can have multiple people in Google+ hangout so they are a useful recruitment tool for more informal group chats if you need to recruit a number of people for seasonal work.

Other Online Tools to Consider


Of course, LinkedIn is a valuable recruitment tool – it’s a social media outlet designed purely for that reason. It’s worth bearing in mind however that many users of LinkedIn in the United Kingdom tend to be professionals who keep their profiles up to date on there as a way of ‘passive job seeking.’ Depending on the type of vacancies you are recruiting for LinkedIn may or may not be useful to you.


We have written about essential interview questions to find the best student employees, previously. So, once you think you have a school leaver, student or graduate in mind for your vacancy or vacancies because of all the online work you’ve done, utilise these interview techniques and at the end of all this, you could well have taken the perfect person onboard and you should be able to retain them for the long term.

In summary

Recruitment can be a nightmare for companies because it can result in lots of time, expense, the wrong recruit – and then the cycle begins again. Employ a long term strategy for your recruitment using a variety of strategies, such as job boards and social media, that work cohesively and you should be able to find students and graduates who want to work for you and, in turn, who you want to carry your company forward.

Promoting your vacancies at Careers Fairs

by Andre on October 12th, 2013  Andre

We are not content with letting students come to us – as part of our strategy to get you the best and most relevant candidates, we travel up and down the country visiting careers fairs at universities and colleges.

Lots of clients (from nationwide retailers to smaller businesses) ask us about how we get candidates to come to the website and apply for jobs.. and this is one of our most effective ways!

In the last couple of weeks we have visited (amongst others):

- Exeter University
- University of Manchester
- University of Westminster
- Royal Holloway University
- Sheffield University
- Oxford Brookes University
- University of Liverpool

Some of our clients attend specific fairs as well, so if you are interested in advertising with us, and see us at a stall, come and say hi and we would love to find out a bit more about your requirements.

Sheffield Careers Fair

Setting up at Sheffield prior to signing up over 350 students and promoting the website to a couple of thousand attendees.

Clients celebrate success following record visitor numbers to Employment4students

by Khai Le on August 1st, 2013  avatar

Employment4students, still the UK’s most visited jobsite for undergraduate work, celebrated a record breaking 563,573 unique visitors in its June 2013 ABC audit, a 51 percent increase from its previous audit.

This meant that the 7,412 part-time, holiday and graduate jobs, internships, and overseas opportunities added to our website in June were exposed to over half a million visitors. This is a significant benchmark in our quest to help clients source active and eager employees, as well as helping students find the most exciting and relevant jobs around.

The increase has also boosted E4S’ Alexa ranking – determined by a combination of average daily views from visitors and pageviews – showing that Employment4students is ranked the 3,238 most popular website in the UK, far above sites like Milkround (standing at 4,238), RateMyPlacement (16,973), and Student Jobs (40,590).

These figures are reflected in a comparison of our June visitor numbers when E4S registered significantly higher traffic for the first half of the month than all of our competitors. The content of Employment4students is also more engaging to our visitors, with the average daily page view (4.23) higher than Milkround (3.50), Student Jobs (3.30) and newcomers Witlr (2.50).

Research conducted by Endsleigh and the NUS has revealed that two-thirds of students seek jobs during the summer, with 50 percent of those having undertaken part-time employment during term-time. This shows that the demand for part-time and holiday work is tremendously high, which helped E4S generate more than 232,000 job applications for companies in June.

Notable companies performed extremely successfully during June, both in terms of clicks and applications: a Coca-Cola Enterprises vacancy received almost 2,000 applications. The job advert to recruit 24 Van Sales Representatives across the country was closed early due to an outpour of 1,981 applications in just eight days.

Coca-Cola Enterprises was not the only company to benefit from E4S’ high visitor rate, with Andrew Soltau, Avant Garde Science, commenting: “E4S was a godsend. Out of a steady stream of promising applicants we were soon able to select someone ideal for the job.”

A nationwide phone retailer that has been advertising a number of positions with E4S for several months also saw considerable success, with over 2,600 clicks through to its vacancy portal for various sales consultant positions across the country, and Employment4students also generated 2,558 clicks for a client advertising fundraising positions for St. John Ambulance.

With the increase in traffic, E4S also saw substantial elevation in page views and job views. The website recorded 3,533,531 page views in June, and 1,046,577 job views by the close of the month.

The figures indicate that visitors to Employment4students were engaging with numerous pages of content across the website, and that they were also utilising the site specifically for job searching. The website also had a lower bounce rate – the amount of times visitors leave a website after looking at one page – than other student job sites, also indicating that visitors engaged with the content of the site.

Andre Boeke, E4S’ development director, commented: “Our recent audit shows that more and more students are choosing their employment options through E4S, and our clients are benefitting from our increased visitor numbers with more and more applicants to their positions.”

Lindsay Hobson, TMP Worldwide, added: “I have used E4S a number of times for a large UK banking client with much success. Not only had the site been one of the top performing media for internship candidates but the service received from the team has been second to none.”

The ABC certificate can be found here:

For more information, contact development director Andre Boeke at or 0845 838 0595.

Tackling Youth Unemployment

by Andre on June 30th, 2013  Andre

The current problem of youth unemployment is firmly placed on the radar of governments throughout the European Union – with some European countries facing levels soaring to 50%. Governments now realise the problem must be fully recognised and dealt with effectively as, not only is it detrimental to future economic growth to have have so much young talent going untapped, it also has an effect on the personal wellbeing and mental health of those young people who are long term unemployed as their confidence levels take a hit each time a job application or interview bears no fruit.

The term ‘youth unemployment’ refers to young people between the age ranges of 16 and 25 years old so, as well as school leavers, this also includes university graduates who are struggling to find positions to begin their graduate career.

What Can Be Done To Tackle The Problem Of Youth Unemployment?

Youth unemployment can’t be tackled by one body. Rather, it must be a collaboration on all levels starting right at the top with government initiatives, engagement with employers, looking at ways employers can recognise young talent for their vacant positions, education and training for those young people looking for work and finally, what is taught in schools.

At European Union Level

At the highest level, leaders of the member countries of the European Union recently met to discuss the growing problem of youth unemployment and have pledged 6 billion Euros to try to tackle the issues. Because of the current economic climate, cuts and austerity measures have led to higher numbers of young people out of work across the continent and it is hoped this money will begin to reverse that trend by encouraging companies to employ more school leavers and also increasing lending to small businesses so they, in turn, can take on more staff.

UK and Welsh Government Initiatives

In the United Kingdom, youth unemployment is currently around 20% and the Welsh and UK governments have started to work together on a joint initiative aimed at getting more young people into work. Welsh Secretary, David Jones and First Minister, Carwyn Jones recently attended a Jobs Summit in Newport, Gwent where employers and organisations such as Jobcentre Plus were invited along to discuss different ways of offering more work experience, internships and apprenticeships for young people.

One of the problems that was highlighted was not so much the lack of help out there for getting graduates and young people into work but the fact that there were so many separate initiatives amongst the different government bodies, young people are no longer sure what help is available to them. The Jobs Summit discussed ways of getting more coordination and communication so that different governmental departments, employers from local businesses and young people are aware of what resources are available to them.

In a recent BBC interview, director of the Job Centre Plus network in Wales, Martin Brown, said, “Every young person deserves a chance to get that first step onto the job ladder. If you have no experience, if you have nobody to give you a reference or act as a role model for you, some people find it really difficult. I need more employers to work with us and our organisations to offer opportunities to young people who have the potential to make a significant contribution to the economy in Wales.”

So employers from local businesses are also being encouraged to take part in tackling the problem of youth unemployment. The talent is out there but young people need to be given the chance to convince employers that they are up to the task. Offering short term work experience placements that can come with a strong chance of a paid contract at the end is one way companies can do this and also, perhaps reconsidering traditional interview processes by changing the format and posing alternative interview questions. We’ve written in the past about changes in legislation for unpaid internships so employers need to work closely with government departments and be committed to getting more young people into the workplace.

Long term youth unemployment is a problem in the United Kingdom, particularly in Wales, and there is currently a lot of combined effort going on in the country to get young people into jobs. Local businesses and councils are working together to encourage young people to try out different roles as getting them into the workplace is recognised as crucial for the future economic stability and growth of the country.

Preparing Young People For Work

These days, there are a growing number of young people who are third generation long term unemployed. These people often lack confidence as they feel they have no achievements to put on their CV that will attract employers. Many of them have also left high school with few or no GCSEs so it’s difficult for them to get an interview or even to know what to write on the initial application form.

Now however, drop in centres have been set up so that school leavers can go along, use the computers to look for work, attend booster sessions to get English and Maths levels up to scratch and also learn about tips for writing a good CV and filling in application forms.

Young people, whether they are school leavers, students or graduates often lose confidence when they apply for many jobs and they either receive rejection letters or hear nothing at all from the company they applied to. Potential employers can help people in this situation by providing feedback to applicants as to why they were not considered for a post on that particular occasion and also by making an active effort to take on younger people rather than ‘playing safe’ and taking on older, more experienced people who are often perceived as being more reliable.

The Jobs Summit in the Welsh city of Newport was aimed at tackling the issue of how employers can be encouraged to consider employing more young people.

What Young People Can Do

There are many young people in the UK who are long term unemployed and they need to be encouraged by careers services, council services and employers into the workplace. It’s critical that all sectors work together with young people to do this.

In the case of university graduates, because of the current economic climate, underemployment is an increasing problem and many are considering emigration in the hope of finding more career opportunities. Employers and governmental departments need to work together to encourage graduates into suitable roles that match their talents, skills and qualifications and graduates can make sure they highlight those in their applications.

As well as attending careers sessions and drop in centres to boost skills, voluntary work can also be undertaken so that those with little or no previous work experience can demonstrate to employers their willingness to take on work and learn about different roles. Voluntary work is a good boost for any CV and valuable experience that can be displayed on an application form.

What Employers Can Do

In working with local government departments some companies are taking an active role in combating youth unemployment by taking part in schemes where young people are given a work experience role for eight weeks. At the end of the eight week period, if the person has worked well and learned what is required of them, they are given a full time, paid job. While some candidates are unsuccessful – the job may not have been completely suitable for their talents – they can still go on to add something to their CV and apply for other roles.

Jobs Growth Wales, the Welsh government’s flagship scheme, has created 4,000 job opportunities by working with employers. The scheme also offers support to businesses that has so far totalled £80 million. A Business Start Up Programme has also created nearly 5,000 new businesses and this has created 10,700 new jobs as a result. This can only be more encouraging news for out of work graduates and young people who have left school or students looking for part time work.

What Schools And Colleges Can Do

Of course, employers need to be able to employ suitable candidates for their vacant positions if their companies are going to progress and contribute to the future growth of the United Kingdom’s economy. Schools and colleges can take more of an active role in encouraging students to undertake further study in the less popular subjects.

In his Huffington Post article ‘How Can We Encourage Young People To Pursue Engineering Courses And Careers To Preempt The Skills Shortage,’ Professor Andy Hopper, president of the Institution of Engineering and Technology, suggests schools need to be more focussed in making the STEM subjects more attractive to young people.

STEM subjects are Science, Technology, Engineering and Maths and these subjects are often perceived by young people as being difficult, boring, hard work and nerdy. they are not the subjects that the rest of the ‘in crowd’ do so most students are reluctant to take them on. There is already a skills shortage in the workplace in these areas and that is growing all the time. Schools and colleges need to make these subjects fun and engaging so that students can go on to study these areas in higher education.

Part of that attraction could be an emphasis on the types of exciting and innovative graduate careers potentially available to those who choose this path. Aircraft and jet design, for example. Employers in these fields could work with the government, both locally and nationally to visit schools, colleges and universities and talk about their work. Likewise, day visits to places of work for students can be arranged so they can get a feel for the atmosphere and the surroundings.

For careers that are centred around the science, technology, engineering and maths subjects, transition from university to the workplace is crucial so that these graduates are not tempted away into other careers. Employers can play a big role in this by taking part in schemes like the ones above and by being innovative in their methods to attract young people.

Youth Unemployment And The Future Economy

Youth unemployment is not just an annoying and depressing problem for the school leavers, students and graduates of the United Kingdom; it’s also a huge problem for the future growth of the economy and development of the United Kingdom. In order to tackle and combat the problem, different government bodies, organisations and employers are responsible for pushing forward to work together and make sure talent of the youth does not go to waste…


Essential Interview Questions To Find The Best Student Employees

by Andre on May 17th, 2013  Andre

If you are a smaller company, you are no doubt fully aware that the taking on of new staff and the whole advertising process before that can be both expensive and time consuming. Firstly, you need to create your vacancy advert in such a way as to attract applications from the type of students, graduates or young professionals you are hoping to have working in your company. Secondly, once those applications come (hopefully) flooding in, you need to spend the time to read through them and whittle them down to a few candidates you think would fit the bill and who you would like to invite for an interview.

And then there’s the whole interview process. Wouldn’t it be good to get it right first time then you know you can have the right candidate working in your firm and moving forward right from day one? How do you know, from your interview questions, that you will get the right person? The interview process is a two way thing and it’s as much down to your questions as it is the person answering them.

These days, the internet is packed full of websites and blog posts, all advising prospective candidates about the types of questions they will be asked if they are invited to an interview. Because of this, many graduates, students and other young professionals have a bank of well rehearsed answers in their head that they can simply rhyme off to you when you come up with those predictable questions that almost every company uses. This may not be good for your company because you are not seeing the real personality and traits of the interview candidate and it’s also not good for them. Rehearsed answers can become stale and the candidate loses the chance to really express themselves and show you what they are capable of.

Take a look at your interview questions:

What are the questions you usually ask to candidates looking to work in your firm? Are you asking the same mundane questions every other smaller firm is asking? Students and graduates need to be given the opportunity to express themselves to you and demonstrate to you how they can move your company forwards. After all, isn’t that the whole point of recruiting new staff? Your company may well miss out on the best candidate for the job vacancy if all of those candidates know which type of questions you are going to ask them.

What Are The Standard Interview Questions?

We all know the types of questions that are likely to come up in an interview scenario, and that’s the problem. Let’s take a look at some of those questions now. Do your questions resemble this list?

Tell us a little bit about yourself:

It’s likely that what you want to know from this question is what the interviewee, whether they are a student or graduate, has done in the past that qualifies them for a role in your company. What can happen however is those candidates who might not have the interview experience will start to tell you their life story – a waste of your time and theirs. This could well be your future star performer in your company.

This question could be expanded upon by asking your interviewee to tell you a little bit about their achievements in a previous role that would benefit your company. Students and graduates with no previous experience can be encouraged to tell you about any problems they have faced in different scenarios at university and how they overcame those problems.

What do you feel are your strengths and weaknesses?

Again, most students and graduates will have practised these questions many times and will be trying to tell you what they think you want to hear, and again, this might not be the best use of your time or theirs. Candidates for any position, be it a part time holiday post or a graduate career, can be encouraged to give you a scenario of where they used their strengths in a previous job or in a university situation and they can then go on to tell you how that strength would benefit your company and carry your business forward in the future.

No one likes to talk about their weaknesses but as an employer, you need to know that your potential future member of staff is aware of their weaknesses. Have they identfied the weakness themselves or has someone else discussed it with them previously – maybe in a past appraisal for example? This might not need to determine whether or not the interviewee is offered the job. If you can ascertain from your candidate what they are doing about their weakness – online study, working with their tutor, or a separate evening course for instance – then you could still have a potential future employee working for your company.

What Are Your Career Goals?

Whatever type of job you are interviewing students, graduates or other young people for, this question is a regular one that crops up and one which most candidates will have another well prepared and rehearsed answer for. The candidate’s future career goals may well have nothing to do with your company but that person could still be a valuable asset for your company for the time that they spend working for you.

Instead, while the interviewee tells you about their hopes for their future career, ask them to expand on this by telling you how they can benefit your firm in the time they are with you. After all, it may be a temporary post you are advertising so that candidate needs to be able to make a difference over a short period.

We all know how fast moving technology is these days and how that is impacting the workplace. Give your interviewee the opportunity to focus on the future rather than on the past by encouraging them to tell you about how they think your particular industry is going to change over the next few months or years and how they will be the best person to keep your firm in a competitive position.

It might also be a good idea to encourage students and graduates to tell you how they intend to reach these career goals in the future. What are they going to do to keep on top of their learning once they are working for your company? Maybe they intend to do some extra courses. Maybe your company will foot the bill for extra courses for staff to keep their skills up to date. Maybe your interviewee is already an expert in a particular field through their degree or because it’s a hobby – IT for instance – and they keep themselves ahead of the game quite naturally because they are always reading about and developing new ideas of their own.

Students and graduates who can be encouraged to demonstrate that they are innovative and that they have the means and the enthusiasm to remain in an expert position in the future are going to be a valuable employee for your company right from the day they begin to work for you. And again, interview questions which encourage young people to tell you about future goals and how they can move your company forward means those students and graduates with no previous experience in your particular industry can really sell themselves to you. They might be able to demonstrate their innovation to you by telling you about something they did in a previous internship they carried out or as part of a university club. Encourage them to tell you how they can introduce innovative ideas to your company and this could help you choose the ideal candidate.

Most standard interview questions dwell on history rather than future and this can stop you finding the best graduates who might not have any previous experience to draw from within your industry. You don’t want to miss out on the best thinkers and innovators just because they’ve never had such a position before.

Tell us what you know about our company…

Again, most students and graduates who really want a job with your company will have done their homework beforehand and will probably have memorised key facts such as your main competitors, your company structure and what the key challenges are facing your firm in the future.

While the fact that your candidate has researched your company may be impressive and shows that they are serious about wanting to work for you, it can be more useful to encourage young people to tell you about how they would deal with challenges within your company and throughout the industry. Give young people the chance to shine by asking them to tell you exactly how they would deal with particular challenges. Choose a scenario – possibly one that is a real situation within your company right now – and ask the candidate to tell you what they would do to try to overcome this problem.

You could also ask students and graduates about any research they have done on your staff structure and how the company is run. How are they going to fit in within that structure? Do you want someone with good leadership qualities who can lead a team forward, or do you want someone who is going to join your company and blend in straight away as one of the team players?

Going forward

Encouraging students, graduates and other young people who you are interviewing to provide you with examples of how they would deal with real life scenarios in the future can help you secure the right person for your vacancy. It’s not necessarily the candidate with the most well prepared answers who will be the best person to fit in with your existing company structure. A few spontaneous questions and scenarios where the candidate has to provide real solutions for your company means all interviewees get the chance to shine and express themselves in a more realistic situation.

The Crackdown On Unpaid Internships

by Andre on April 17th, 2013  Andre

Since our last blogpost about Fair Pay For Interns, there have been a few developments which could make you, as an employer, think twice about advertising unpaid internships.

In that last blog we set out the arguments for and against fair pay for interns – but now there is a *very* strong “argument against” to add to the list of reasons why companies should not offer internships without remuneration…

Your company could find itself being investigated by Her Majesty’s Revenue & Customs…

Last week, Jo Swinson, the Minister for Employment Relations and Consumer Affairs in the Department for Business, Innovation and Skills, handed over the details of one hundred companies alleged to be breaking the law on unpaid internships to the HMRC.

Intern Aware

The list of unnamed companies accused of being on the wrong side of the law was drawn up by Intern Aware, a group which campaigns for fair, paid internships on behalf of graduates in the UK.

The list is said to contain household brand names, PR firms, accountants, architects and companies from the media, retail and fashion sectors.

Ms Swinson thanked the group for their findings and said the details would be treated as intelligence by the HMRC. Anyone found using unpaid interns to operate in full time positions when the National Minimum Wage should be applied will be found to be in breach of the law.

Speaking to Sky News after the not-yet-named-but-possibly-to-be-shamed list was handed to the HMRC, Gus Baker, a director of Intern Aware, said:

“Young people who worked hard at school, who worked hard at university, who have done everything right and played by the rules are being told after they graduate that they can’t get into the industries they want unless they work for free in unpaid internships. It excludes young people who can’t afford to work for free.”

Intern Aware say they are happy that their list has been put into the hands of the HMRC, but pledge that still more needs to be done to redress the balance and get fair pay for interns.

Mr Baker estimates that around 100,000 people in Britain are working in unpaid roles, and says that the “fair pay for interns” movement is gathering pace, not just in the UK, but in the United States, France, Canada and Australia too.

Internships Valuable For Young People

A spokesperson for the Department of Business, Innovation and Skills said: “Internships can be a valuable way of helping young people get into work and realise their ambitions. The law on the National Minimum Wage is clear. If somebody on a work experience placement or internship is a worker under NMW legislation, then they are entitled to the minimum wage.”

Ms Swinson says that more work needs to be done to enforce minimum wage law. It is essential, says the Liberal Democrat MP, that a distinction is made between genuine work experience positions, volunteering opportunities and internships, where a student or graduate is effectively doing a job that would otherwise need to be filled by a paid employee.

Anyone not complying with the law on internships was attacking the National Minimum Wage said Ms Swinson.

The legal definition which sets the boundaries of what is “work” and what is “volunteering” or “work experience” includes details such as whether there are set hours, the placement is for an extended amount of time, and whether a defined role has been set for the position rather than it being a purely observational role.

Harrods & Reading FC

Last December, Harrods, the famous London retailer, had to cough up £1,800 after Interns Aware helped a marketing graduate who had worked at the department store for three months in an unpaid position.

Harrods claimed it was an isolated mistake which had come about due to the 21 year old graduate from Ealing being “misclassified” as a volunteer. The reclassified intern was reimbursed for over 270 hours work at the National Minimum Wage rate.

More recently, the Independent newspaper highlighted a twelve month internship as a “Performance Analyst” at Reading Football Club which was advertised as paying neither a wage nor even expenses. The role also required the “successful” applicant to work unsociable hours and fork out expenses to attend every Reading game, home and away.

The cash-rich club seemed unrepentant, with a spokesman for Reading saying:

“Internships are an important part of career progression and experience building for any individual starting out on the path to their dream job. Football is happy to offer such a great opportunity, we receive a huge number of requests and it is beneficial to all parties to have formalised the process.”

Fair Warning

Last year, the HMRC clawed back over £4 million worth of wages for more than 26,000 people who it deemed to have been underpaid by employers.

So, be warned! If you as a recruiter are even thinking of advertising an unpaid internship, then get ready for a knock at the door by someone from the HMRC…

Fair Pay For Interns

by Andre on March 30th, 2013  Andre

In December 2012, Labour Party Member of Parliament, Hazel Blears proposed her bill for a blanket ban on the advertising of long term unpaid internships to parliament. She attained cross-party support for her proposal, as well as the support of many students and graduates who take on internships, but that hasn’t stopped those with misgivings from speaking out and airing their concerns, too.

Changing the culture around unpaid internships

The issue is about the culture that surrounds internships. Internships are mostly offered to students and graduates looking to break into careers in competitive industries such as media, fashion, finance and, until recently, parliamentary positions. For the thousands of graduates hoping for work in this field, the view is that what sets them apart from the other hopefuls is the word internship on their CV. It shows practical experience and is seen to demonstrate their commitment to their future career.

While there’s no denying that previous work experience is a valuable tool for those wanting to get a foothold on the graduate career ladder, Hazel Blears argues that we need to change the culture that working for free in the form of a long term unpaid internship is acceptable and necessary. She wants businesses and students and graduates to change this culture and expect internships to be paid. Adjustments to existing employment laws which protect workers will be made so that students and graduates must be paid at least the national minimum wage (this currently stands at £6.19 per hour for adults aged 21 and over) while they are interning in the workplace.

While this could be seen as hypocritical coming from a member of parliament working in an environment where many of the current staff attained their positions by working as unpaid interns, Hazel Blears has made it clear she is leading by example. In conjunction with the Social Mobility Scheme, she has set up a paid internship scheme where students and graduates from a variety of backgrounds throughout the UK are given the opportunity to work in Westminster. The student is placed with a Member of Parliament and shadows them in their London office while also carrying out research tasks and administrative duties. This work is paid and there is also financial assistance with accommodation fees.

On welcoming the 2013 interns to the programme, Hazel Blears stated on her website:

“Nobody should ever be denied the chance to gain the valuable experience offered by a long-term internship simply because they cannot afford to work for free.

“An increasing number of politicians started their career after getting a job in an MP’s office on the back of an unpaid internship during which they received support from their families.

“It cannot be right that we should have a political elite drawn mainly from middle and upper class families who can afford to support their children in this way.”

And Hazel Blears’ proposed legislation has the backing of the National Union of Students who are also trying to change the culture around unpaid internships amongst university students. While internships are seen as an essential part of getting a foothold on the graduate career ladder in industries where competition is strong, students and graduates are being encouraged to value their skills and their time and make companies aware that their time spent doing an internship shouldn’t come for free.

Campaigner Libby Page says government support is much appreciated but students and graduates must take responsibility, too. Unless students start refusing to work for free, employers will continue to exploit them. She agrees with the viewpoint of Hazel Blears when she said in her Guardian blog post, dated December 2012:

“People from richer backgrounds are three times more likely to have undertaken unpaid internships than those from poorer backgrounds, according to a recent survey conducted by NUS and YouGov. I have managed to support myself with my student loan while working for free, but when I graduate, unpaid work will no longer be an option. Yet I am constantly being told that I should expect to work for free after graduating.”

Blanket Ban on the Advertising of Long Term Unpaid Internships – The Arguments In Favour

The arguments in favour of a blanket ban of long term unpaid internships are many:

Exploitation: For some time, more and more people been moving towards the opinion that rather than a long term unpaid internship being seen as necessary work experience, it is now viewed as exploitation of young people who will work for free because they are desperate to break through into their chosen career.

This shift in opinion is also true of an increasing number of businesses who, rather than risk negative publicity and be accused of being exploitative, have changed their policies on internships and have begun to pay the students and graduates they take on. For example, in February of this year, digital business magazine, Dezeen, announced they were scrapping unpaid internships at the company. While stating that negative comments on Twitter didn’t affect the decision to change their internship policy, and stating that they and their previous interns have no problem with unpaid internships, editor-in-chief Marcus Fairs nevertheless announced a new, three month paid internship programme.

Inclusivity benefits the business: Most internships in the UK are based in London, one of the world’s most expensive cities to live and work in. Naturally, not all students and new graduates can afford to live in the capital city and work a given length of time for free, especially when, for a lot of young people, this also involves relocation from elsewhere in the UK.

This, people argue, means businesses are missing out on a lot of the UK’s young talent as only those that can afford it can do an internship while those that can’t are excluded. It follows then that businesses which choose to pay their interns get a more varied pool of candidates for an internship and can choose students and graduates who will most benefit the company.

Not paying interns is bad for business: There are those that subscribe to the view that while taking on unpaid interns can can seem like good economic sense, it can also result in being a short-term solution where the business loses out financially in the long run and their image is tarnished.

Unpaid interns may be less motivated to really contribute to the progression of the company, costing the business money. Also, if the intern feels they have been badly treated it’s likely they are going to pass on their experience to others, meaning fewer interns (and job seekers) will apply for positions in the future because the company has developed a bad reputation. Paid interns who are well-motivated and who know exactly what is expected of them are more likely to help the progression of the business.

Blanket Ban on the Advertising of Long Term Unpaid Internships – The Arguments Against

Many are arguing that the blanket ban on the advertising of long term unpaid internships has not been thought through properly and more discussion around the topic is needed.

Hazel Blears has stressed her bill is only targetting the long term internships and has hinted that a model similar to the one in France could be adopted where interns start receiving payment for their work after an eight week period. Those who disagree with this say smaller companies will simply start running eight week internship programmes and neither the company nor the intern will get any real value from this.

Internships will be driven underground and smaller companies will be the worst affected: As with any blanket ban, there is an argument that if they can’t be publicly advertised, unpaid internships will be driven underground. Smaller companies, especially business start-ups, can’t afford to pay their interns and so will be forced to break the law.

Rather than encouraging inclusivity and productivity, a ban on long term unpaid internships could result in the ultimate failure, and at the least, stifle the growth of these smaller businesses because they can’t afford to tap into that talent. Returning to the Dezeen example above, editor in chief Marcus Fairs stresses they have introduced their three month internship programme because the business can now afford it. When it was a startup in his bedroom, unpaid interns were essential in helping him to grow his business and many of those people now work for the magazine.

Charities will be affected: One of the arguments against a blanket ban on the advertising of long term internships is that charities will suffer because they need to be able to advertise for unpaid interns.

And so the internship debate continues. 2013 looks to be the year that the banning of the advertising of long term unpaid internships comes into place (Hazel Blears’ proposals have received no opposition in parliament) but that doesn’t mean students, graduates and employers alike will stop pushing their opposing points forward. Time will tell if students and graduates are the true beneficiaries of the parliamentary legislation…

Apprentice Winner Uses E4S To Recruit

by Andre on February 11th, 2013  Andre

We at E4S are much more famous for saying “Youth Hired!” rather than “You’re Fired!” – but, today, we’re also very proud to announce on the E4S employer blog that Tom Pellereau, winner of BBC show The Apprentice in 2011, regularly recruits through the employment4students website.

In fact, Tom has just used the recruitment services of E4S for the second time – and his company has very kindly forwarded us a testimonial because of the success we’ve had in sending strong candidates his way.

A Logical Guy

Tom, who was part of Team Logic throughout the whole of the 2011 series, was never to hear Lord Sugar voice the famous “You’re Fired!” phrase in his direction during the 7th series of the show.

He survived the full distance of the 15-candidate Apprentice to face Helen Milligan, Susan Ma and Jim Eastwood in the final. After Susan and Jim were sent away from the boardroom, Tom went head to head with Helen before finally walking away as the series winner with a £250,000 investment to set up in business with Lord Sugar. The 2011 final of The Apprentice was viewed by more than 10 million people, making Tom Pellereau a household name in the UK.

Aventom - Tom Pellereau and Lord Sugar


Once the cameras had stopped rolling, the new company set up by Tom and Lord Sugar, Aventom, successfully launched Tom’s new invention range of Stylfile products in March 2012. The Stylfile collection is an iconic-looking, revolutionary, yet highly practical range of three curved nail files which makes filing and clipping nails an absolute cinch.

As the Aventom company looks to expand in 2013, entrepreneur Tom, a First Class honours graduate of the University of Bath, now 33, has used E4S to fill internship positions and full time job roles such as junior inventors, designers and 3D modellers for Aventom.

Together at the new company, Tom & Lord Sugar have aimed to ‘Invent a Better Tomorrow’ by creating revolutionary yet simple products which solve everyday problems.

Now, we’re no inventors, but we agree with that philosophy 100%. If we too at E4S can continue to make a better tomorrow for students and young people of today, while, at the same time, solving everyday recruitment problems for recruiters like you in a simple way, then we’ll be very happy people.


So, we’re very pleased to say that Aventom has sent us a ringing endorsement both for the quality of candidates we can offer and the high level of customer service we provide.

Here is what Tom Pellereau & Lord Sugar’s firm, Aventom, said about their experiences using E4S for a recent internship vacancy:

Many thanks for that! Glad that we can help.

If you’re looking for even more feedback from recruiters who use employment4students regularly then you’ll find plenty to read on our Recruiter Testimonials page.

We would also like to take this opportunity to wish Tom and his wife Sarah all the very best for the future following their recently announced news that they are to become parents later this year.

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Why More Employers Are Benefitting From The Implementation Of School Leaver Programmes And Apprenticeships

21 February, 2014

The future of your business is down to the talented staff you employ and your recruitment strategy is...

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Depending on the type of business you run – you might do bulk recruitment for seasonal staff over...

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