“Employers are increasingly targeting school leavers as part of their graduate recruitment strategy, but they must be sure of the business case for doing so, panellists agreed at the Association of Graduate Recruiters conference yesterday.
Anne-Marie Martin, president of AGCAS, the Association of Graduate Career Advisory Services, told the event in Wales that employers should think carefully before embarking on school-leaver programmes.
“I would want to be confident about whether it’s good for the business,” she said. “In an age when we realised that we cannot afford higher education and we cannot afford to fund from the public purse, organisations need to make sure they are entering school leavers’ programmes for business reasons.”
Martin said it was ‘interesting’ that employers were returning to the idea of getting hold of people before they come to university, despite participation rates at university being at 50 percent.
“School leavers are different from graduates and they think differently, and I fear if you don’t recruit a sufficient number of graduates, then you’ll lose a lot of creativity that will take your firm into the next century,” she told delegates.”