School leaver schemes

Some companies offer school leaver schemes to young people who have completed A levels. The schemes allow you to learn and train with a large company while earning a wage.

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School leaver schemes are usually similar to graduate schemes, except they’re aimed at school leavers.

Starting a school leavers scheme

To start a school leaver scheme, you’ll need to:

  • be 18 or over
  • not be in full-time education

Usually, the schemes require high A level grades or equivalent qualifications.

You can apply for a school leavers scheme while you’re still at school.

What you'll do on the school leavers scheme

Employers create their own schemes, so each one will be slightly different.

You may:

  • follow a training programme
  • earn a qualification, but not always
  • rotate between different locations with the same company
  • complete training online, in college or at a university

Sectors you could work in

School leaver schemes are offered by employers in sectors such as:

  • accounting and finance
  • engineering
  • law
  • leisure
  • retail

After your school leaver scheme

Once you’ve finished a school leaver scheme, you could:

  • get a job with your current employer, they might like to hire you because they’ve trained you and know you can do the job the way they’d like
  • find a new job with a different employer
  • get more qualifications with an apprenticeship or higher education
  • volunteer for more experience to help you get a permanent job

Applying for a school leavers scheme

You’ll need to check each company’s website to see if they offer a school leaver scheme and how to apply.

You can get careers advice from us on topics such as:




Special educational needs (SEND) advice

You can get education advice if you're disabled or have special educational needs. 

It may help you choose what you'd like to do next.



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