It’s a big step to go from school or college to a new workplace. Although exciting, it can be something that is very scary and can often feel out of one’s comfort zone. After spending at least 12 years in education, joining a workplace can be a massive change in environment. So, it is important that employers understand what school and college leavers want, this is why I have created a list of things a leaver might expect from a prospective employer (from the point of view of a college leaver).

At a glance, here are my top 10 things a leaver may expect from a prospective employer:

  • A welcoming environment
  • A sense of inclusiveness
  • New technology
  • A supportive team
  • Good company culture
  • A goal driven company
  • Recognition
  • Good pay
  • The opportunity for personal development
  • A positive working environment

10 things a school/college leaver expects from a prospective employer

A welcoming environment

I think this is one of the most important things in which school / college leavers are expecting. As previously mentioned, it can be a scary transition, so it is essential to feel welcomed within a workplace. Friendly faces and open arms can go a long way towards helping new people feel comfortable.

A sense of inclusiveness

When joining a new work environment, you can sometimes feel like the odd one out and it can be hard to fit in at first. Feeling part of the team is key to becoming more motivated and driven in the work place. This is why inclusiveness is so important; it can help school / college leavers feel valued and a part of the team.

New technology

It is no doubt that companies with the latest technology are more appealing than others as they have the ability to offer a wider extent of tools and software. This could range from social media management tools such as Twitter or LinkedIn, marketing software like HubSpot and graphics design systems such as Adobe’s creative suite. It can make the work environment a lot more exciting and modern, thus attracting younger employees.

holiday entitlement cropped-1A supportive team

A supportive workplace is necessary for someone who’s just left school or college, especially as it’s a completely new environment for them. It is important for the workplace to be supportive, whether it be offering advice or providing a little extra training. Apprenticeships are a good example of the training which companies can provide. It is a great way to attract school and college leavers as it allows them to acquire a qualification as well as vital work experience. Those who have just left education are keen to learn new skills so it is important that a prospective company would be willing to provide a level of training and support.


Good company culture

A workplace with a good company culture creates a positive environment in which employees are encouraged to feel more motivated, passionate and productive. It is important to have a workplace that values employees and understands that they are human too. Personally, the main criteria of my dream company culture would be that all employees are treated equally and each member’s opinion is valued.

Secondly, it would be important to me that the company would encourage further development of employees and be willing to invest in training and professional growth.

Finally, I think it’s important that the company culture would offer an element of fun for employees, whether it be a modern and exciting workplace or team nights out, it all can help motivate employees as well as increasing morale. 

A goal driven company

Setting company goals can help to motivate employees, creating an incentive for the people that work there. A company driven by goals can also help bring employees together, creating an exciting and passionate work environment.


It can be a nice feeling when you get recognised for the work that you do. It is important that employees, especially those that are new, are a valued and key team member. A small act of appreciation can help motivate and reassure school and college leavers.

Good pay

I mean, who doesn’t want good pay? Although pay isn’t everything, it is still a very important factor when choosing a prospective employer. It is important that school and college leavers don’t feel undervalued when it comes to their wage.

Personal development

For many college and school leavers, they are looking for a place that allows them to grow and develop. A company that offers room for this growth will ultimately stand out from the others.

A positive working environment

A positive working environment raises morale, increases productivity and encourages teamwork. This would create an inviting workplace for school and college leavers as it would create a more relaxed and less stressed environment.

Overall, I think it’s really important that companies try to attract school and college leavers because ultimately, we are the future. Doing little things such as creating a welcoming environment, having a good company culture or even providing that little extra bit of support can go a long way in attracting those who have just left education.


Culture Pledge