Addressing School Leavers’ Skill Shortage Concerns: A Guide for Employers

In today’s competitive job market, employers often find themselves grappling with the challenge of addressing skill shortages, particularly when it comes to school leavers entering the workforce. School leavers bring fresh perspectives and potential, but they may lack the specific skills and experience required for certain roles.

In this blog, we will discuss effective strategies employers can adopt to tackle these skill shortage concerns and empower school leavers to become valuable contributors to their organisations.

Invest in On-the-Job Training Programs

One of the most impactful ways to bridge the skill gap is through on-the-job training programs. Instead of expecting school leavers to possess all the necessary skills from day one, invest in comprehensive training initiatives tailored to their roles. Create mentorship programs, apprenticeships, and internships that offer hands-on experience and guidance. This approach not only equips school leavers with the required skills but also fosters loyalty and engagement.

Collaborate with Educational Institutions

Establishing strong partnerships with educational institutions is a win-win strategy for both employers and school leavers. Engage with local schools, colleges, and universities to understand their curriculum and identify areas where the education system can be aligned with industry needs. Consider offering guest lectures, workshops, or industry placements to provide students with practical insights and exposure. By actively participating in shaping the education landscape, you can help develop a talent pool that meets your organisation’s requirements.

Platforms like Startingpoint allow employers to advertise job opportunities and apprenticeships directly to thousands of young people or use their filtering system to find candidates with the exact skills and talents you need for the job.

Startingpoint provides employers with the opportunity to see an anonymous profile of potential candidates. This allows them to showcase their skills and experience relevant to the important roles in your business. Through the secure messaging system, your business can connect with potential candidates. The candidate’s mentor can then facilitate a smooth interaction between your business and the candidate to make the process easier and less time-consuming for both parties.

Embrace a Growth Mindset

When hiring school leavers, it is essential to prioritise potential and attitude over specific skills. While technical expertise can be taught, the desire to learn and grow is an inherent quality that can significantly benefit your organisation. Focus on assessing candidates’ adaptability, curiosity, and willingness to take on new challenges during the recruitment process. By fostering a growth mindset culture, you can create an environment that encourages continuous learning and skills development among school leavers.

Provide Clear Pathways for Progression

School leavers are often motivated by the prospect of advancement and personal growth. To address their skill shortage concerns, provide clear career pathways and progression opportunities within your organisation. Establish a performance management system that includes regular feedback, goal setting, and skill development plans. Implement training programs, both formal and informal, that help school leavers acquire new skills and enhance existing ones. Demonstrating a commitment to their long-term growth will boost retention rates and attract high-potential candidates.

Encourage Peer Learning and Collaboration

School leavers can benefit greatly from peer learning and collaboration within the workplace. Foster a culture that promotes knowledge sharing, teamwork, and cross-functional projects. Encourage experienced employees to mentor and support school leavers, allowing them to learn from the expertise of others. Consider implementing platforms or tools that facilitate knowledge exchange and create opportunities for school leavers to engage with colleagues across the organisation.


Addressing skill shortage concerns among school leavers requires a proactive and strategic approach. By investing in on-the-job training programs, collaborating with educational institutions, embracing a growth mindset, providing clear pathways for progression, and encouraging peer learning, employers can effectively bridge the skill gap and tap into the potential of school leavers. By nurturing and empowering this emerging talent pool, organisations can secure a competitive advantage and contribute to the development of a skilled workforce for the future.