First thing’s first, you need to decide which industry you are most interested in – some school leaver schemes, such as Mazars accountancy and tax trainee schemes, open their applications now. Schemes typically last 1-4 years so make sure you’re passionate about the sector you choose.

Decide what level of apprenticeship is best for you – Level 2 Intermediate requires 5 GCSE passes at grades A*-C, Level 3 Advanced requires two A level passes and Higher Apprenticeships (Levels 4-7) require a foundation degree.


Keep on top of your school work and exams – school leaver schemes require a minimum of English and maths GCSEs at A*-C grades with some companies specifying a B or higher in maths. Schemes also typically require a minimum of 260 UCAS points, but some big companies ask for higher.

Check our Employer Directory for specific company requirements.

Most school leaver schemes are open by now so you should be ready to apply once you’ve completed thorough research into the companies and prepared yourself for each application stage.


Continue with your applications and start to prepare for the next steps – interviews and assessments. Read about how to prepare for these on the Inside Careers website, where you can also take one of our online practice tests to help get you ready!

Attend a school leaver open day hosted by a company you are interested in applying to. This will give you an idea of what it would be like to work there and what is expected of you. Open days are a brilliant opportunity to make a sound first impression and start networking.


Keep an eye out for school leaver schemes that are still available at companies with rolling deadlines if you haven’t managed to find an opportunity yet.

Some companies’ school leaver schemes start in September, so if you still have a year left in school, start applying in July to secure a scheme for once you have finished school next year.

Results day! Some companies will require you to contact them with your results if you have already applied for a position on one of their schemes – so get this done before you start celebrating!

Back to Top