Employers need to increase their brand awareness and engage with young people digitally to encourage young talent

Employers need to increase their brand awareness and engage with young people digitally to encourage young talent

Monday, 6th of March

 Employers need to increase their brand awareness and engage with young people digitally to encourage young talent

New research from the UK’s biggest emerging talent specialist, MyKindaFuture, has revealed that businesses need to actively spend time on raising awareness of their brand values, whilst connecting with young people digitally, in order to build their talent pipeline and meet the Government’s 3 million apprenticeship target by 2020.

The research released to mark Apprenticeship Week 2017, shows employers need to focus more on helping young people understand what their brand and organisation stands for, as over 50% of young people surveyed said they are attracted to a company with strong ethics. Additionally, a business culture which encourages continuous training and development, is an area that two thirds of young people say they are actively looking for from their future career.

With just a month to go before the Apprenticeship Levy goes live, employers need to review, and in some cases, overhaul how they attract emerging talent, as negative perceptions of apprenticeships are still putting young people off applying for these roles. Research showed a third of young people hold back from applying for apprenticeship programmes as they fear they would be considered inferior routes by their peers. 

The disconnect between young people’s ideas of what a fulfilling career entails and pressing business skills needs means employers could improve how they show what exactly an apprenticeship entails. This could involve also demonstrating how apprenticeships fit with the organisation’s mission and vision and the long-term benefits to young people. 58% of young people would views themselves still ‘in training’ while undertaking an apprenticeship. With only a quarter seeing themselves as having a career following completion and with 75% viewing a good salary as being a key reason to apply for an apprenticeship 

Many graduate recruiters will also manage apprenticeship recruitment for their business. 16-24 year olds spend over 27 hours a week online*, so employers need to be more strategic about how they engage with young people digitally. Only 45% of young people surveyed would look for an apprenticeship on a job board, whilst nearly two thirds (64%) of young people would look directly on a company’s website when looking for an apprenticeship.

Industry awareness amongst young people differs with Construction, Engineering and Energy sector are still the most well-known, with two thirds (65%) associating the industry with apprenticeships. 42% believe Advertising, Media and Marketing run apprenticeship programmes, followed by Banking and Finance (38%), Technology (38%), Accountancy (34%), Hospitality (29%) and Retail (29%).

William Akerman, Founder and Managing Director, MyKindaFuture said;

‘With the launch of the Apprenticeship Levy just around the corner, it is great to see employers working innovatively on their attraction and recruitment strategies, yet there is still more that can be done. Employers need to use digital channels to improve brand awareness and engage with young people on their platforms through digital chat and mentoring. This is an area that MyKindaFuture are focused on supporting businesses with and I look forward to working with employers this year and beyond to help build their apprenticeship talent pipelines.”

Paula Cunnington, HR Director, from Dentsu Aegis Network added:

“We know that our industry has to critically focus on attracting new talent for the future. Businesses need to revolutionise their approach to talent development and put future workforce strategy at the heart of their organisation.  At Dentsu Aegis we’ve taken some significant steps to address this challenge,  we have recently launched The Code, a UK schools’ programme designed to help young people with their career choices and give them a head start in the digital economy. 

Through The Code we want to invest in the next generation of talent, and by 2020 we hope to bring 50% of our apprentices in through our programme.” 


Notes to editors

The main research results:

·       78% of young people believe learning while you work is the benefit of doing an apprenticeship.

·       40% see meeting people and learning first hand as a benefit.

·       60% are put off apprenticeships by the fact that they will miss out on the university experience.

·       A third say an apprenticeship salary puts them off.

·       90% of young people believe there is a progression route in doing an apprenticeship.

·       57% of young people are aware of the commitment they will need to make when completing an apprenticeship

·       Employer benefits including pay and holiday are what 67% of young people look for in an apprenticeship

·       71% of young people turn to their school, college or university for apprenticeship information

·       A quarter ask friends and family

·       58% feel their school or college are telling them enough about apprenticeships.

·       45% believe their friends would want them to do an apprenticeship

·       Nearly half (47%) think their family/guardians would want them to do an apprenticeship.  

·       75% see a good salary as being the most important aspect when applying for an apprenticeship.

·       57% look at the location of the apprenticeship.

·       10% look for travel expenses being covered.

·       64% of young people would look directly on a company’s website when looking for an apprenticeship.

*Ofcom Media Use and Attitudes Report 2015 https://www.ofcom.org.uk/about-ofcom/latest/media/media-releases/2015/time-spent-online-doubles-in-a-decade

For more information, contact:

Emma O’Connor


Tel: 0207 620 4463/ 07986 224 846, Email: emma@mykindafuture.com


About MyKindaFuture

MyKindaFuture is the biggest emerging talent specialist in the UK. They help employers reach the next generation of talent from school leavers to graduates, and recruit them on to work experience, internship, apprenticeship and graduate programmes.

MyKindaFuture use a mix of face-to-face workshops, online challenges and rich video content in partnership with over 70 UK businesses.

MyKindaFuture work with over 5,200 schools and have societies in over 40 University campuses. Trusted by students and educators alike, with over 32 years’ experience working with young people and their influencers. www.mykindafuture.com

Research carried out:

February 2017


12 – 25 year olds in MyKindaFuture network

Interviews, images and case studies are available on request.


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