UK schools research

The Cibyl School Leaver Research UK discovers how and why school students make decisions about their futures, and how employers can best engage with them.

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The Cibyl School Leaver Research UK

The School Leavers research will help you understand how you can better attract, influence and recruit the best young people for your apprenticeships and early career roles.

  • The survey

    The 2021 survey had a sample size of 11,526. The survey has been designed to ask the questions that really tease out:

    • What’s important to 12–18-year-olds now and in the future? For example, is it finances, lifestyle, giving back to the community or something else?
    • Do the subject choices young people make at school affect their future career aspirations?
    • Who/what has the most influence over the decisions young people make? Is it people they know, their culture and community, aspirations, finances, their future work environment, or the tasks expected of them?
    • How can your messages impact this group effectively in a crowded market?
    • Why are young people still choosing university over apprenticeships? Are apprenticeships perceived as being ‘second best’? If so, how can employers help change this perception?

    New for 2021

    • Covid-19 impact – have students’ career priorities and plans changed?
    • Employer interactions – do students prefer to meet employers virtually or in-person?
    • Verbatim comments – what are students most interested in hearing about from employers?
  • Research outputs

    We are able to:

    • Present data overall, or broken down by subject, qualification level, school type or diversity group of interest.
    • Organise research by key themes, focusing on what you really want to know.
    • Explore perceptions of your brand and/or sector.
    • Provide insights into why young people choose university over apprenticeships.
    • Present the decision-making journey that a student would go through from ages 12–18. For example, we can trace the thinking of a black female student who is interested in an engineering career.
  • Your results

    We can deliver bespoke reports to your organisation. Our MRS-qualified experts will begin by consulting with you on your priorities, your challenges, any new developments you have planned and any specific questions you wish to be addressed in the research. We then follow up with a two-hour results workshop.

    You will receive:

    • A bespoke research report tailored to your organisation
    • A ‘results’ workshop to key stakeholders, sharing a full analysis and highlighting key findings
    • Additional follow-up research resources, such as additional results workshops, data cuts and bespoke executive summaries
    • Six months of support, which could include further desk research from us, use of DfE data, integration with your own recruitment data and more.
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