Payments processing firm Visa Europe has been recognised for its high quality Higher Apprenticeship provision by scooping up an award for Top Employer for School and College Leavers 2013.
The awards ceremony, run by job board AllAboutSchoolLeavers.co.uk, is the first of its kind, challenging issues including youth employment and alternatives to university.
Other category winners were PwC for Best School & College Leaver Recruitment Website, Capgemini for Best Career Progression, Ernst & Young for Best Use of Social Media in a School & College Leaver Recruitment Campaign, Gordons LLP and Visa Europe for Best Level of Support.
The awards featured a speech by Skills Minster Matthew Hancock, who said: “School leaver programmes, Higher Apprenticeships and sponsored degrees are helping young people to realise they can start their career earlier and be at no disadvantage to their graduated peers.
“It is a privilege to be supporting this awards ceremony and championing businesses that give school leavers the opportunity to fulfil their ambitions. We want it to be the norm to either go to University or do an Apprenticeship; events like this are helping to make that a reality”.
There was a 67.7% rise in Higher Apprenticeships in 2011/2012, compared with the previous year. A survey of 500 recruitment specialists by ICM Research suggested Higher Apprentices were 25% more employable than university graduates.