GradStart - essential SME business skills for young employees

Akonia GradStart

GradStart® - the essential SME business skills development programme for young employees


Young people with the right skills make great employees.


A graduate-style development programme will help you recruit and retain the very best young people.


With one in four graduate employees likely to leave their employer within 12 months of joining, how sure can you be that your young employees will stay with you?


Four of the top reasons that employees give for leaving their job are the

  • lack of  genuine interest in their development.
  • lack of  skills development and opportunities to utilise their skills, expertise and abilities.
  • lack of  recognition for the contribution they make.
  • lack of  career progression and promotion.


Providing your young employees with a graduate-style development programme will help considerably with addressing these issues.
It will decrease the likelihood that your young employees will resign in the early stages of their career and prevent the disruption and inconvenience that that can bring to your organisation.


Employer benefits


Stand out from the crowd.


With only half of large employers and just 1 in 9 SMEs currently providing a graduate programme, you have a great opportunity to differentiate your organisation by offering a graduate-style development programme, and attract top calibre graduates.


  • Bridge the gap  between your young employees’ academic studies and the reality of the world of work.
  • Rapidly integrate  your young employees smoothly into their team and department, and benefit from their contribution quicker.
  • Accelerate performance  from new recruits, and make them more productive.
  • Retain employees  thereby avoiding massive costs in terms of both time and money: advertising for a replacement; sifting through mountains of CVs; interviewing, inducting and training.


Employee benefits


Make engagement a priority.


How an employee feels about their job, and how engaged they become, will depend upon a combination of factors.  This includes the value they feel they contribute to the team, department and the overall organisation, as well as the recognition they
receive from their peers, manager and senior executives.


It is critical that you engage your young employees in their first year on the job.  


  • See their self-confidence grow  so they take more initiative in the workplace.
  • Develop the ability to ask better, more critical questions of the people they meet.
  • Develop essential skills  that will form a solid foundation on which to build their career.
  • Gain an understanding of leadership  and how to lead.
  • Increase career and promotion prospects, and experience greater responsibility and higher income. 




Research shows that the most important business skills that as an Employer you want them to have, are:-


  • Personal management
  • Interpersonal behaviour
  • Problem solving
  • Industry intelligence
  • Finance awareness
  • Communication skills
  • Team working
  • Customer awareness
  • Management
  • Leadership



Once a month they’ll join with employees from other local and national employers on our training programme. This expands and extends their business knowledge and skills in a stimulating, thought-provoking, proactive environment that aids retention of knowledge and fosters new understanding, behaviour and performance.


In between the monthly classroom-based sessions, they’ll be monitored and encouraged to apply and practice these skills, so that they quickly become even more competent and confident with these skills for the benefit of your business.



GradStart® programmes commence regularly at locations throughout the UK.  Book NOW