Frequently Asked Questions

The National Schools Employability Challenge is a young challenge and, like all new things, we’re sure you’ll all have questions. Whether you want more details about the different stages, why your students should enter or need to know what to do if you’ve forgotten your password, we’ve pulled together the answers to our FAQs below.

Why should I enter The Challenge?

For students

The National Schools Employability Challenge is an awesome and easy way to develop your employability skills and understand the job application process more fully. At some point you're going to have to apply for a job - whether that’s as a school leaver, while at university or once you’ve graduated - and the National Schools Employability Challenge can really help prepare you for that.

You can enter the first stage of The Challenge as many times as you like to help develop your knowledge and increase your employability score before starting on the second stage, which assesses your knowledge in more detail. If you think you're super-ridiculously employable already, it’s a great way to add ‘National Schools Employability Challenge WINNER’ to your CV or personal statement, as well as future job applications, so make sure you still enter!

For schools

The National Schools Employability Challenge aims to support young people in raising their awareness and developing employability skills. Through the three stages of The Challenge applicants will be developing various aspects of their employability; this could be anything from interview and application form skills right through to commercial awareness and psychometric testing.

The winning school becomes a partner of RateMyApprenticeship, entitling them to free workshops and presentations from both RateMyApprenticeship and PwC, as well as usage of their careers advice toolkits. Plus, you’ll have the most employable student in the UK at your school!

What is The Challenge?

Run by in collaboration with business powerhouse PwC, the National Schools Employability Challenge is an opportunity for young people like you to develop your employability skills in a fun format whilst also opening up the opportunity to win paid work experience with PwC to add to their CV.

How do I enter?

Whilst the Challenge is currently closed, you can Register your Interest for the 2019 Challenge by following the instructions on our home page. Once the Challenge reopens, you’ll be the first to know and It’s as easy as pie, all you need to do is fill out the multiple choice questions and see how you do. Remember anyone can fill out the first section as many times as they like before proceeding to the next stages.

What do I do if I've forgotten my password?

Follow the ‘Forgotten my password’ links, if you are still having issues contact

Can I retake the second stage of The Challenge?

Unfortunately not, the second stage is one attempt only - worth taking time over!

Can I come back to this once I have started?

Stage 1 and Stage 2 must be completed in a single sitting, however, you can take time over the three longer questions in Stage 3.

What does the National Final consist of?

This will be an opportunity to visit PwC's offices in More London and understand the inner workings of one of the world’s biggest organisations. You will hone your skills, learn from the masters and test your abilities.

The final will include individual and group tasks to develop and improve your employability skills, as well as a session with PwC on the opportunities open to you with them once you finish school or college. If you're chosen as a Champion, you’ll benefit from feedback, workshops and advice that will improve any job applications you will make in the future.

The winner of the final will receive sought after paid work experience at the UK’s top professional services firm PwC, as well as a brand new iPad mini. We're also offering two lucky runners up paid work experience at PwC.

How would I win at The Final?

During the final there will be three interactive sessions where you'll be assessed on your behaviour, no advance preparation is needed as you'll be briefed on the day.

However on the day we'll be looking at:

  • Clear and informative introduction before the session
  • Good eye contact made when presenting or talking
  • Well structured responses that actually answer questions that are asked
  • Communication skills
  • Working well in a group
  • Not talking over people
  • Sharing own ideas and opinions
  • Helping/supporting others
  • Contribution to work produced in each session
  • But the most important thing to remember is to enjoy the day and to absorb all the advice, insight and feedback being provided!

    If I am invited to The Final, will you cover my expenses?

    We will cover travel expenses up to £100 per Champion attending The Final. If you are travelling a long way by train make sure you book in advance to keep your tickets within this budget.

    If I am invited to The Final, can I bring a parent/teacher?

    Feel free to bring a parent/teacher to support you, we’ll have facilities to keep them busy and an opportunity for them to hear from recruiters while you are in The Final. However, it’s not essential that you bring someone with you, so don’t worry if they can’t make it.

    When would the winning work experience be?

    The work experience offered will be tailored to suit the winner, but is likely to take place during the school summer holidays.

    Who can take part?

    Anyone can take part in The Challenge, but only students in Years 12-13 (Lower and Upper Sixth) can be taken through to the final.

    When can I enter The Challenge?

    NSEC is an annual Challenge. The 2018 Challenge ran between September 2017 to February 2018, officially closing on the 6th March 2018. You can register your interest for the 2019 Challenge by filling out this form.