It might seem that sometimes everyone is talking about going to University, but it isn't for everyone.
If you think university might not be for you there's alternative routes. One of the most popular is Apprenticeships and right now there's more providers than ever!
However Paul Joyce, Ofsted's Deputy Director for Further education and Skills, has spoken in a report about how Brexit may have an effect on Apprenticeships and Skill gaps and he found in his research that while the number of providers of Apprenticeships has gone up since the introduction of the Apprenticeship Levy in 2017 (This means companies had to pay into the levy to support Apprenticeships in their business) the number of people actually doing apprenticeships has continued to fall.
So why is this the case?
The ball is finally in your court
This month you’ll probably be getting some offers from universities. You may have some already. It can be exciting — like getting several Valentine cards all at once. It can also be unnerving: frantically hitting refresh on the UCAS website for hours on end and feeling like the only Valentine you’ll get might be from your mum. It doesn’t have to be stressful.
If you haven’t heard back yet, from your uni OR your valentine then calm down. Unis are supposed to let you know by March 31st, though they may take a little bit longer in some cases. Delay is not necessarily a bad sign. Especially with the response to your valentine message you sent on Friday.
You don’t have to tell UCAS what you want to do until May 5th, so if you've got offers, don’t rush.
What course is the course for you?
You go to uni to do a degree. But which one? There’s over 17,000 different subjects you can study and more than 70,000 individual courses.
You can start with what you want to do as a career. To be a doctor, you have to study medicine, for instance — which most people would agree is better than having people doing surgery just because they studied needlework.
You might have heard the Prince’s Trust’s name thrown about before, but who are they and what do they do?
According to their website, the Prince’s Trust is a charity set up by Prince Charles over 40 years ago with the mission ‘to help young people transform their lives by developing the confidence and skills to live, learn and earn.’.
The charity helps school leavers and young people to develop their soft skills, get additional training and provides tips and resources on getting a job. For the budding entrepreneurs among us, they also offer training, mentoring and funding to help you start your own business.
Wherever you are on your journey, whether you’re in Year 11 and starting to think about what lies ahead or in Year 13 with big decisions knocking at your door, it can be difficult to know what’s the right path for you.
Especially when there are so many options. We’re talking work, apprenticeships, uni, degree apprenticeships, diplomas, gap year and travel, volunteering, internships…
The list seems pretty endless, but that shouldn’t be a bad thing. There are so many different pathways out there that it’s almost guaranteed that you’ll find something perfect for you.
If you’ve finished with college and are out navigating the world by yourself for the first time, whether that’s moving away to uni or taking on an apprenticeship scheme or a full-time job, we know that cash flow issues can always be a bit of a downer.
Depending on your circumstances, we’ve got loads of tips on making the most of your cash, and any financial support available to you.
New analysis has found that in the last five years, two thirds of colleges and universities have seen an increase in their dropout rates.
One of the reasons stated could be the drive to widen applicants to universities with institutions said to be admitting students who ‘aren’t able to cope’.
While Push doesn’t necessarily think it’s a bad idea to allow as many people to get to University and follow their ambitions if they want to, we certainly think you should do your research before you decide if it’s the route for you.
The UCAS deadline has now passed. Hopefully you can breathe a sigh of relief, knowing yours was submitted ages ago. If that's the case, here are the four possible responses you could be receiving in the next few months:
You may have nearly a year until your uni application deadline for 2021, but if you're clever (and we’re sure you are), you’ll want to be as on-the-ball as Cinderella’s godmother and get your application right at the front of the queue.
That means getting it submitted by around half term in the Autumn.
Here at Push, we’re always the advocate for earning while learning - the idea of, if it’s right for you and your circumstances, you get ahead of the game with a part-time job.
This can be anything from office work to bartending to shelf stacking to running your own side hustle online empire.
Even if you’re not particularly tight for cash (though it’s quite the student stereotype, and who would turn down a rainy day fund?) it’s a great personal investment, in terms of gaining experience and having that X Factor to put on your CV or personal statement.
Not sure what we mean?
Are you starting to think about your options? Not a fan of the uni route, but want to stay in training? With all the buzz in the news about apprenticeships at the moment, you’d be perfectly normal to be unsure when it comes to making a post-18 pathway choice.
Especially given the scheme has come under fire recently after a report was released by The EDSK, which suggested that ‘half of the courses offered in England are “fake” and the scheme was “descending into farce”.
On the other side of the argument though, a spokesperson for the Department for Education told the BBC that ‘schemes are becoming “better quality”, and give people the change to work in a salary-paying, training-heavy job with long term prospects.
But we know that most of the conversation around apprenticeships is coming from think-tanks, employers and government organisations - people who are never really experiencing the reality of life as an apprentice.
And who’s right? It’s all a bit mind-boggling.
According to erasmusprogramme.com, ‘Erasmus students are those that take advantage of the Erasmus exchange program, a well supported and organised scheme that has been in operation since the late 1980's. It allows students to study at universities in the EU member states for set periods of time.
Erasmus students study a wide variety of subjects but most use the program for advancing their language skills with a view to working in the international sphere.’
Throughout its active years, the Erasmus scheme has supported internationally-minded, travel savvy students on their trans-national studies and lives.
Being a member of the scheme entitles you to Erasmus’ support (both financial and educational) if you’re looking to spend some study time at an institution in neighbouring European countries.
And with over sixteen thousand Brits having taken up the scheme’s offerings in 2017 alone, you’ve no doubt heard weird and wonderful stories of friends and family studying abroad.
We've all been there.
You've got your exams coming up, you've got your coursework needing to get submitted. You sit down to work and before long you find yourself with your phone in your hand, scrolling through social media feeds or killing five minutes on the latest game, because five minutes isn't going to hurt right?
But five minutes every half an hour soon builds up.
Before you know it you're having to cram revision, rush your coursework and in turn become stressed and don't want to do the work. A vicious cycle if there ever was one.
If you've decided you want to go to uni, then we're going to go ahead and assume you're feeling pretty smug and have already submitted your application. If you haven't, then you've got till the January 15th deadline and, don’t forget, your school has to add a reference too before you application is complete and they’ll need at leat a few days for that.
So between now and then, stop dreaming of a White Christmas and dream instead about where your chosen degree might take you.
Your application is how you make it happen. Check out the careers prospects from the course (they should be on the uni's website).
You've probably started thinking about your options after school already, even if by mistake, but soon your teachers are going to start pushing you for a plan. So when the family's getting on your wick over Christmas, what better excuse is there for finding some time, than that you want to get ahead of the game?
In the news this week, the University of Leicester’s students have been praised for the success of their scheme to reduce waste associated with living in (and leaving) halls of residence.
The British Heart Foundation’s ‘Pack for Good’ scheme was set up to encourage first years and accommodation leavers to donate their discarded and unwanted items at the end of the year rather than binning them, and it has saved a whopping 39 tonnes of stuff from landfill.
39 tonnes! That’s 39 small cars, or 5.5 full-grown elephants. A quarter of a blue whale.
Thankfully, we’re hearing more and more about mental health in our day to day lives. Whether that’s celebrities speaking up about their experiences or friends sharing their battles, charities fighting for funding or campaigns raising awareness, mental health is finally starting to get the airtime it deserves.
And we’re proud to be champions of mental health awareness and wellbeing – head to our Blog for content from mindfulness to social media detox to cyberbullying to the benefits of exercise.
But we know the world’s not perfect yet. Far from it. There are still lots of us who don’t feel able to speak up and get help when we’re struggling. And though statistically more women suffer with mental health problems than men, men are far less likely to seek out help until they reach crisis point.
As we barrel towards the end of the year, you might start hearing the ‘I’ word thrown around quite a bit. If you’ve applied for uni and your top choices are interested in taking your application further, you’ll probably have admissions interviews coming up sooner than you’d like.
Or maybe you’ve been applying for apprenticeship schemes or are starting to think about full time work. In which case interviews are pretty much a given.
But that’s okay. We know, not many of us can hand-on-heart say we enjoy being interviewed. Lots of people might go as far as to say they dread them. But with some solid prep work up your sleeve and the knowledge that interviews are a two-way street, you’ll quickly realise that they’re nowhere near as bad as the reputation they’ve gained.
If your plan for next year is university then you’re already submitted your application, right? If not, then get a move on. The UCAS deadline (January 15th) may be the official cut-off, but a lot of places will have been filled already. We know how fab you are, but that doesn’t mean the unis are holding a space specially for you. Get your application in before the end of this month.
Your mates in the year above might be able to breathe a sigh of relief having submitted their final UCAS applications, and rightly so. But for you, the process is quickly becoming a reality. So now is as good a time to get your options after school ready.
When you’re deciding what would be the perfect career for you. Who do you turn to? There’s so many options available to us now that it seems so easy to hunt down what interests you and how you might go around turning that into a career.
While the options available to us all to find that perfect job are more than ever, new research by the OECD International economics think tank could show that we’re starting to already limit ourselves by the age of seven.
Whether you’re a budding political scientist or you’d prefer to never hear the word “Brexit” again, it’s impossible to have missed the news that we have a general election coming up before Christmas. So…
What does that mean? Well, all of the seats in the House of Commons – so 650 members of parliament (or MP) roles – are up for grabs.
On Election Day you vote for a local MP from a list of those standing in your area. These are usually affiliated with a political party, but some are independent. These are the people who’ll be deciding on public policy and laws, on everything from the future of the NHS to the dreaded “B”-word.
Push are very pleased to hear that our Chief Executive, Johnny Rich, won an award at the Wonkhe awards last night for best writing on HE funding. His article regarding values vs value in the Augar report can be found here.
As ever, there’s loads going on in the public sphere about climate change and what we can do to have a positive impact.
Recycling and taking the bus is old news by this point. By now, we all know that reducing our meat consumption can make the biggest difference to our carbon footprints, and the world is now paying attention to the rise of environmental influencers in the likes of Greta Thunberg, Earthling Ed and Immy Lucas.
But who would have thought the latest veg warrior to join the climate crusade would be Bake Off’s very own Prue Leith?
It’s a nasty thing to think about, and is often the unspoken elephant in the room, but when a fifth of all young people are victim to it, how come bullying is still such a taboo subject?
A study conducted by charity, Ditch the Label, found that 1/5 young people have been subjected to physical, verbal and cyber bullying. And the worst part is that the figures are almost identical to what was found last year – change just isn’t coming fast enough.
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