Finally, it’s time to relax. Have a couple of weeks off from the hard work you’ve been doing this year in unexpected circumstances. You've all done brilliantly everything considered!
But you don’t want to sit and let your summer pass you by without being productive..
So what can you really do now to maximise your summer? Be that if you're thinking about university, an apprenticeship or a job.
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?
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.
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.
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.
Ever get the feeling the world’s only ever talking about uni? You’re not alone, even teachers are feeling like there’s not enough support and knowledge when it comes to helping students down the apprenticeship or degree apprenticeship route.
That’s why Tes (once the Times Education Supplement, that pumps out regular info and news for school teachers) launched a campaign called #InspiringApprentices to boost awareness and understanding of the career path.
The campaign was launched to document the thoughts and experiences of young apprentices in the UK.
We know that making real-life decisions and the whole UCAS commotion is basically a year away, but before you know it these choices will be getting all up in your face and demanding attention.
Then there's all the exams, revision, coursework, birthdays/bar mitzvahs/weddings and the highly repostable memes... so it's never too soon to get focused.
Besides, what's sixth form all about anyway? If you can work out where it's heading, it gives the next two years more purpose, more focus — maybe even more fun and success.
What we're saying is that, however early it seems, now's a great time to be thinking about two of the big questions; what do you want to do and where do you want to do it?
You’ve done it. You made it through two years of intensive studies, coursework, endless revision, and one hell of an exam period. Go you!
This week, it’s finally time to reap the rewards.
If everything goes to plan, you’ll wind up with the grades you were hoping for and everything will be hunky dory. Party time. On with the plan, whether that be heading to uni, taking an apprenticeship, heading out on a gap year or going into work.
90% of apprentices in England stayed on in employment after completing their qualification; 71% with the same employer (so says the Government). That's great news, but if you're considering degree-level apprenticeships at a college or a university (yes really), you'll need to know the realities of them. In short, they are just like level 3 (advanced) apprenticeships: quality of skills on offer, healthy balance between course/work, wage paid and no guarantee of a full-time job at the end of the course.
There's 3 other factors that are huge, which the company funding the apprenticeship will rarely mention, particularly for apprenticeships at degree level: the brutal level of competition, the ease of access from you geographically, and most importantly of all: your genuine level of passion for what they offer (a mix of your curiosity, attitude, what you want from life, and your motivation).
Uni, uni, uni. Might seem like that’s all we (or anyone around you for that matter) are talking about right now is going to uni. But that doesn’t mean it’s the right answer.
There’s no one post-18 path to rule them all. Think apprenticeships, degree apprenticeships, work and jetsetting, for starters.
We’re not saying you can blow the next three months on Netflix binges and house parties though. Put your hands in the air and step away from the aux.
So it seems like everyone and their mums are talking about uni, but what if that’s not for you?
Apprenticeships are a great route for those who prefer a little more flexibility and practical learning, but there are some common myths around them that might be putting people off.
So maybe uni isn’t for you. No problem, there are as many different styles of learning as there are people in the world, and it’s just fact that some learn better by doing than by reading from a textbook. If that sounds like you, now might be a good time to start thinking about apprenticeships.
Wherever you are, whether that’s applying for post-18 options or just starting to think about them, we want you to remember that it’s all about what’s right for you.
Maybe you like the idea of getting in some more learning on a subject area that interests you, but the academic life really just doesn’t float your boat. No problem, after all, everyone learns in different ways.
It’s never too early to start thinking about your future. That may seem like a scary idea, but think of it in baby steps.
Do you know your bops from your balls? Or your CATS from your CUKAS?
Heading into the world of higher education can be like learning a new language – there's more jargon than you can shake a soc at. That's why we've created this handy glossary of all the weird and wonderful terms academics like to use. Let Push be your guide.
You'll need us. Honestly, it's a jungle out there.
While university applications are on the rise (even with the huge rise in tuition fees), you might feel that higher education at a traditional university or college isn't the right experience for you at this stage in your life.
Many choose to study a degree later in life, or not at all, and you should never feel less than others just because you aren't choosing to go to university right now.
Not everyone should go to university, because no two people are the same. It’s about getting the right fit for you and an employer, so that you can become as desirable as possible for the industry you want to get into.
Sheffield Hallam University has received £500k funding to create a Centre for Excellence for Degree Apprenticeships. This will provide specific high quality learning for apprentices looking to earn a degree alongside apprenticeship-style practical experience.
Sheffield Hallam is already a leading institution for degree apprenticeships, but this extra dedicated funding will offer a huge boost. The university's partners in the area currently include Wipro, Barnsley Met Borough Council, Sheffield Forgemasters, Tonic Works and L&P Springs, but the list is ever-increasing.
Not to scare you or anything, but today, January 15th, is a pretty darn important deadline. That's right, it's D-Day.
And the cut off is at 6pm.
If you've already got your UCAS application in, congrats, you're on the ball and we applaud your organisational skills. You may burn this message after reading, unless you'd like to keep the info safe in the off-chance you don't get the acceptance offers we know you deserve this time around.
If you're hoping to start university in 2018, and haven't yet submitted your UCAS application, now is the time to act – and panic slightly, but only if that's going to motivate you. No headless chickens here, please.
You may have nearly a year until your uni application deadline for 2019, 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.
Still think you've got ages? Just think about all the lessons, summer exams, Saturday jobs, parties, holidays and procrastination that you've got to fit in. Blink and the year will be gone.
You may want to just get a job right out of school or college.
If your main motivation right now in life is money, then go for it. You'll need to hunt out employers in your area, and there are plenty of job-hunting websites you can do this on.
If, however, you want those deeper rewards like respect, creativity, helping people, a love of learning, a feeling of self-worth by working alongside an inspiring person who can help you learn a specific skill or craft, then just rushing into any old job at 18 just for a quick pay packet won't be your best bet.
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