“Our choices and responses are our only responsibility. Choice is the discipline that makes the garden of our lives bloom.” - Stephen Hanselman
The idea of jobs can be depressing, especially with news about the rising age of retirement – the idea that we have to spend the next fifty years (and the prime of our lives) working for other people. Unfortunately, unless you win the lottery - and any Push fans will know how likely that is to happen, we’ve got to work.
University is not the right route for everyone. Push knows that, you know that.
Luckily the rest of the country is beginning to know that too and that is expanding the other options that you have available. With that, apprenticeships are getting more attention and variety.
Covid casts a long shadow over lives. As we are discovering, the condition can persist for months or, as we may yet discover, possibly years. It also casts a shadow of grief over those who have lost – or will lose – those they love. But even those who, thankfully, have never been infected may yet find their lives have been blighted for years or even decades by this pandemic’s other long-term wasting effects.
The labour market has rarely looked worse for young people and emerging from education into a recession can handicap a whole career. At first there are no jobs and, by the time there are, there’s another generation coming into bloom, fresh out of school or university, unwilted by months or years of unemployment.
At Push we’re all about making the right choice about your future.
Don’t forget there’s so many different options for you right now, arguably more than any generation before you. It’s all about sitting down to think, how you learn best and what it is you want from life.
While some really specialised careers may have one particular pathway, such as obtaining a medical degree to become a doctor, it isn’t the case with a lot of careers now and some are opening their metaphorical doors to allow other routes into them that aren’t just university.
For example the College of Policing is now offering Police Constable degree apprenticeships. Meaning you can now get a degree in professional policing practice while getting paid and receiving the practical on-the-job training for the role eradicating the need to get involved with any of that pesky student finance stuff. Fantastic!
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?
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.
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.
Chances are, at some point, you’re going to have to head out into the wonderful world of work. Cash in your pocket, and a rewarding career you enjoy. Win-win. But you have to earn that dream job, and the biggest hurdle is the interview.
The “I” word is enough to fill anyone with dread, but don’t panic. To start, try to forget everything you think you know about interviews, and instead flip it on it’s head – sure, you want to impress, but you’re interviewing them to make sure the job is perfect for you.
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.
When everyone is telling you to make a choice on your future in school or college, it can feel like the most stressful time in the world. If you live to the average age of 81.5 years (in the UK), you'll make about 850,000,000 choices in that time...
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.
Once results are in on Thursday, you have four options — two if you got the grades you wanted, and two if you didn't:
If you got the grades you wanted:
Thumbs up, round of applause, pat on the back, etc. Your two options are:
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.
Currently, there's no standardised minimum quality for apprenticeships across the UK, but this could soon be changing following calls to improve.
Under current regulations, Kevin Rowan from Trade Union Congress argues that too many apprentices are still earning below minimum wage, and employers aren't being properly prosecuted for breaking rules when it comes to pay. Only 3% of those in breach have faced legal action.
Thinking about being an apprentice once you leave school? The BBC has come up with a list of the things you need to know about apprenticeship schemes in the UK this year, so read on to get an idea of the current situation for new apprentices.
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.
A ray of light in the uncertain times surrounding news of Carillion, construction giant's liquidation: the government has announced that the 1,400 apprentices left without a job or course security will be supported in search for employers to continue their placements with.
Many young people were left unsure of their futures since the news that Carillion, the UK's largest construction apprentice employer, was dissolving, but things are now looking up.
I don't know but I've been told... Apprenticeships are the way to go!
If you're sure the uni route's just not for you but you've got no idea what you want to do next, it's worth taking a look at the Army Apprenticeship Scheme.
Status is a pretty big deal in the world of higher education.
It's not unrelated to the uni's age, (so head over to our post on the old vs. the new to catch up) because within a few months in 1992, there were suddenly nearly 40 new universities all over the country.
They didn’t just materialise like an outbreak of foot-and-mouth disease. Previously they were ‘polytechnics’.
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