Not going to Uni?

Not going to Uni?

Friday 14th August 2020
Thomas Mesfin

We have a new interim marking system being implemented to determine A-Level and GCSE results for this year. Results will be based on teachers' predictions and statistical modelling. This has caused some controversy and will have a lasting impact on young people's study choices.

Ofqual figures show 39.1% of 700,000 teacher assessments were lowered by at least one grade. The inverse shows, A-level entries awarded A or A* increased to an all-time high in England, Wales and Northern Ireland with 27.9% securing the top grades this year. Preliminary studies have also shown that the largest difference between students' final grades and those predicted by teachers were for pupils from the lowest socioeconomic backgrounds.

Whilst the educational institutions are busy handling the appeals with Ofqual and university applications have had to add an additional layer to their entry process, one of the key questions many students and concerned family members need an answer to is,

"What are my options now?"

In a word, Apprenticeships." With thousands of available courses servicing a multitude of industries, why are we limiting our future leaders with one dimensional thinking?

Apprenticeships in it's literal form is a method of education that combines theoretical and practical learning. Traditionally, it was commonly used in the trade industries to help develop predominantly kinaesthetic learners. Over the years, the apprenticeship sector has opened up to various courses ranging from but not limited to; Agriculture, Horticulture and Animal Care, Media and Publishing, Business, Administration and Law, Education and Training, Engineering and Manufacturing Technologies, Health, Public Services and Care, IT, Medical, Retail and Commercial.

The government are now paying 95% of the cost of apprenticeships, whilst employers are required to contribute the remaining 5% which means that there are is no financial commitment required from the learner. In fact, they would earn as they learn! If as a learner, you work for an employer that is a levy payer, said employer is obligated to contribute a percentage of funds to be spent solely on training and development. If the employer does not utilise their levy for developing existing or training new members of staff, the employer loses the funds. Considering the aforementioned study that indicates pupils from the lowest socioeconomic backgrounds are facing the greatest variance in grades, it begs the question, "why is there a negative connotation associated with apprenticeships as a viable alternative for further education?"

Skills development organisation City & Guilds Group's published a study in February 2020, it reveals a clear stigma when it comes to apprenticeships, with people reluctant to choose this training route, despite being fully aware of the advantages. City & Guilds Group called for schools and Government to collaborate with businesses to raise awareness of the career-boosting benefits of apprenticeships, in particular for young people.

With GCSE results next week and the potential for similar variances, let's change the narrative and work towards giving the future of tomorrow every available opportunity.

If you would like to explore the apprenticeship route as a viable alternative to going to Uni, why not contact us today or call us on 01235430460 for a free consultation with one of our expert advisors.