Enter the Careers Advisor, “This is a very exciting time. Now you’ve completed your exams, you’ve got to make the right choice.” “My friend was actually telling me about an apprenticeship she’s enrolled on with a local provider that sounds very enjoyable,” the young adult replies. Pessimistically the advisor replies, “Oh, you’re interested in an apprenticeship? Well, we don’t usually advise going down that route. Besides, you’re far too capable to consider that.”
Joe Crossley, CEO of Qube Learning, leading national training and recruitment provider, says ‘Far from an embellishment, this represents but one of the many conversations that was taking place nationwide between school leavers and their career advisor prior to the summer holidays. Whilst public opinion is changing on the value of Apprenticeships and pre-employment programmes such as Traineeships, more needs to be done to eradicate the negative view some institutions have. What part can each of us play in encouraging this?
It’s a bit of a no-brainer but schools and colleges must begin to engage more readily with providers offering Apprenticeships, and vice versa. There are currently a few Government funded projects such as Apprenticeship, Knowledge and Support (ASK) for Schools and colleges that invites providers to deliver Information, Advice and Guidance sessions to both teachers and students of education institutions, but the impact of these projects will not be measurable until they’re complete. In the meantime, schools must recognise the need to invest in this as a priority of their own, by training staff and creating links with the many providers out there who offer their services for free, which often includes free careers guidance, matching students to local Traineeship and Apprenticeship opportunities and hosting informational sessions on-site at school premises.
There is also a historic view held by some that Apprenticeships are for those who are less academically able or that Traineeships are for the nation’s greatest underachievers. Not true. As part of the Apprenticeship reforms, the sector has now seen the introduction of Degree Level apprenticeships, at levels 6 and 7 which are equivalent to a Master’s Degree; Qube Learning has developed a comprehensive programme that allows individuals to move from pre-employment schemes such as Traineeships, through Levels 2 and 3 and ultimately progress to Degree Level Apprenticeships.
And let’s not forget the pivotal role parental figures play in the sculpting of children’s decisions. They need to ensure they are fully informed of the options available to children – they can do this by keeping up-to-date with the guidance surrounding Traineeships and Apprenticeships published to the Gov website and by taking the opportunity to participate in the careers guidance sessions the children are receiving. Yet, the most important thing we can do is to listen to children and work with them to identify the mode of study best suited to their unique set of skills, personality and needs. Our top advice for those expecting results who are not continuing in conventional education is –
- Speak to those who have been in your position before. Whether that be older siblings, those senior to yourself at social and sports clubs, or even by listening to industry podcasts such as ‘The Right Route’ by Qube Learning hosted by BBC The Apprentice star, entrepreneur and professional speaker ‘Kayode Damali’ along with e-products manager and host of the ‘Get Work Savvy’ podcast ‘Liam Gardner’, this podcast is the perfect support tool for providing guidance and advice to young people.
- Your future options really depend on what your long-term aim is. Not passing exams does equate to failure.
- Having a plan can really help and if you don’t know what you want to do, then think about what you enjoy. If there’s a trade or sector you are interested in, then investigate what you need to do to get into it.
- Not everyone fits into traditional education and that’s okay. If you are keen to start your professional life sooner, it is helpful to work out where our interests lie and then start on building up your skillset.
- Find out about alternatives routes; Traineeships and Apprenticeships are great ways to build a long and successful career
If everybody plays their part children will benefit from the full breadth of FE opportunities available to them’.
Qube Learning is proud to be an OFSTED grade 2 (Good) Recruitment and Training Solutions Provider that works with hundreds of Employers across the country to deliver a range of training and qualifications to a multitude of Students. If you are interested in finding out more about the positive opportunities an Apprenticeship or Traineeship can bring through Qube Vision and eLearning, either as a Student or an Employer, then speak with the experts at Qube Learning.