Richard Hamer, Education Director at BAE Systems

Students who were due to take exams this year have had a unique struggle, facing uncertainty over their next steps. It is therefore crucial for young people to be made aware of the full range of options available to them – whether it’s university, apprenticeships, degree apprenticeships or entry into a full-time role.

Put simply, this is a significant moment in their development and it’s important to know which route fits each individual best. A more flexible approach to learning and equipping people with the tools, support and opportunities to train and upskill is absolutely key, as the Government recently announced with its expansion of post-18 education and training.

An alternative path

There is no escaping the difficulty of entering the job market at this moment, as young people today are facing a recession and an uncertain future. Despite this, there are still many good opportunities to consider and apprenticeships can serve as a great route into lifelong careers for young people, with stable employment, skills development and esteemed qualifications on offer.

In fact, MakeUK has noted a sharp surge in apprenticeship enquiries following the release of this year’s exam results, signalling fresh intent from school leavers hoping to get a foot in the door of their preferred industry and gain skills and knowledge through practical experience.

Apprenticeships offer paid on-the-job learning and teach practical skills best acquired through first-hand experience rather than a classroom setting. They allow the development of skills that are required for an individual’s chosen career, serving as a clear path to permanent future employment and do so without the burden of debt that traditional higher education can bring. This turbulent year has highlighted the importance of investing in apprentice opportunities for the UK’s school leavers that will make up tomorrow’s workforce.

Investing in young minds

It’s more important than ever that Government, industry and the education sector work together to help young people and adults gain the skills needed to work in sectors which will support our nation’s economic recovery.

Organisations that choose now to invest time and resources in opportunities for young people not only build an important, skilled workforce but also play a vital role in helping the UK avoid a skills crisis in the years to come. Apprenticeships are essential in equipping young people with the necessary skills to work in highly specialised and technical industries. They will continue to make an important contribution to the UK economy and its standing in international markets as a world leader across several high-tech industries. Both private and public sector bodies need to ensure that they are a viable and easily accessible option for those entering the world of work.

At BAE Systems, we are intent on delivering this level of investment. As a major employer of graduates and apprentices, our investment in skills provides an essential pipeline of talent that enables us to continue to deliver cutting-edge defence and security capabilities, essential to our national security. Over the next year we’ll welcome our highest ever intake of apprentices despite the pandemic. Our apprentice recruits will join different parts of the business including our air sector, electronic systems, maritime services and submarines, developing skills in engineering, design, project management and finance. Apprentices learn their trade from experienced professionals, equipping them with the knowledge, behaviours and practical skills needed for the very best start to their careers.

Of course, business investment in apprentices also includes ensuring apprenticeships are able to adapt to the current circumstances and potential future challenges. At the start of lockdown we swiftly expanded our virtual learning environment, ensuring that all of our 1,500 apprentices were able to continue their learning. With new processes and flexibility from our partners, we have been able to continue recruiting and deliver end point assessments on time, allowing apprentices to transition into the next stage of their career with us. It is up to us as providers to continue this work and minimise the disruption felt by our learners.

It’s vital that these opportunities are maintained and promoted to students and people of all ages, particularly as the current economic difficulty may see more adults trying their hands at a new career at different stages in their lives. Greater flexibility around education and career choices and the right support is vital to ensure young people and adults can emerge from their pressing situations stronger and ready to prosper.

It is the collective responsibility of the Government, the education sector and businesses to actively encourage students into the routes that best suit their situation, provide them with the opportunities and tools necessary to succeed and actively work to remove any barriers in their path. Whether through apprenticeships or other means, there is greater scope for further education than many realise. If we make an organised, shared effort to generate interest in these options, those affected by exam disruption or economic fragility will be in a far better position to bounce back stronger and it will open up fantastic opportunities for their future.

Richard Hamer, Education Director at BAE Systems

You may also be interested in these articles:

Sponsored Video

Register, Login or Login with your Social Media account:


Upcoming FE Events

Advertiser Skyscrapers

Newsroom Activity

FE News: The Future of Education News Channel had a status update on Twitter 1 hour 18 minutes ago

RT @FENews: Ramping up COVID testing as a key to coming out of lockdown: @SchoolScreener - For the government’s plan to gradually relax loc…
View Original Tweet

Latest Education News

Further Education News

The FE News Channel gives you the latest education news and updates on emerging education strategies and the #FutureofEducation and the #FutureofWork.

Providing trustworthy and positive Further Education news and views since 2003, we are a digital news channel with a mixture of written word articles, podcasts and videos. Our specialisation is providing you with a mixture of the latest education news, our stance is always positive, sector building and sharing different perspectives and views from thought leaders, to provide you with a think tank of new ideas and solutions to bring the education sector together and come up with new innovative solutions and ideas.

FE News publish exclusive peer to peer thought leadership articles from our feature writers, as well as user generated content across our network of over 3000 Newsrooms, offering multiple sources of the latest education news across the Education and Employability sectors.

FE News also broadcast live events, podcasts with leading experts and thought leaders, webinars, video interviews and Further Education news bulletins so you receive the latest developments in Skills News and across the Apprenticeship, Further Education and Employability sectors.

Every week FE News has over 200 articles and new pieces of content per week. We are a news channel providing the latest Further Education News, giving insight from multiple sources on the latest education policy developments, latest strategies, through to our thought leaders who provide blue sky thinking strategy, best practice and innovation to help look into the future developments for education and the future of work.

In May 2020, FE News had over 120,000 unique visitors according to Google Analytics and over 200 new pieces of news content every week, from thought leadership articles, to the latest education news via written word, podcasts, video to press releases from across the sector.

We thought it would be helpful to explain how we tier our latest education news content and how you can get involved and understand how you can read the latest daily Further Education news and how we structure our FE Week of content:

Main Features

Our main features are exclusive and are thought leadership articles and blue sky thinking with experts writing peer to peer news articles about the future of education and the future of work. The focus is solution led thought leadership, sharing best practice, innovation and emerging strategy. These are often articles about the future of education and the future of work, they often then create future education news articles. We limit our main features to a maximum of 20 per week, as they are often about new concepts and new thought processes. Our main features are also exclusive articles responding to the latest education news, maybe an insight from an expert into a policy announcement or response to an education think tank report or a white paper.

FE Voices

FE Voices was originally set up as a section on FE News to give a voice back to the sector. As we now have over 3,000 newsrooms and contributors, FE Voices are usually thought leadership articles, they don’t necessarily have to be exclusive, but usually are, they are slightly shorter than Main Features. FE Voices can include more mixed media with the Further Education News articles, such as embedded podcasts and videos. Our sector response articles asking for different comments and opinions to education policy announcements or responding to a report of white paper are usually held in the FE Voices section. If we have a live podcast in an evening or a radio show such as SkillsWorldLive radio show, the next morning we place the FE podcast recording in the FE Voices section.

Sector News

In sector news we have a blend of content from Press Releases, education resources, reports, education research, white papers from a range of contributors. We have a lot of positive education news articles from colleges, awarding organisations and Apprenticeship Training Providers, press releases from DfE to Think Tanks giving the overview of a report, through to helpful resources to help you with delivering education strategies to your learners and students.


We have a range of education podcasts on FE News, from hour long full production FE podcasts such as SkillsWorldLive in conjunction with the Federation of Awarding Bodies, to weekly podcasts from experts and thought leaders, providing advice and guidance to leaders. FE News also record podcasts at conferences and events, giving you one on one podcasts with education and skills experts on the latest strategies and developments.

We have over 150 education podcasts on FE News, ranging from EdTech podcasts with experts discussing Education 4.0 and how technology is complimenting and transforming education, to podcasts with experts discussing education research, the future of work, how to develop skills systems for jobs of the future to interviews with the Apprenticeship and Skills Minister.

We record our own exclusive FE News podcasts, work in conjunction with sector partners such as FAB to create weekly podcasts and daily education podcasts, through to working with sector leaders creating exclusive education news podcasts.

Education Video Interviews

FE News have over 700 FE Video interviews and have been recording education video interviews with experts for over 12 years. These are usually vox pop video interviews with experts across education and work, discussing blue sky thinking ideas and views about the future of education and work.


FE News has a free events calendar to check out the latest conferences, webinars and events to keep up to date with the latest education news and strategies.

FE Newsrooms

The FE Newsroom is home to your content if you are a FE News contributor. It also help the audience develop relationship with either you as an individual or your organisation as they can click through and ‘box set’ consume all of your previous thought leadership articles, latest education news press releases, videos and education podcasts.

Do you want to contribute, share your ideas or vision or share a press release?

If you want to write a thought leadership article, share your ideas and vision for the future of education or the future of work, write a press release sharing the latest education news or contribute to a podcast, first of all you need to set up a FE Newsroom login (which is free): once the team have approved your newsroom (all content, newsrooms are all approved by a member of the FE News team- no robots are used in this process!), you can then start adding content (again all articles, videos and podcasts are all approved by the FE News editorial team before they go live on FE News). As all newsrooms and content are approved by the FE News team, there will be a slight delay on the team being able to review and approve content.

 RSS IconRSS Feed Selection Page