From education to employment

South West Regional Skills Partnership Look at Future After Exam Hall

The pressure of taking the exams can be overwhelming for some young people, as the important decisions to be made ahead can often be daunting.

Jim Neilson, the new director of the South West Regional Skills Partnership (SW RSP), says students sitting their GCSEs should look to the future with confidence. Mr. Neilson is responsible for overseeing the work of the partnership and emphasizes that no matter what career path GCSE students decide to take, or what GCSE results are attained, the South West of England has a wealth of options available for post-16 year-olds.

Modern Qualifications

With vocational qualifications, like BTECs and NVQs, which can also be attained through Modern Apprenticeships, Neilson also finds: “It is not just a question of “A” levels or nothing else. Of course, there are many A Level options throughout the region, at both colleges and schools, and these will be popular with many students currently taking their exams. But it is important to point out that there are many other alternative routes for young people’s career development, particularly in terms of vocational pathways.”

He continues: “For most sectors of business and public services, new frameworks are being developed to give people as much flexibility as possible. So, if you decide to start work or pursue a vocational qualification there will still be pathways and opportunities to go on and develop further and higher level skills and qualifications. This flexibility not only means more choice for young people, it will also become increasingly important throughout working lives as many of us will have several different careers.”

Avoid Too Much Pressure

He also advises that young people should try not to feel that they are under too much pressure, as they sit their exams. He commented: “Of course everybody wants to do well, and has worked extremely hard to get there. But equally, everybody is different ““ some students will be thriving under the pressure, and others will be finding it very challenging. We want to reassure those students that no matter what the outcome there will certainly be opportunities in South West England for them.”

As its name suggests, the SW-RSP is a partnership of representatives from business; the main skills-funding partners including the South West of England Regional Development Agency, the Learning and Skills Council (LSC), Jobcentre Plus, together with HERDA and Business Link. Its primary aim is to ensure that skills needs of employers within the region are identified and tackled and through its members, it represents more than 95 per cent of those providing employment, or those who are employed, in South West England. Therefore, the development of opportunities for Post 16-year-olds is one of the key areas for attention.

Surely, that can only mean good news for GCSE students? Watch this space to find out.

Sudakshina Mukherjee

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