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A Level #Resultsday2018 – Not the only way to gain employment

Kirstie Donnelly, Managing Director of City & Guilds and ILM

As students across the UK react to their A Level Results and plan the next steps of their life accordingly, City & Guilds highlight the range of alternatives to traditional academic paths available to 14-19 year olds – and are calling on teachers, parents and students alike to recognise them as valuable routes into employment.

In light of the UK’s looming skills gap, City & Guilds believes that now, more than ever, the country’s young people must be aware of the alternative routes into the workplace:  

Now more than ever, the UK’s young people must be aware of alternative routes into the workplace

As young people across the UK receive their A-Level results, City & Guilds is highlighting the range of alternatives to traditional academic paths available to 14-19 year olds – and calling on teachers, parents and students alike to recognise these valuable routes into employment.

Although the academic route, from GCSEs and A-Levels into university, is right for many, different options are available. These include apprenticeships and TechBac – the City & Guilds curriculum for 14-19 year olds, which combines industry specific and general workplace skills development with on-the-job experience.

Both academic and more technical career paths remain valuable to employers: Research released by the City & Guilds Group and Emsi earlier this year highlighted that skills shortages are set to stifle UK businesses – with one in ten already struggling to recruit the skilled staff they need and nearly a third (32%) reporting that staff do not have the right skillset.

Two thirds of UK employers think that the skills gaps in their businesses are likely to get worse or remain the same in the next 3-5 years. As a result, despite most industries in the UK being predicted to grow between now and 2024, employers predict that their productivity will be hit.

Despite some recent negative headlines, apprenticeships are still set to remain one of the key answers to this challenge, as 38% of employers stated that the role they plan to recruit for most in the next 3-5 years is apprentices, and the same number stated that an apprenticeship programme is the top method they plan to use to encourage entrants into the workplace. The new Apprenticeship Levy, introduced in 2017, is helping this role adapt and stay relevant for today’s employers. 

Furthermore, with the forthcoming rollout of the Government’s new T-Levels being phased in from 2020, it’s never been a better time to secure parity of esteem between academic and technical routes into employment.

UK faces a significant shortfall of skilled and talented people

Now more than ever, young people have access to an array of different routes into education and employment. While A-Levels or GCSEs may be exactly the right approach for many, these should not be seen as the only way to gain employment or a successful career. If we deter young people from alternatives to academia, it’s not just them that will suffer, but UK businesses too.

Our recent research has highlighted that the UK faces a significant shortfall of skilled and talented people, with ongoing uncertainty around Brexit set to exacerbate this. It’s essential that young people understand the full range of options ahead of them, which can pave a way into industries including engineering, construction, hospitality, media or the built environment sector.

Parents too, need to be more aware of the current reforms to technical education in the UK, so they can fully understand the expanded role schemes like apprenticeships can play in businesses. These have traditionally long been associated with low wage jobs – but this is simply no longer the case. Technical routes into the workplace can give young people the skills they need to enter some of the UK’s most exciting industries.

Kirstie Donnelly, Managing Director of City & Guilds and ILM

City & Guilds Group supports people into a job, on the job and into the next job:

  • Skills credentialing: City & Guilds, ILM and Digitalme develop qualifications and assessments from entry level through to management. They also accredit skills training and help individuals to showcase their skills through digital credentialing using open badges.
  • Corporate learning:  Kineo, e3Learning and The Oxford Group are the corporate training and development brands, supporting everything from large-scale training programmes, workforce management and elearning through to bespoke management training and executive coaching.
  • Technical training: Gen2, the newest brand, is a technical training provider delivering skills training in engineering and technology for the UK civil nuclear industry. 

About City & Guilds: A world leader in skills development, City & Guilds works with governments, employers, colleges and training providers to deliver workplace relevant qualifications, certification and assessment. Our qualifications are valued by employers across the world, helping individuals and businesses develop their skills for personal and economic growth. It operates across five continents – from Johannesburg to Jamaica, Dublin to Dubai – reaching millions of people every year.

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