Autumn brings with it some big choices for those looking at post-18 options. If you or your child is undecided about higher education there are several alternatives to heading off to university such as apprenticeships, employment, and gap years which can offer young people a fantastic future.
If the prospect of student debt and full-time study for the next three years leaves you or your child unimpressed there are other options. The options on offer can be academic, or vocational but whatever you look into you can be sure to find a route into your dream job but be prepared to roll your sleeves-up.
Higher Apprenticeships & Traineeships
Apprenticeships are making a serious comeback and there is straight forward reason, a good-quality apprenticeship will give a young person the chance to earn whilst they learn. The learning available can result in a great qualification and real, practical hands-on skills and experience which are needed for careers of the future. A higher apprenticeship is useful for those wanting to pursue a career in accounting, engineering or in marketing, and is generally the equivalent of a foundation degree and a level four qualification.
If a young person’s academic record has some gaps, look to entry-level employment, this might provide more options as they will not need specific qualifications. A young person can get a foot in the door and soon acquire the work experience needed to climb the ladder of the business internally. Most employers understand and appreciate the worth of eager employees and offer on-the-job training which means that although not always formal training, a young person can soon gain good experience.
For those with an entrepreneurial zeal and drive, why work for someone else? Although many older than 18 would hesitate to go it alone, think about becoming self-employed and start a business. A sharp business mind and determination are the most important skills required, but there are downsides to being self-employed including lack of paid holidays and sick pay. Self-employment is
great for those looking to build a career in web design, social media marketing or hospitality.
Thought of travelling the world? By packing a suitcase and booking a flight, a young person can easily achieve a fabulous tan, however, gap years are much more than a tan, they can provide a young person with lots of new skills and the opportunity to experience amazing things. A gap year will also help to buy time to make sure a young person does not take a leap into the unknown, take the time to reflect and set yourself on the right pathway to success with new skills including budgeting and languages.
By Jacob White