Apprenticeships should be promoted as a strong alternative to university

Apprenticeships should be promoted as a strong alternative to university

Apprenticeships Parents Post 16 Volunteer mentors What's new? Work experience

One of the main questions asked by recruiters around the world is whether a job applicant has the relevant experience for the role applied for.  Experience can be one of the crucial deciding factors within any job placement. Although there are many companies who still require that employees undergo internal training, they would still like to know whether the candidate has had some previous experience in the field and whether they are familiar with job requirements and responsibilities associated with the position they are applying for.  An Apprenticeship is a great way to give young career enthusiasts the opportunity to gain knowledge in the field even before their career has started. This allows them to apply for jobs with confidence, knowing they have some sort of relevant experience that will count in their favour.

Apprenticeships allow young people to gain practical experience and put their theoretical experience to the test. In the United Kingdom, apprenticeships are entitled to the minimum wage rate for their age, which allows working-class students to set aside their financial worries whilst gaining a degree on the side. Internships are there to give students the opportunity to gain practical knowledge of something they are learning in their academic world. A company will provide them with an opening in a department where they are able to start learning more about a certain career. Experience for post-school careers is then gained, which makes applying for jobs in the future a lot easier.

Young people considering an apprenticeship can benefit in many ways:

Getting to know your abilities & skills
It is one thing to identify your strengths and discussing them with your tutor or mentor.  Putting these strengths into practice and developing them is something completely different. During an internship, you will work closely with experienced people who have already been in the industry for some time. Use this time to observe and learn from them.  You need to use your time to grow, professionally as well as personally. An apprenticeship serves as a window into the working world where one will have to make decisions, take responsibility for them, and facing the consequences that result from them. You will get to know yourself and how you operate under pressure. You will begin to understand how the things you have learnt in the classroom are put to the test in real life. On the job training will provide you with real-life situations to test your abilities and skills.

Gaining Confidence
Being given an opportunity to work in a professional environment with professional people is a great recipe for self –confidence. Your assigned supervisors will contribute a great deal to your internship experience. They know that you are there to learn and gain knowledge, without the pressure and responsibilities of an employee in a new job, where you need to prove yourself, you will be allowed to be yourself without too much pressure.

Each company works differently, but most have performance-based feedback sessions for apprentices or internship employees, as this is a way that most companies evaluate their employees and make them feel important and appreciated within the workplace. You will have constant feedback session on a weekly/monthly basis to see how you are performing and coping in your department. This, in turn, helps you to mould your professional confidence.

Networking Skills
Networking and acquiring new connections within the business world is vital for your future growth within any industry you would like to excel in. Meeting new people and gaining industry-specific insight is a valuable way of building up your knowledge.  At the end of the day it boils down to that old saying, ’’ knowledge is power’’. Apprenticeships allow you the opportunity to gain knowledge in your professional field. One of the other important advantages is that you will also receive a reference letter once your apprenticeship is completed. The reference letter will be an added advantage for your curriculum vitae. During an apprenticeship, you will most likely move between departments so that you can get a better understanding of the company as a whole. Each department works together to deliver the final product or service. Therefore, it is vital for employers to move you around during your time at the company.it also allows you to meet all kinds of different people in different ranks and chains of command.

Future Job Potential
Starting your career at a young age can potentially give you a head start,  especially when you consider that your career would actually be on hold if you were only attending university and not working at the same time. Apprenticeships allow you to have a head-start in the future job market especially when you come from a lower income household.

Gaining Industry Specific Knowledge
There is only so much the textbooks can teach you. Practical experience is crucial.  On the job training will give you insight into things you would never learn in a classroom. You will be able to work with experienced staff members, who you are able to learn from. You can then practise these skills within a professional environment and put yourself to the test. If you are studying for a university degree on the side you can still obtain your degree whilst gaining experience at the same time.

Over the last decade, apprenticeships have fast become a popular new way of climbing up the corporate ladder. It is also a lot quicker than the traditional route of first studying and then applying for jobs afterwards.  A mentor can guide you step by step on how to apply for these positions and help you decide which positions are the best and worth applying for.

The GT Scholars Programme is a not-for-profit social enterprise  that offers various programmes and workshops to provide young people between the ages of 11 to 16 with the necessary skills to set them on a successful career path, improve grades and enrich their mentoring experiences. Our GT Scholars Awards Programme offers one-to-one mentoring sessions and free access to our enrichment or skill-building events. Our mentors provide young people with ongoing coaching so that they are equipped with the strategies and tools they need to achieve their personal goals. This helps our scholars discover their strengths, it develops their resilience and it helps build confidence in their own abilities. Sign up here and look out for our enrichment days and skill-building workshops.

A Recap of The Annual Careers Day 2017: Work experience for Young People, Role models and Gamification

Careers What's new? Work experience Young people

I’d like to say a huge thank you to everyone that attended our annual careers day on Saturday 18th March 2017. We had a brilliant turnout and an inspirational panel. I believe that everyone gained something on the day and the feedback from parents and young people showed that it was a learning experience for everyone.

I’ve written this blog entry for anyone who would like a recap of the day or anyone who missed parts of the day. There was so much to gain but here are some of the most important messages that I gained from the day.

  • Get some work experience to help you decide:

    There were quite a few young people that didn’t feel sure of what they wanted to do as a future career and it would be quite hard for any 13 year old to know what they want to do with the rest of their lives and this is very rare. You may need to start by doing a lot of research on the type of careers that you might enjoy, how much money is good enough for you and what type of life you would live if you choose this career. The only way to know for sure is to gain some work experience or do an internship as this will get you as close as possible to the role that you are thinking of. Remember that work experience is just a ‘snapshot’ of the actual role so try to get as much work experience as you can of different roles or even the same role. Observe the people working in the role that you aspire to, ask questions and use this to help you narrow down your choices.                                                                                                                                     

  • Studying doesn’t have to be boring – You can make it fun:

    Exams and studying are two things that are unavoidable in pretty much every profession. Getting good grades in your academic and professional exams will create more possibilities and options for your future. One member of the panel mentioned that she had worked so hard to get into Cambridge only to discover that the studying didn’t end after University, she was expected to do professional exams within her profession. Likewise, another member of the panel, who didn’t go to university, still had to do professional exams to move forward in his current career. Everyone on the panel agreed that when you enjoy what you’re doing, it becomes easier and a lot less stressful. The panel also gave some examples of how to ‘gamify’ your learning and everyone agreed that this was probably the best way to approach your studies – make it fun.                                                                                                                                                               

  • Your talents aren’t limited:

    A huge misconception at school is that only a few people are gifted but this is entirely untrue. Human beings were not designed to fit into a box. We are multi-faceted and multi-talented. This means that you are an engineer and an artist, you can still get to work in IT and run businesses, you can be a teacher and a social entrepreneur, an investment banker and neuroscientist, a project manager that loves sports and is also an author, you can be a lawyer that writes and volunteers, a tech recruiter that has coached a women’s basketball team. You don’t have to do it all at the same time but you already have so many gifts and there are so many possibilities for your future.

     

  • Support from your parents can make a huge difference:

    It was interesting to hear how parents had had such a huge influence on the panel. Most people on the panel felt that their parents were their role models and this shows how much our children pick up from us. I was particularly moved by the member of the panel that explained how he failed his A-levels (more than once) and how this had a negative impact on his confidence, his relationship with his parents, his self-esteem and his motivation in life. It was also interesting to hear how his dad had to change his approach in order to build a better relationship with him. The person that failed his A-levels is now extremely successful for his age but this wouldn’t have happened if his parents hadn’t taken time to rethink their approach and support him in the right way. We all want our children to be happy and successful. Sometimes this means that we have to be the first to change if we want to see a change in them.

  • Never ever give up on yourself

    Tenacity and resilience are essential if you want to succeed. A couple of people on the panel spoke about being rejected for some time or dropping out of university or constantly being compared to their sibling before they finally got their first ‘break’ and everything picked up from there. I mentioned that when I feel like giving up I think of some of the most successful people and how they had to just keep going even after receiving their 100th rejection. Walt Disney was fired from one of his first jobs – he was told that he lacked imagination! JK Rowling spent five years writing Harry Potter books, she earned next to nothing during those years only for her to finish writing and be rejected by over 12 publishers! Tenacity and ‘bounce-back-ability’ are two things that you will need if you want to navigate through any career. Rejections are inevitable but whatever happens in life, whichever path you choose – Never ever ever give up on yourself.

     

  • Add value and the money will follow:

    Most people on the panel agreed that there were so many careers to choose from and it wasn’t necessarily a case of picking one career and then doing this for the rest of your life. What matters most was adding value in anything that you do and constantly thinking – what can I do to make a difference? What can I give? What skills, talents, gifts, strengths have I got? What will I enjoy? There were lots of examples of people on the panel that were working in roles that they hadn’t imagined when they were younger or creating technology that didn’t exist when they were at school. Ultimately, your communication, problem solving, team working, leadership skills and creativity are the most important skills. You may find yourself working in different countries, careers and industries but these are the things that would follow you for the rest of your life.

     

  • There is no point in being a starving artist:

    This wasn’t mentioned on Saturday but I thought it was important to add this as a final note. On Saturday, we had someone ask which jobs can help you make good money and the general response was that it depends on what you see as a good amount of money and also when it comes to your career – ‘It’s not all about the money’. Having said this, you still need to find a balance between how much you want to make and the career you choose. You may find a career that you love but you may have to stop because you aren’t being paid your worth. You may have to make a decision of not earning enough money in the first stage of your career with the goal of earning a lot more in the future eg. a career in music, acting, business, writing, sports or entertainment. The other problem is that some careers are hard to break into and this means that may not earn enough while you pursue your ‘art’ or ‘calling’. So my take on this is to talk to other people in that industry, make sure you get good grades at school as this will give you more options in the future, get a degree or another qualification, get as much experience as possible, be outstanding at what you do, think both short and long term and have a backup career plan. It’s not all about the money but it would be wrong for anyone to tell you to pursue your dreams without being realistic about your earnings.

Once again I’d like to say a huge thank you to everyone that joined us at our annual careers day. Don’t forget to subscribe to ‘In the know’ our Friday newsletter for parents, where you can stay up to date on work experience opportunities, summer schemes, top-tier apprenticeships and university scholarships for your child. Also, If you enjoyed reading this post, why not forward it to someone else?

We need to make sure students are well informed about their options post 16

We need to make sure students are well informed about their options post 16

Apprenticeships Careers Narrowing the gap Post 16 University Volunteer mentors What's new? Work experience Young people

Post 16 options

Every young person is required to be in some form of education or training from the ages of 16-18. These years can be an incredibly exciting period, as young people for the first time are in full control over what subjects and qualifications they take. It is an opportunity to begin specialising in certain areas/subjects and to truly begin down the road to independence and adulthood. We at GT Scholars think it essential for all students to know the options that are available to them post 16, so we’ve made a list to help young people make the right choice for themselves. There is most certainly something for everyone.

A levels –

A levels are the next step for many young people post 16. They are subject-based qualifications, taken at school or college, that open up a variety of options later on. Universities and employers hold A level qualifications in high regard. They are a particularly good stepping stone towards university, as they offer a bridge between the teaching styles of schools and universities. A levels are a great academic challenge and give students the chance to further enhance their knowledge of familiar subjects such as English, Maths, History etc, or perhaps to delve into subjects that they may not have come across at school, such as Psychology or Politics.

Vocational Courses –

Another college-based post 16 option are vocational courses. They are different from A levels in that they typically are more hands-on, practical qualifications. They are specialist qualifications which focus on specific subject and employment areas, a few examples from the long list being business, social care and hairdressing . Vocational courses can help students gain employment skills and also provide a path towards a variety of university courses. They are a respected and well-established option post 16.

Apprenticeships –

Apprenticeships are gaining popularity in the UK, as more and more young people are recognising their value as a legitimate alternative to A-Levels. They offer something very different; practical, hands-on experience in a workplace. The skills you gain through apprenticeships are mostly job-specific and offer a fantastic route towards eventual full-time employment in your industry of choice. As an apprentice you can gain qualifications whilst working and earning money. The scope of apprenticeships has widened in recent years, with roles now available in a wide variety of sectors from engineering to IT to business. The modern apprenticeship is a challenging, rewarding and dynamic post 16 option.

Below are a list of links with further information to help you make the right choice for you-

https://www.careerpilot.org.uk/info/your-choices-at-16
https://www.ucas.com/ucas/16-18-choices/getting-started/what-are-my-options
https://www.allaboutschoolleavers.co.uk/articles/article/100/post-16-options
https://www.connexions-tw.co.uk/moving-forward-options-post-16

Apprenticeships are fast becoming an alternative to university

Apprenticeships are fast becoming an alternative to university

University Work experience

As you may already know, at GT Scholars we believe that getting into a highly competitive university is an excellent way to get into a highly competitive career. But what if university is just not your cup of tea? What if you already know what you want to do? And what if you want to start sooner rather than later?

An apprenticeship is fast becoming the alternative route for young students that are choosing to fast-track their career. So here are our top 10 apprenticeships or special schemes for anyone looking to fast track their career by going straight into the corporate world.

Remember that these apprenticeships are extremely competitive. Getting an apprenticeship is an alternative to university but it is by no means an ‘easier’ route!

For the top companies, you will still need good grades and you will need to demonstrate that you have the right attitude. Here are just some of the companies that you could apply to.

One of the ‘BIG 4’: 

PWC

KPMG

EY Apprenticeships

Deloitte

Consultancy: 

Accenture

An investment bank: 

Goldman Sachs 

JP Morgan

UBS Apprenticeships 

A commercial/investment bank: 

Lloyds Bank 

RBS

HSBC

Santander 

Barclays Bank 

An engineering or technology company: 

BT 

BAE Systems

Atkins

For more apprenticeships within different industries visit this www.bba.org.uk or this onehttps://www.future-talent.com/ or https://www.directions.org.uk/ and search for apprenticeships www.findapprenticeship.service.gov.uk.