In the Know – Your future begins now!

In the Know – Your future begins now!

In The Know What's new?

Early preparation is key if your child is thinking about going to university! So, with this week’s fun and informative activities, your child will get to immerse themselves in university life while also receiving all the support and advice they need to reach their university aspirations.

UCL It’s All Academic Festival 2019
UCL is one of the leading universities in the world. They are running a free interactive festival packed full of talks, panel discussions, screenings, performances, workshops, interactive stands, exhibitions and tours. This will give young people the chance to go behind the scenes at UCL, quiz leading academics and get hands-on with some of their most exciting researchers. The festival will be taking place on Saturday 5th October from 10am to 4pm at UCL. Find out more here

US-UK Fulbright Commission – Study in the USA Seminar
The US-UK Fulbright Commission together with EducationUSA is running an informative seminar about studying in the USA. This free event will help young people and their parents to learn more about the undergraduate admissions process, admissions exams, how to choose the right institution, and scholarship opportunities. The seminar will be taking place on Tuesday 8th October from 5pm to 7pm at the University of Notre Dame. Find out more here

Royal Holloway Personal Statement Workshop
Royal Holloway, University of London is running a free personal statement workshop for young people in Year 12 and 13. A professional from their Student Recruitment and Admissions team will guide attendees through writing a perfect personal statement, revealing exactly what admissions tutors are looking for when reading an application. The day will also include a Campus Tour led by their student ambassador team. This workshop will be taking place on Wednesday 23rd October from 11am to 3pm at Royal Holloway. Find out more here

GT Scholars is a not-for-profit social enterprise and registered charity. We run after-school and weekend programmes that help young people achieve their academic and career aspirations. Our programmes include tutoring, mentoring and enrichment sessions for young people aged 11-18. Contact us if you would like to know more about any of our programmes and courses.

7 Effective Skills To Improve Your Employability

7 Effective Skills To Improve Your Employability

What's new?

Obtaining a degree and having a qualification behind your name is no longer enough to guarantee you the job you were dreaming about. In fact, with each year that passes by, the job market becomes increasingly competitive as new graduates from various universities and institutions enter the workforce. 

To sift through the huge amount of graduate applicants, employers now have to look beyond your education history. They also want to ensure that their potential employee possesses all of the necessary and sufficient skills to work for their company and with their team. This means that having good employability skills will increase the prospect of you getting the job that you want while also increasing your self-worth and reputation.

Employers look for a range of skills in each employer, with some skills more suited for specific careers. However there are general skills that most employers will look for, so if you are looking to enhance your employability, consider working on these 7 simple but effective skills:

Technology Skills
The digital age demands good technology and computer skills, no matter which career field you’re in. Basic computer skills are a general requirement in any workforce environment and it increases your efficiency in the workplace which many employers are looking for. Learning these computer skills is also quite a simple task as there are many free online and offline computer literacy and coding courses available today. You can also extend your knowledge of technology and learn new technical skills by subscribing to technical magazines or watching technical videos. This can also give you a useful perspective on various technical insights and innovations that you can apply to your career and personal life.

Communication Skills
In any working environment, you will be working with people, whether in a team or interacting with clients or customers. One of the most important skills to have when it comes to working with people is communication skills. Good communication skills allow you to get your points and ideas across easily and effectively, which makes it easier for your employer, colleagues or clients to understand you. You can easily improve your communication skills by joining public speaking forums such as a debate group or society. Beyond public speaking, you can work on recording and assessing yourself, looking out for things like body language, too many ‘um’s’ or inaudible words or other things you can improve on.

Networking Skills
The art and science of building authentic relationships are very useful to fast track your journey to success. Networking offers both you and the company you work for valuable ways to develop meaningful business relationships that can be leveraged for greater success. It’s often true when they say “it’s not about what you know, but who you know” as networking can open up many doors for you at any stage of your career path. You can develop networking skills by getting involved in charitable organisations, attending career fairs and being part of youth board or committees. You can also research your career field and job market to ensure that you stay on top of your what’s happening in your career field and get insider information about what a certain profession or career field will demand of you.

Teamwork Skills
A majority of your time spent in the workplace will be working with and interacting with your colleagues in a team setting. Even if you work solely on a specific task or as a specific role, you will still interact with other people in the company to effectively complete each project. At the end of the day, a company is basically a team as well, so this is why it is important that you have sufficient teamwork skills. The best way to learn teamwork skills is to join a sports team, dance class or music or choir group. Volunteering also offers many ways to build solid teamwork skills while also building your experience and other skills. 

Organisational Skills
Good organisational skills mould you into becoming more proficient, reliable and punctual, which are all values that any employer would seek out for. Companies need to run properly like a well-oiled machine, so employers will avoid any sense of disorder or unreliability. This is why you need to ensure that you build your organisational skills now so that you will be effective and valued in your workplace. Many young people will find building organisational skills to be challenging, especially if you learn in a more sporadic and spontaneous manner. One way you can counteract this is to make organising and planning fun, for example, you can take the opportunity to plan a trip or an event with your family or friends. This will test and improve your ability to plan and carry out activities effectively.

Self-Motivation
Together with teamwork, an employer also wants to see that you are able to work well independently. Independent working takes self-motivation and the willingness to take initiative, and without this, many tasks cannot be accomplished properly. The best way to improve your self-motivation is to boost your self-confidence. This can be done by taking the opportunity to learn independently and setting personal goals and coming up with strategies to achieve them. You can also learn to take more initiative by getting involved in community service and social activism, which also has the added benefit of exposing you to real-world situations and learning valuable skills.

Adaptability
The only constant thing is change, and this applies to the workplace as well. Being able to adapt to change and being flexible allows you to think quickly on your feet and to work well under pressure. Employers look out for this and they ensure that you are open to change and able to adapt with a positive mindset and a desire to learn. You can learn to be adaptable by exposing yourself to new and fast-changing situations such as working for a voluntary organisation or signing up for work experience programmes. You can also develop your creative skills which will expand your learning and thought processes so that you are able to come up with creative solutions, especially under pressure. 

These employability skills will help you to be successful in any profession while also making building your CV and experience to open up many more doors on the pathway to your dream career. 

GT Scholars runs enrichment and skill-building programmes that help you to develop these and many more employability skills. Our programmes also include tutoring and mentoring for young people aged 11-18. Contact us if you would like to know more about any of our programmes and courses.

An interview with one of our fantastic volunteer mentors – Nileema Patel

An interview with one of our fantastic volunteer mentors – Nileema Patel

Mentoring Volunteer interviews What's new?

Please tell us a bit about yourself
Many years ago, I used to teach primary school students as a volunteer and that was a very rewarding experience. Unfortunately, due to increasing time commitments elsewhere I couldn’t continue along with that. Recently, when things had settled back down, I realised I wanted to do something to help young people again and came across GT Scholars not long after I started looking for opportunities to do so. It’s been really nice to help out through mentoring, which has been completely different, yet just as rewarding, experience when compared to teaching. Outside of volunteering, I work in healthcare and enjoy baking and reading in my spare time.

How did you first hear about GT Scholars?
I came across GT Scholars through an online search engine. I was looking for an opportunity that would allow me to give more to my community, particularly in a way that would help young people. I went on your website and got a good feeling about the mission, which very much aligns with my values. Reading about Temi and her background was really inspiring and it gave me confidence in GT Scholars as a committed and genuine social enterprise. I got in touch through the online application form and it all went from there really.

What goals have you helped your scholar to achieve?
So this term we focused on public speaking a lot; how to feel more confident and assured. We worked on different techniques to apply before a speaking assignment to see what helped and felt most natural. You know, just simple things like practising a lot, practising with different people, trying out tips from the famous Ted Talk on confidence by Amy Cuddy.

A recurring theme during our sessions has also been about career choices, university choices and progressing to sixth-form. These are longer-term goals that are useful to start thinking about early on and I look forward to helping Erica achieve them as we move into the next term.

What qualities does Erica have that makes her a good mentee?
Erica is a wonderful mentee. She’s punctual, listens well and is forthcoming about topics of interest or any issues that she’s worried about. She’s organised as well and very good at managing her time and extracurricular activities. I think all of those skills really make her a good mentee as well as a good student, and I think this will translate very well professionally, too, in whatever area she decides to go into eventually.

Why do you think mentoring is valuable to young people?
I think the most valuable aspect of mentoring is the confidence that a young person might gain from it. Being a young person, particularly in a big city like London, it can be difficult to have self-confidence. You don’t have a lot of experience and everything seems new and sometimes unapproachable, particularly in areas such as applying to university. So I think the support that comes from mentoring can be extremely valuable in terms of validating a young person’s ideas and goals. Practically, mentoring is a great way to highlight opportunities to get involved in.

What challenges did you face while mentoring your scholar?
For me, the first session was probably the most challenging because I did not have a lot of mentoring experience. However, I found that GT Scholars had sheets to prepare mentors which I read beforehand and which were very helpful in giving me an idea of how to build rapport and understand what the priorities of mentoring are.

I also tried to think back to times I have been mentored in the past, informally and formally. I thought about what made my mentors so good and then tried to embody that in my role as a mentor.

What did you enjoy most about volunteering and mentoring?
I really enjoyed getting to know the mentee, as well as her mother. You know Erica, she’s already a very bright, ambitious person, on the lookout for opportunities to support her goals and a little bit of guidance. I enjoy being a sounding board for her, hearing about her goals and being able to guide her as she achieves them. I particularly like that, over the sessions, I am able to see her progress, and get to hear feedback from her and her mother about how our sessions are impacting her social and academic development.

What have you gained from being a volunteer mentor with GT Scholars?
It’s been really nice to be able to pass along some of the things I have learnt along the way to an enthusiastic young person who might be able to benefit from that advice. Building relationships with the team at GT Scholars, my mentee and her mother, has been personally very rewarding and the whole process has a been wonderful way to give back.

 

What Education Should Look Like In The 21st Century

What Education Should Look Like In The 21st Century

What's new?

Education is a constantly changing system that needs to adjust to the way current generations think while also embracing new information and new technologies. Gone are the days of text-heavy textbooks and outdated subjects, education is already moving forward to embrace and develop new methods to help young people learn effectively.

With this being said, there are still many ways that the education system can still improve and innovate. Here is what education should look like in the 21st century.

Embracing Edtech
Technology has taken over every aspect of our daily lives, which has made young people more reliant on technology. This means that if education embraced technology, it would make young people more susceptible to learning.

There are many innovative ways that education and technology have combined to produce powerful edtech tools and learning methods. Edtech is able to stimulate and improve learning in the following ways:

  • Visualisation
    It’s easier to understand abstract concepts or topics when it’s visualised. Tech tools like apps, interactive diagrams, and 3D visuals make it easier for young people to grasp and memorise new topics. Colours and patterns also stimulate the brain and help young people to think creatively and critically.
  • Interactivity
    Using interactive tools allows young people to take charge of their learning and be more energised and motivated to learn. Using mobile games and apps makes learning fun, but still challenging. Other interactive tools can give students individual challenges, guide and support the learner when needed and allow learning by doing which promotes active learning.
  • Analytics
    Grading exams, papers, and presentations can take a lot of time and there’s always a risk of subjectivity due to human nature. Using technology allows automation to make grading and evaluation simple and fair. Analytical tools also help the learner to follow and reflect on their own learning progress through self-evaluation and peer-evaluation.
  • Portability
    Technology makes learning on the go far easier. The vast worldwide web offers thousands of online tools, resources and information that can be accessed on various mobile devices. This makes it easier for young people to complete homework and assignments, learn new skills, and keep track of their learning. Virtual classrooms and labs also offer remote learning possibilities and for young people to attend classes and complete tasks from the comfort of their own home.
  • Collaboration
    Online, cloud-based and social apps and tools offer various ways for young people to take part in creative and collaborative activities that can help them with assignments and projects. Online collaboration is also useful for teachers and parents to communicate with one another to effectively monitor a student’s learning and academic progress.
  • Accessibility
    Online apps and tools make learning easier for young people with learning difficulties or special needs. For example, young people with visual impairments can access information through audiobooks and podcasts or young people with special educational needs can be taught through the use of interactive and visual tools. 

Focusing on Careers
Choosing a career path is a very important step for pupils and school leavers. This will greatly impact the choices they make and their future, making this decision a very important one. Education needs to include a greater focus on helping young people choose the career path that is right for them and their goals. Many young people today end up changing career paths down the line, which can set them back on their course to achieve their goals. 

In a survey conducted by the London Business School, it was determined that 47% of the 1,000 individuals surveyed wanted to change their careers, with younger people aged 18-24 and 24-34 most likely to want a career change. According to this survey, one of the main reasons for them wanting a career change was job satisfaction. 

One of the best ways to counteract this is to help young people to ensure they find a career that they are passionate about through career guidance in schools, career counselling and strength testing. This can also be combined with building soft skills that will help them in the workplace, such as leadership, teamwork, presentation skills, interpersonal skills and digital skills. In addition, programmes that help young people to get into the university or career field of their choice should also be included in school so that everyone has access to these valuable resources.

Personal Development and Mindfulness
There has been a greater focus on mental health and wellbeing of young people in recent times. This is due to the greater awareness of mental health issues that can affect young people and due to improved scientific research in human behaviour and psychology. 

The effects of mental health issues can greatly hinder a young person’s progress in school and also in their personal development. Education should include a greater focus on holistic wellbeing to help young people counteract mental health issues and deal with negativity. This can include peer counselling, behaviour management and strategies to deal with cyberbullying. Moreover, young people can be taught how to deal with stress, social anxiety and other issues that may affect them in some way. There should also be a more significant integration of Child and Adolescent Mental Health Services (CAMHS) in schools to ensure that these services and easily accessible to all young people.

To conclude, there needs to be a sustainable plan set in place across all stages of education, from early childhood to schools, to universities. This plan should include supporting young people with the challenges they face in their current stage while also preparing them for future stages. In addition, education should not be something that is only taken care of by schools – other stakeholders, including parents, organisations and companies, should also be more responsible for the education of young people to ensure that they feel supported every step of the way. 

GT Scholars is a not-for-profit social enterprise and registered charity. We run after-school and weekend programmes that help young people achieve their academic and career aspirations. Our programmes include tutoring, mentoring and enrichment sessions for young people aged 11-18. Contact us if you would like to know more about any of our programmes and courses.

Understanding the Challenges Faced by Young People Living In Care

Understanding the Challenges Faced by Young People Living In Care

What's new?

In 2015, just 6% of young care leavers attended university and in 2014 over 37% of care leavers between the ages of 17 and 19 were not in education, employment or training (NEET). In addition, according to Crisis UK, one third of care leavers become homeless within the first two years of leaving care and 25% of homeless people are care-experienced.

Young people living in care, also known as looked after children, are young people not living with their biological parents due to a variety of reasons. Some of the most common reasons for a child or young person being taken into care include abuse, neglect, family breakdown or a parent or child’s illness or disability.

In 2018, there were 75,420 children in care in England according to the Department for Education. The care system is well established, however young people living in care still face various challenges that hampers their success.

This means that young people living in care are still far behind compared to their peers when it comes to academic attainment and career prospects. In fact, according to the Department for Education, care leavers are unlikely to apply to university and their educational attainment at the end of school is still very low compared to other groups with just 14% achieving 5 A*-C GCSEs (including maths and English).

Young people face multiple challenges as outlined below which leads to these negative outcomes.

Instability
Due to the high number of young people living in care in England, there is significant strain on the care system. The majority of looked after children are placed in short or long term foster homes, and there are a limited number of carers in England and each carer will have a limited number of places. This means that young people living in care often have to go through many changes thoughout the year, with 10% of fostered children having had three or more placements in 2018 according to the Department for Education. This instability means that young people living in care can often become withdrawn and develop a sense that nobody really cares about them. They often feel that they have no control over their lives, which leads to low aspirations and attachment issues.

Adoption can provide a more stable living situation, but the number of looked after children with a placement order for adoption has fallen by 44% since 2014. Additionally, according to the Consortium of Voluntary Adoption Agencies, in September 2018, there were 2730 children waiting for adoption in England and 41% of these children had been waiting eighteen months or more.

Mental Health
Young people living in care face very tough situations that has far-reaching consequences on their mental health and wellbeing. For some children and young people, being taken away from the home where they have been unsafe will be a relief. However, for many others, being separated from their parents and/or siblings will be extremely distressing. Many looked after children will be placed in a home that is far from where they live or far from where their siblings live. In some cases, they may not know where their sibling is placed. 

This distress negatively affects their mental health. They may struggle with triggers (post-traumatic stress disorder) and not be okay with certain sounds, smells, places or experiences. They may also suffer from mental health issues such as depression or anxiety, and struggle with psychological issues such as attachment disorder as they find it difficult to build close, secure, trusting relationships with people around them.

Problems at School
Understandably, young people living in care often struggle at school. According to research from the Department for Education (Care leavers’ Transition to Adulthood 2015) and research from Howard League for Penal Reform (Criminal Care 2016), young people who have lived in care between the ages of 10 and 17 are five times more likely to be excluded from school. They are also more likely to struggle with learning, with over 68% of looked after children being diagnosed with one or more Special Education Needs or Disabilities (SEND).

Together with learning difficulties, they also often struggle with social difficulties at school. Many of them do not want friends at school to know that they are living in care, and this can add to the burden of having to pretend that they are living with a parent or a family member even though they are living with a carer. Many looked after children will also have developed a sense of having to protect themselves and take care of themselves and may struggle with trusting adults such teachers and support staff at school.

GT Scholars seeks to help young people living in care to work around the challenges they face through the Raising Aspirations Programme. This programme will use a multi-strategy approach combining one-to-one mentoring, enrichment days, and skill-building workshops.

The one-to-one mentoring will help them work on their career aspirations and personal development. In a report called Forging futures through mentoring 2018 by The Children’s Commissioner, it was stated that looked after children themselves appear to value mentoring because of the soft skills such as self-belief and confidence that are imparted through mentoring programmes. The report also stated that mentoring has a positive impact on looked after children’s relationships with others.

Many young people living in care struggle with a lack of awareness of opportunities along with low confidence and lack of self-belief and this impacts their academic attainment at school and their likelihood of pursuing certain careers and professional routes after school. However, many universities have teams dedicated to increasing the number of care leavers that apply to and study at their university. In addition to this, many companies are providing work experience specifically to care leavers, especially since the introduction of The Care Leaver Covenant 2018.

The Raising Aspirations Programme will aim to bridge the gap between young people living in care and the universities and companies that want to reach them. The enrichment days and skill-building workshops take place at top-tier universites and companies across London to help these young people to build academic and career aspirations and develop the strategies and skills to achieve them.

If you want to find out more about the Raising Aspirations Programme and how you can get more involved, then contact us today. GT Scholars is a not-for-profit social enterprise and registered charity. Our after-school tutoring, mentoring and enrichment programme is designed to help young people aged 11-18 achieve their academic and career aspirations.

An Interview with a Parent: ”The online maths tutoring sessions have definitely helped her excel in maths. ”

An Interview with a Parent: ”The online maths tutoring sessions have definitely helped her excel in maths. ”

Parent Spotlight What's new?

We had the pleasure of interviewing a parent of one of the scholars on the Bright Ambitions Programme this term. It was great to hear about her experience with the programme and to find out if being on the programme made any positive impact on her daughter’s life.

How did you find out about GT Scholars?
We first got introduced to the programme when Laura’s religious (RE) teacher passed on information about a GT Scholars Workshop called the Career Insight: Pre Launch Event. Laura was very interested in going and shared the information with me. Just days before, my friend and I had a conversation about career choices and about the fact that most young people do not have enough in-depth information on different careers these days. After she attended the workshop she was fascinated by the different career choices available to her. This workshop was a real eye-opener for my daughter and after the workshop, she decided she was not completely set on pursuing a career as an architect and wanted to look more into a career in business. Since then, she’s been thinking about a career where she can combine her love for art and her interest in business.

Have you seen any positive change in your daughter since she joined the Bright Ambitions programme?
I’ve definitely seen a lot of improvement in her maths. It’s great because I cannot help her that much with maths since it’s not one of my strong areas. It was important for her to fill in the gaps on areas that she’s been struggling with. Maths is an important subject for my daughter because she’ll definitely need it for the career paths she’s interested in. Since having her regular online tutoring and mentoring sessions she’s become more confident. She recently completed her exams and we are very pleased with the results. My daughter has moved up an entire set in Maths and she is also one of the top two students of her class!

Do you feel that it was worth enrolling Laura to the Bright Ambitions programme?
I would say yes, it was definitely worth it. The online maths tutoring sessions have definitely helped her excel in maths and the mentoring sessions have helped build her confidence and made her more open-minded.

As a parent, how did you find interacting with the tutors and mentors?
I am very pleased with Derek, he is a very nice guy and he’s absolutely wonderful as a tutor. Our mentor, Rachel is also a wonderful lady and my daughter gets on well with her. She really guided her on finding her own career path and keeping her options open.

What do you like about the fact that tutoring is done online?
What I like most about online tutoring is the convenience of it. It eliminates the stress of having to travel to a location for every tutoring session and my daughter can enjoy her tutoring sessions in the comfort of our home. The fact that there is a dedicated tutor that works with her to reach her goals is also great.

Would you recommend GT Scholars to other parents out there looking for a tutoring and mentoring programme?
Yes, I would because I think it works out and is worth it in the end. The results are great!

In the Know – Step into Your Future!

In the Know – Step into Your Future!

In The Know What's new?

There are so many career choices available to young people that at times it can feel overwhelming when trying to decide on one. This week’s fun and informative activities are all aimed at giving your child the support they need to make decisions about their future. Read on to find out how to get your child inspired for the future!

Project Accelerate!
On Wednesday 29th May, Project Accelerate is back! From 10:30am to 4pm at RioTinto, which is a large multinational corporation that works in 35 countries across six continents. On Wednesday, we’ll be hosting free workshops for young people (aged 13-16). This workshop will be aimed at helping your child build some of the skills they’ll need to access future work experience and opportunities available to them. Tickets are available and will be released via the waiting list on eventbrite.

A Fashionable Future?
If you know a budding fashion guru aged between 14 – 18 then make sure they don’t miss out on the Creative Careers & Skills MDX Fashion Show! This event on Friday 31st May is ideal for young people interested in a career in the fashion or textiles industries. They’ll be able to gain insight into professional portfolio design and have access to mentoring advice from Middlesex University tutors and students at this free fashion show! Book your tickets here.

Coding Fundamentals
If your child has been trying to figure out how they can get into coding then Vision Redbridge’s coding event presents the perfect opportunity. On Thursday 13th June they will be hosting an interactive coding session for beginners so that your 13-15 year olds can develop basic coding skills. The session which is £2 will include an introduction to fundamental coding languages such as Micro:bits, HTML and Python. Get your ticket here.

GT Scholars is a Non-profit organisation that provides young people with skills, strategies and support to achieve their aspirations. Visit our blog page for more insightful articles on ways you can support your child’s educational journey or find out more information on our tutoring programme and how to apply.

Top 10 Jobs Of The Future

Top 10 Jobs Of The Future

What's new?

When choosing your career path, there is often the dilemma of making sure you’re making the right choice. This does not have to be a dilemma if you take your time to understand yourself and do your research.

When doing your research, it will be good to start with careers that fall in line with your subject choices and strengths. You can then start considering which careers are more financially stable or what you will need to get a job in that career field. There can be many other questions and factors that you can include in your decision-making. 

One thing to note when doing your research is the fact that there is no correct or set list of the best careers out there. These lists will always vary and change according to trends and data. They may also not apply to your strengths or what you want to achieve, so it’s best to use them as a guideline instead of a rule book.  

To help you out, we’ve listed 10 jobs that current trends and data are favouring, which might help you out when choosing a career for you.

Software, Systems & Programme Developers
In a world dominated by technology, software, systems and programme developers are sought after for their high-level skills in developing programmes and software design. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, this career is projected to have a 24% growth by 2026. Along with a fast-paced and exciting job life, this career can offer you the chance to work in a wide range of industries including designing software for large retailers and manufacturers for their systems, building the latest hit games and apps, or working on creating new software for tech companies. Software, systems and programme developers create solutions in almost every sector imaginable. To be a developer, you will need to have high levels of data structure skills and an understanding of artificial intelligence to keep up with the constant change in technology and data. 

Accountants
Accountants play an integral role in the planning, balancing and management of all company finances and the auditing of financial reports. Accountants are highly skilled in offering these financial services as well as other services such as taxation, creating accounting systems, putting budgets in place, and cost management for both companies and individuals. Due to increased globalisation and internationally traded services, the professional and business services sector, which includes accountants, is expected to grow. According to CoursesOnline, the accounting industry has a predicted growth rate of 10% by 2026. 

Computer and Information Systems Managers
Again, since the world is dominated by technology, careers in the technology sector will continue to be in high demand for a long time. Computer and information systems managers are responsible for the maintenance, support, design and modifications that ensure that networks, software and other virtual environment infrastructures are operative and are up to date. They are also in charge of delegating tasks to developers and providing training to staff. These careers will also definitely be in high demand in order to provide high cybersecurity protection for valuable data.

Management Consultants and Business Analysts
Management consultants and business analysts tend to be in demand because of their ability to help organisations solve problems, improve efficiency and manage change. They do this by bringing together the problem-solving and communication skills that are essential to identifying business needs. These careers also help businesses minimise risks when it comes to making big changes that could have a negative or positive effect on the company, and since change is unavoidable, these roles are particularly valued. 

Engineers
Engineering is a highly skilled and technical industry that transcends across different working disciplines. In the UK, the engineering industry is seen as one of the best in the world, so it is continually being invested in by both the private and public sectors. This means that there are great opportunities for those who want to be part of such a cutting edge discipline. Engineering involves turning research ideas into technical plans, the use of computer-aided design/modelling programmes, doing surveys of systems and equipment to assess that they are working properly, and overseeing maintenance programmes and quality control. 

Web Designers
Another career field in the technology sector, web designers are also expected to grow in demand. One thing that does separate web designers from other tech careers is the amount of creative skill needed. Web designers create the main features of a website, such as the layout, colours, and other specifics of a website. The can also be involved in developing branding and marketing plans. Companies and individuals with their own businesses are always looking for good web designers for their websites and blogs etc. Another plus about this career is the amount of flexibility and you can work as a freelance agent or work directly for a creative agency. 

Medical and Nursing Practitioners
Due to increased opportunities from medical research and advancement, social trends and an ageing population, there is a 15% projected increase in nursing & medical jobs by 2026 according to CoursesOnline. Everyone needs to be healthy and medical care is one of the fundamental human rights. Doctors, surgeons, nurses and all medical practitioners will remain in demand as they are a necessity and play an important role in society. Technological innovations within this sector are also expected to change these careers but also keep them in high demand.

Teachers and Learning Professionals
No matter how advanced technology gets, teachers and other learning professionals, play a vital role in the development of young people and the education of the population. These careers require excellent communication skills and a passion for developing young minds. They also require creating good working relationships with parents, school governors and other stakeholders.

Motivational Speakers
With an increasing focus on personal development and mindfulness, motivational speakers are high in demand for businesses, universities, schools, and individuals. Motivational speakers help to inspire continuous growth in the minds of their audiences with the hopes of helping them to stay motivated and be more self-aware. They have to have a lot of confidence and need to be able to use their knowledge and experience to inspire change.

Entrepreneurs
According to the Financial Times, nearly 660,000 start-ups and companies were established in the UK in 2016. This is set to continue to grow as more government-sponsored initiatives are introduced to encourage people to set up businesses. Entrepreneurs invest in themselves and in their ideas and are able to turn their ideas into profitable businesses. They are also able to create jobs and can even address other needs in society through social entrepreneurship.

If you’re not sure what career path is right for you, GT Scholars holds an annual Careers Day where you can find out first hand from young professionals in various fields on how they found their career and reached their aspirations. Visit our website to keep a lookout for the next Careers Day or for our other impactful enrichment days and programmes.

How To Get The Most Out Of Going To University

How To Get The Most Out Of Going To University

What's new?

University education opens the doors to a bigger, better and opportunity-filled world for its graduates. According to the UN, not only are university graduates better paid in the workplace but compared to high school graduates, they have longer life spans, better access to health care, better dietary and health practices and increased economic stability and security.

Most of us have expectations of what university is like based on what we see in movies and TV shows. But actually, the incredible thing about university is that it can be anything you want it to be!

It can be a creative outlet for artistic expression or a hub for intellectual debate. It can a place for you to discover your strengths and abilities or to discover something completely new about yourself. It can be a place to meet new people from all around the world, and a place to have plenty of fun while also studying something you are actually passionate about.

With this being said, there is also no doubt that transitioning from a high school graduate to a university student can be a little daunting, especially if you are uncertain of what to expect. To help you make a smoother transition from school to university and to help you get the most of your university experience, we have listed 8 useful tips below.

Choose your university courses carefully
Consider your interests as well as which courses would be best for your career choice. Avoid choosing courses because they appear to be an easy option as you may not like or be able to engage with the content. Moreover, avoid choosing courses just because a friend is doing it – you will definitely meet new people and make new friends in every course you do. Take your time doing your research about various courses and ask for advice from academic counsellors to make well-informed choices.

Be the master of your fate and the captain of your ship
Your first few weeks at university will be a little daunting as you juggle various assignments and keep up with numerous classes. One way to overcome this is to view university as a great big ocean with endless wonderful possibilities. You have the chance to try different academic programmes, learn from experts and the best minds in your field, and explore your academic passions. Think of yourself as the captain of a ship navigating through these waters. This means you need to be in charge and take control of this journey or else you run the risk of being swept away by heavy storms. You can do this by keeping track of your deadlines, attending classes and tutorials regularly, and taking a proactive role in your studies. This will make university a calm sea to navigate.

Immerse yourself in student life
University is usually one of the only times in your life where you will have the chance to move out of your comfort zone, try new things, be exposed to new opportunities, and connect with people of diverse educational and cultural backgrounds. Don’t be afraid to push your comfort zone and be open to the many social and networking opportunities that are available for you to get involved in. If you are not sure how to get involved in campus life, get in touch with your university’s student council. Student councils often lead various student associations, societies, and initiatives like sporting clubs, cultural societies, debate teams etc.

Always prioritise your studies
Whilst it may be easy to get distracted by the social and fun aspects of university life, it is very important to remember why you are there. At the end of your undergraduate career, you will need to graduate with a degree, and with good grades as well. It is therefore important to maintain a balance between having fun and studying. Do not risk an assignment deadline or studying for an exam to attend a party or a social event. The wonderful thing about university life is that there are always social events throughout the year, so study first and have fun later.

Attend extracurricular lectures and seminars
Most universities invite guest speakers and lecturers who are subject-matter experts and leaders in their respective fields. These guest lectures are usually freely available and are unique opportunities to learn something new in your field or in a completely different field and to meet some really interesting and innovative people who will be a great source of inspiration. These events will also be a great opportunity for networking.

Make use of university resources
Universities offer their students various resources to help them excel in their studies including well-equipped libraries, study rooms, free internet access, state-of-the-art sporting facilities and so much more.  Find out what your university has to offer and instead of spending your own money on expensive services outside the university, you can utilise the excellent free resources your university provides for you.

Be open to new opportunities
Most universities offer opportunities for students to apply for bursaries, university exchange programmes or to earn money whilst studying.  Find out about these opportunities and don’t be afraid to apply to be a part of them. These opportunities are great for preparing you for the working world and exposing you to new cultures and ways of thinking.

Ask for help
Don’t be afraid to ask for help when you need it. Universities offer a plethora of health and wellness resources on campus to help students who feel overwhelmed, homesick, stressed or who are just simply in need of a friendly ear. Your mental and emotional health is as important as your physical wellbeing, so reach out to people you trust or your university’s student health services for guidance.

As a final word of advice, don’t forget to enjoy your journey through university.  The movies and TV shows got one thing right about university- they are usually some of the best years of your life!

GT Scholars is a not-for-profit social enterprise and registered charity. We run after-school and weekend programmes that help young people achieve their academic and career aspirations. Our programmes include tutoring, mentoring and enrichment sessions for young people aged 11-18. Contact us if you would like to know more about any of our programmes and courses.

The Differences between Internships, Learnerships and Work Experience

The Differences between Internships, Learnerships and Work Experience

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Before delving into what makes internships, learnerships and work experience different, it is good to know that all three do provide a platform for you to learn and gain some exposure in whatever field you choose to pursue.

Like all things, however, there are aspects to each of these that makes them different and it is always beneficial to know what route to take when pursuing either an internship, learnership or work experience.

Internships
One of the key points to note regarding internships is that every internship has a set period in which an organization will allocate to the fulfilment of that it. Some internships will run from a period of 1 month, sometimes 3-6 months or even a year. An internship can be paid or unpaid, with some internships also providing the option of a full- or part-time internship.

An unpaid internship often has some students questioning the fact that they will not be receiving any form of pay or minimum wage for the hours they put in. This issue is all dependent on the type of organization or company you are working for and the type of internship you are doing. To find out more about the applicability of minimum wage and who qualifies for this, you can go to the Government website and read up on the National Minimum Wage and National Living Wages.

Most internships are taken up by students and graduates in the hopes of attaining a level of experience and skill-building. Internships provide a structured working experience and exposure that is aligned with your particular field of study. The main focus of an internship is to give you a feel of a full-time working environment and what a particular role is like, while simultaneously facilitating the enhancement of both your personal and career development.

If you are looking to find some internships and do not know where to start, the government graduate talent pool is quite useful. GT Scholars is also a good starting point if you are feeling a little lost and not sure what career path you would want to take and need some guidance and assistance with gaining confidence in your skills and personal development.

Learnerships
Learnerships are slightly different from internships and they are a popular approach being used by companies in order to develop individual skills and gain real work experience. A learnership is essentially a structured training programme that has both practical and theoretical elements that allow for those undertaking it to obtain a national qualification without having a formal education from a tertiary institution.

This simply means that those doing learnerships are able to gain the exposure of working that an intern would without having the qualification of a graduate. Learnerships tend to target students or individuals who have their GCSE as their highest qualification. The learnership is an avenue that allows them to obtain a national qualification while simultaneously working. Simply put, a learnership is a work-based learning programme and yes, most learnerships are paid.

Unlike an internship which involves an agreement between an employer or company and the intern, a learnership contract involves an employer, you the learner, and a training provider. The practical aspect of a learnership is facilitated by your employer through the provision of training, mentoring and guidance for the time that you will be taking on the learnership. The training provider facilitates the theoretical aspect of a learnership. This is the same as having a typical classroom session in which you are taught specific things in order to apply them to your role in that learnership.

Work Experience
A work experience programme, sometimes known as a work placement, differs from an internship or learnership as this role has less extensive training or requirements than the previous two. It is more of an observatory learning role. Student work experience can be gained in a number of ways with the most common work experience programmes being work placements, volunteer programmes, careers events, and insight days set by certain employers for school-leavers.

Work placements can be arranged by your school or you can take the initiative yourself, and this runs over a short period of a week in a certain organization or location in order to give you a first-hand look of what working at a particular organization can be like.

Careers events are usually organized by either schools or organizations in order to meet employers who will give insight into what their organizations are about and what opportunities they offer to students and school-leavers. Some organizations will have a careers day or an after-school career programme in which students can participate in.

Volunteering is an open-ended field and there are always opportunities to apply yourself to and serve in your community. You can go look at the Volunteer Matters website to get you started and help you with both your career and personal development.

Other working avenues to get yourself involved in are extracurricular activities such as after-school academic, social or entrepreneur programmes or clubs and applying for competitions that focus on the working world. Applying for student leadership roles in school and afterschool clubs are also a good way to develop your working experience and personal skills.

Whether you decide to go for an internship, learnership or work experience, all three provide a platform for you to develop yourself both personally and professionally. Being prepared for them is just as important as applying for them. One of the best ways to prepare for them is to invest in your personal development and these are your skills, confidence and all-round performance in and outside of school.

GT Scholars is one avenue that can definitely help you in preparation for the future roles and career paths you want to explore. GT Scholars offers a variety of strategically designed programmes and workshops that aid in enriching and developing you to be the best version of yourself.