Understandably, the pandemic has impacted the lives of students in different ways. While many have tried their best to continue with their original plan, some students have used this time to reflect on their next steps.
Neil Bates, Managing Director at apprenticeship and skills specialist Seetec Outsource explains how this time to reflect has changed the landscape of apprenticeships. “The Covid-19 pandemic has seen more young people with good A-Levels and BTECs searching for apprenticeships, which offer a vast and growing range of opportunities to gain in-demand occupational skills and industry-recognised qualifications.”
As many are weighing up their decision to go to university, Neil offers some helpful advice to those still sitting on the fence. “I’d urge any young person who hasn’t secured the university place they wanted, or who is unsure about the cost of higher education and whether it is the right choice for them, to consider apprenticeship opportunities.”
Georgina Curtis, 20, from Ampthill, Bedfordshire decided that an apprenticeship would be the best path for her and opted for a Business Administration apprenticeship with the Greater London Authority. Georgina found higher education didn’t provide the support she needed and wanted with her dyslexia.
One of the main attractions to the apprenticeship for Georgina was the hands-on experience she would immediately gain. “I loved the job because it gave me a great opportunity to get a feel for the working world and to create an amazing network of different people internally and externally. It allowed me to not only learn new skills, but to put them into practice.”
Not only was an apprenticeship a more accessible option, Georgina’s ability to gain experience straight away allows her to be one step ahead of her peers who have opted for the degree route. Viewing her apprenticeship instead as a “fast-track”, Georgina explains “I’m in a better position than many of my friends at university who will come out in a year with no workplace experience and no real-life experience of how to apply for jobs and be interviewed.”
Some may be reluctant to proceed with an apprenticeship, as they are not completely committed to a particular career. However Georgina's role in organisational development included focusing on diversity and inclusion which has helped her to develop a wide range of transferable skills. With these transferable skills, Georgina will be able to apply these to a range of other roles.
Georgina found she was in a strong position after achieving a distinction in her apprenticeship. Her plans have gone from strength to strength and she has now secured a new Brand Engagement role with cosmetics giant L’Oréal’s Luxe Division which includes a degree level apprenticeship in chartered management. Not only will Georgina be able to work with a cosmetic giant, she will gain an incredible qualification and priceless experience.
“My apprenticeship has provided me with such fantastic skills. I’m extremely ambitious and motivated to develop my career,” she said.
Georgina's success shows how an apprenticeship could be the perfect next step after A Levels to propel you further ahead in your career. For more information about apprenticeships, see https://seetec.co.uk/services/education-and-skills/ or https://www.gov.uk/become-apprentice