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Monday, 23 December 2013

Making education work ~ new research from City and Guilds

Almost 60% of employers believe their sector is facing a skills shortage and one third are considering looking abroad to bolster their workforce, according to new research published today by City & Guilds.

Their infographic below (click to see a bigger version) takes a look at the biggest skills issues employers face today, and what businesses can do to help.

Travelodge’s first junior management apprentices graduate

find an apprenticeship in hotel and catering

The first class of apprentices from Travelodge’s budget hotel management apprenticeship programme have all graduated and joined the chain as hotel managers.

Travelodge launched its two-year Junior Managament Programme – or JuMP –  the first of its kind in the sector in the UK, in April 2011. It was designed to offer A-level students an alternative to university and to support the Chancellor’s appeal for British companies to provide more high value placements to help the country’s one million out-of-work young people into employment.

First4Skills helps Whistl recruit Apprentices in Mail Service Operations

find an apprenticeship

UK training provider First4Skills has been appointed by Whistl (formerly TNT Post) to help recruit apprentices to work at its depots across the UK.

The apprentices will be presented to Whistl through a tailored recruitment service, which will provide successful applicants with a minimum of 12 months training in a permanent apprentice position.

Monday, 9 December 2013

Is Government Policy on Youth Employment Failing our Young People?

help for young people to find a job

The Work Foundation at Lancaster University wrote to the Chancellor in advance of his Autumn Statement on the subject of youth unemployment.

One of the four subjects covered in their letter was careers advice in schools.

"Ensuring that young people have a good understanding of the career opportunities and pathways into the labour market is essential if young people are to transition smoothly. Yet, a number of recent policy changes have impacted negatively on the ways in which schools prepare young people for the world of work.

Sunday, 8 December 2013

Tuesday, 26 November 2013

Post-16 Options ~ It Pays to be Careful

Career options post sixteen. Choices after Year 11: further education, college, sixth form, apprenticeship, job.

One of the big issues for young people and parents today in trying to decide on the next step after school is the problem of marketing.  Schools,  FE colleges,  training providers and universities are all competing to attract “customers” onto their programmes.

Marketing messages are everywhere.  Adverts on the telly, on the web,  in newspapers and even on the sides of buses.  Go to a careers fair and you will return home laden with brochures and flyers.  Further education and training (apprenticeships etc) is a huge market and the sums of money involved are immense.

Sunday, 24 November 2013

Early Years Advanced Apprenticeship Bursary Doubled to £3,000

careers and jobs advice

The Department for Education has doubled the funding available for the early years bursary scheme to £3,000 in a bid to encourage more applicants.

Back in June I reported on the new bursary scheme beginning on 5 September.  The DfE has announced it is increased the funding but only for the next 200 successful applicants.  The move suggests that the number of successful applications to the scheme has been lower than anticipated. Up to 1,000 bursaries are available in total.

Wednesday, 13 November 2013

Tuesday, 29 October 2013

Apprenticeships Are Falling Short of Demand

crisis of youth unemployment

The Minister for Skills, Matthew Hancock, revealed yesterday in a written answer to an MP the number of young people starting an apprenticeship during the last three academic years.

Apprenticeship programme starts by age and gender

  2010/11 full year
   2011/12 full year
2012/13 full year (provisional)
Under 19




Tuesday, 22 October 2013

Two Thirds of Young People Turn to Parents for Job Seeking Advice

Parental Advice on Careers

The recruitment web site has done research showing that nearly two thirds (61%) of young people aged between 18 and 25 turn to their parents first for advice on finding employment. This is much higher than those who would seek advice from a careers centre (6%), a spouse or partner (31%) or a sibling (21%).

After parents, the internet is the most used source of information, with almost half (48%) of respondents using it to look for advice on interviews and job applications. Of this group 9% are now using social media sites like Facebook and LinkedIn, which shows that some young people are now expecting more from the social networking sites they use for leisure and informal networking.

Eleven Career Management Skills

Careers Education and Guidance

Our distant cousins in Australia have thought long and hard about the career management life skills that young people need to develop with the help of their parents,  teachers and local communities.

The result is a list of eleven "competencies" (just a fancy word for skills) which strike me as hitting the nail pretty square on the head.

"To do well in today’s work environment, people need to be self-reliant managers of their own careers. As well as having the technical skills and abilities needed to work in a particular role, people also need the skills, knowledge and attitudes to make good career moves. The skills, knowledge, and attitudes people need to manage their own careers can be understood as a set of competencies that can be developed and strengthened over time.

Monday, 14 October 2013

How can schools help parents help their children make career choices?

parents want to help their children make career choices

Young people instinctively turn to their parents when they need help or advice so it’s no big surprise that teenagers pay most attention to their parents when it comes to making career decisions. Research has shown that parents are the most significant influence on young people’s expectations, choices and career ideas. Schools should therefore be making every effort to assist parents in this important task and to involve them as partners in the school’s programme of careers education.

Thursday, 3 October 2013

What does a Paralegal do?

Career Guidance UK

The term 'paralegal' refers to a person who does a substantial amount of legal work as part of his or her job and may have some legal training or experience, but is not a qualified lawyer. Paralegals work in law firms, as well as in-house in a wide variety of other private and public sector organisations, and often have very different job titles.

Duties vary considerably, but typically include administrative tasks such as researching information and drafting documents, interviewing clients and witnesses, and appearing in court. They often act on behalf of lawyers, specialising in a particular area of law.

Wednesday, 25 September 2013

What do Playworkers Do?

Play Work, nursery nurse, child care

Playworkers work with children and young people between four and sixteen years old to create an environment for freely chosen, self-directed play.

A playworker's primary focus is to support and facilitate the play process. This involves knowing and understanding playwork theories and being able to implement them.

Playworkers may find themselves invited to join in activities such as:

· imaginative play
· sports
· drama and music
· outdoor activities
· cooking
· creative activities
· listening to a child talk about their worries

The children who attend playwork settings come from all walks of life and will all have different abilities and personalities.

Tuesday, 24 September 2013

Parents have the most influence over young people's careers

City & Guilds has launched a special edition of its Career Happiness Index. The Index surveyed 1100 18-24 year olds nationwide about their experiences in the workplace and found that although 63% of young people are happy at work, 78% identify a need for vocational, job-related qualifications once they have left education and enter the job market.

 Whilst over three quarters of young people seek vocational training, only half as many (39%) look to academic qualifications to progress their careers. 42% of young people identify industry-specific training and apprenticeships as steps towards their dream jobs, and just under a third look to on-the-job training to secure their dream role. And it’s not just qualifications that pay off, but work experience too; a third of those surveyed attributed their current job to work experience in the field.

Wednesday, 4 September 2013

What does an Illustrator do?

Illustrator at Work

Illustrators combine art, design and creative skills to develop ideas and produce original visual images for a wide range of products including books, magazines, animations, computer games, websites, sales brochures and reference materials.

Most illustrators specialise in a particular style. There are various different stages in their work, including:

  • liasing with the client to discuss their business needs ('the brief')
  • negotiating pricing and deadlines with the client
  • developing visual ideas that suit the brief
  • seeking client approval for ideas with rough visuals
  • using drawing, sketching, painting and photographic skills to produce illustrations.

Monday, 2 September 2013

Careers in Science, Technology and Engineering (STEM)

career choices for young people

If you are interested in a career in engineering,  science and technology then you should explore the web sites below:

Related Article: STEM Careers

Saturday, 24 August 2013

Distance learning degrees are on the up!

careers guidance for young people

Because distance learning is normally done part-time, acquiring an honours degree is going to take longer than attending a standard university - six years instead of three years, perhaps. But the opportunity to combine part-time study with work can be a godsend.

For one 23-year-old international skier, travelling the world while competing for Team GB, full-time attendance at university was not an option. But thanks to distance learning, she has acquired a psychology degree through the Open University, mugging up on Freud and Jung in ski resorts across the world.

Distance learning as an option for young people, and not just those of more advanced years, is clearly taking off. There are now 29,000 OU students under the age of 25. The majority work part or full-time while they study.

Wednesday, 14 August 2013

What does a Web Designer/Developer do?

career in web design

Web designers or developers are responsible for the design, layout and coding of a website. They are involved with the technical and graphic aspects of a website, how the site works and how it looks. They can also be involved with the maintenance and updating of an existing site.

Their role is a combination of computing expertise and creativity.

A business may rely on its site to sell products and services, to provide information or to get viewers to respond, so the job of the web designer/developer involves making the site as attractive, clear and easy to use as possible.

Monday, 12 August 2013

What does a chef do?

what does a chef do?

Chefs prepare food in restaurants, cafes, bars and hotels. Some work for a catering company.
The work varies depending on the level of experience and responsibility, and also the type of operation and style of food offered:

· commis chefs (trainees or apprentice) spend time learning skills in each section of the kitchen
· chefs de partie run a section of the kitchen, such as sauces, pastries, the larder or grill
· sous chefs may deputise in the absence of the head chef
· head chefs are responsible for the whole kitchen

Sunday, 11 August 2013

What does a Civil Engineering Technician do?

Civil Engineering Technician

Civil engineering technicians provide technical support to civil engineers in the design, construction and management of a variety of projects, from widening a motorway to building the world's tallest structure.

A technician could be involved in:

• surveying a chosen site and arranging for soil and rock samples to be analysed
• preparing estimates for the amount and type of materials to be used
• ensuring each stage of construction is completed within timescales and to standard
• preparing detailed plans of the project
• minimising any impact on the surrounding environment.

What does a PA do?

Personal Assistant, PA

Personal assistants (PAs), also known as senior or executive secretaries or executive assistants, provide administrative support to senior members of staff, usually a manager or director. Their main aim is to help reduce their manager's workload, implementing systems and procedures that make business operations more efficient.

Tuesday, 6 August 2013

Stay calm and focused – advice from the experts on A level results

A level results UCAS Clearing and Adjustment

As A Level results day approaches the advice from experienced teachers is that its time for you as a parent to step back and allow your daughter/son to take control of their future.

Clare Reseigh, head of sixth form at St Gabriel’s School near Newbury , says: “If you have to ring universities to confirm or re-negotiate your place, it goes without saying that it must be you who calls. Under no circumstances allow your parents to call on your behalf because that will send entirely the wrong message about your maturity and commitment.”

Hilary French, president of the Girls’ Schools Association agrees: “Now is not the time to be nervous on the telephone and it’s certainly not the day for letting your parents fight your battles for you. By all means discuss your options with them, but if you have to talk to universities, you’re on your own.”

Thursday, 18 July 2013

Tuesday, 16 July 2013

Wednesday, 10 July 2013

Young unemployed frustrated by national job schemes

According to the Local Government Association (LGA), unemployed young people are losing faith in the prospect of finding jobs and feel national schemes are not offering them the right skills to help them into work. A poll of unemployed 16 to 24-year-olds, carried out by the Association, which represents more than

370 councils in England and Wales, exposes young people's “growing frustration with an overly-complicated system awash with 35 different national schemes that fail to meet their needs”.

Nearly 60 per cent of young people surveyed felt there is not enough support with just 26 per cent believing the Government has the right approach to help young people find work. Half of the unemployed youngsters said they did not find key national services helpful with 46 per cent of these saying they are not given the right skills to find a job.

Young people are most frustrated by their experiences of Jobcentre Plus and skills training with 65 per cent of these saying this was because Jobcentre Plus did not tell them anything new, and almost a half found college training unhelpful by not giving them the right skills.

Monday, 8 July 2013

Apprenticeships offer great opportunities for high achievers

Apprenticeships in Engineering, Science and Technology

For high achievers there are now great alternatives to following the well-trodden path of a university degree  –  particularly, though not exclusively, for those with an interest in engineering, science and technology. Here are just some examples of high-quality apprenticeships on offer from major employers:

Virgin Media:   IT

Rolls Royce:   Engineering, Accounting

National Health Service:   wide range - see web site 

National Grid:   Engineering

Tuesday, 2 July 2013

Civil Engineering Apprenticeships with Skanska

Location: Nationwide

 Age Requirement: 16+

 Skanska currently have apprentice opportunities in Civil Engineering, Infrastructure Services, Utilities and Cementation. Apprentices will be recruited across various projects in the UK.

 The Apprenticeship aims to prepare applicants in the first stages towards becoming skilled workers in the fields of civil engineering, by completing a 2-3 year College and Site based programme at the National Construction College and at Bircham Newton College (Norfolk) as well as various Skanska Civil Engineering projects around the country.

Sunday, 30 June 2013

Concerns expressed in Parliament about the government's new plans for SEN.

career planning for children with special educational needs

The government are about to bring in new legislation (The Children and Families Bill) which has major implications for how schools and local authorities meet the learning needs of pupils with disabilities.

 The Act brings in Education Health and Care (EHC) plans whereby local authorities will be responsible for identifying and assessing a child or young person's education, health and care needs and drawing up an EHC plan to meet them by preparing a local “offer of services available”.

 While broadly supportive of the initiative the Labour party has sounded a note of caution about potential geographical variations in the level of support provided. Shadow education minister Sharon Hodgson said that while Labour welcomed a "great deal of the reforms" in the bill, "we still fear the government's plans for local offers, as currently drafted, could lead to greater disparities in services across the country".

Wednesday, 19 June 2013

Understanding the Qualifications and Credit Framework

QCF Framework

The diagram above shows how English qualifications we all know about fit into the QCF framework. It illustrates in pictorial form the complicated-sounding concepts of levels, awards, certificates, diplomas and credits.

Comparing qualifications

To find out how one qualification compares to another you need to look at the level, size and content of the qualifications. Level refers to the level of difficulty which ranges from entry level up to level 8. The “size” of a qualification is an indication of the amount of study time involved expressed as “awards”, “certificates” and “diplomas” in ascending size. The content simply means the topics or subject matter studied.

Monday, 17 June 2013

Careers in the Creative Sector

One of the big issues for young people and their parents is tracking down accurate,  reliable information about career opportunities.
My site aims to help by highlighting online resources that are genuinely helpful among the mountains of confusing dross.

Today the focus is on Creative Choices which is dedicated to helping you develop your career in the creative and cultural industries.

The site has been developed by Creative & Cultural Skills, the Sector Skills Council for the creative and cultural industries, and was founded following demand from employers across the creative sector for better information about working in the industry.

Monday, 10 June 2013

Parents and teachers struggle to provide careers advice.

Careers GuidanceIn recent years, there has been considerable investment in vocational qualifications and career opportunities for young people – including the introduction of higher apprenticeships and a new technical baccalaureate – that will provide an alternative career path  for 16-19 year olds.

However there is still much to be done to make sure that young people have access to impartial  advice and guidance to help them make informed decisions about their future. Since 2011, schools have had responsibility for providing this, with no additional funding to do so. In addition there is no longer a legal requirement for schools to provide opportunities for work-related learning such as work experience.

This means young people are getting very different experiences of  advice and guidance. Some schools are buying in the services of careers advisers (although often less than was formerly provided by the local education authority) and providing quality work experience opportunities for their pupils. Others may be relying on online materials, which have their place but cannot replace face-to-face, independent advice and guidance.

Sunday, 12 May 2013

BBC launches Apprenticeships

BBC launches Broadcast Engineering and Radio Journalism Apprenticeships

If you’re a school leaver (or soon to be) and you have a strong interest in technology then the BBC’s ground-breaking Broadcast Engineering Apprenticeship is for you.

As part of the three year training programme you’ll complete high quality work placements with the BBC and with other media companies, at the same time as studying towards an honours degree. You’ll also build up an excellent CV which will put you in a great position to compete for jobs in the media industry once you graduate.