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Monday, 7 December 2015

How to start your bookkeeping career

Bookkeeping courses

What does a bookkeeper do?

Bookkeeping can be a long and fulfilling career. Bookkeepers are tasked with keeping high-quality, accurate accounting records. Tasks undertaken by bookkeepers can include inputting sales and purchases ledgers into accounting software as well as expense receipts and sales income. They will be in charge of reconciling income and expenses as well as the sales and purchase ledger. A bookkeeper will also categorise costs, input capital expenditure and look after prepayments and accruals. They will normally make provisions for corporate tax and oversee depreciation journals. They may also need to raise invoices, chase payments, pay in cheques and other administrative tasks.

Saturday, 21 November 2015

What are the changes to GCSEs all about?

changes to GCSE exams from September 2015

There has been quite a bit of tinkering with school exams in recent years including the scrapping of modular assessment in 2012 which prevented students from doing repeat resits of modules until the desired grade was achieved.

From September of this year new style GCSEs are being introduced in phases.  The first group of new GCSEs will be  English literature, English language and maths with the first qualifications awarded in August 2017.

Thursday, 12 November 2015

Building the Future ~ Apprenticeships in Construction

Apprenticeships in Construction

According to the think-tank Demos, the construction industry accounts for 2.1m jobs in the UK, representing 7pc of the workforce.  It is an industry that is highly sensitive to change in the wider economy.  As the UK economy has slowly begun to emerge from recession more projects are starting up and the demand for skilled workers is on the increase.

Analysis by the Construction Industry Training Board found that the building industry needs 120,000 apprentices over the next five years to fill this emerging skills gap. However, the number of people completing construction apprenticeships has plunged since the financial crisis, with just 9,306 construction apprenticeships completed last year, which represents a 4% drop on 2013’s already low figure of 9,688.  This compares with a high point in 2009 when 16,947 apprentices finished their training.

Thursday, 5 November 2015

What does a quality careers education programme look like?

I'm aware that teachers visit this site and thought it might be helpful to say a bit about what secondary schools should consider in terms of improving the careers education, information, advice and guidance (CEIAG for short) they provide.

Teachers are expert at devising learning progammes and activities for their students.  The main impediment tends to be knowing what learning outcomes to prioritise.  So I'll set out some basic principles.

Legal Services Apprenticeships and CILEx

Chartered Institute of Legal Executives (CILEx)

A renewed interest in legal apprenticeships has seen in-house legal departments and law firms taking up Legal Services Apprenticeships (LSAs) which are overseen by the Chartered Institute of Legal Executives (CILEx).  There are currently 360 LSAs working at 107 organisations in England and Wales.

Thursday, 29 October 2015

Tuesday, 13 October 2015

Generic Skills ~ advice from a major employer

When recruiting young people, employers are often most interested in personal qualities which are quite hard to define or pin down precisely.  So they will make judgements based on gut instinct – relying on their intuition to help them decide whether an applicant would fit in well, learn quickly and make a positive contribution.

All sorts of terms are used when discussing these qualities or characteristics:
  • soft skills
  • core skills
  • transferable skills
  • employability skills
  • generic skills

Thursday, 8 October 2015

Emotional Resilience ~ ten tips for teens

This advice from the American Psychological Association is aimed at young people facing a personal crisis. It's good advice and many adults should find it instructive too! Ten simple ideas on how to deal with emotional turmoil that have that all important ring of plain old common sense.

Wednesday, 7 October 2015

Wednesday, 26 August 2015

Is it a good idea to get a degree?

Is it a good idea to get a degree?

Update (August 2016): A recent report by a think tank called the Intergenerational Foundation has looked in detail at the so-called graduate premium. This is the extra amount on average that graduates will earn over their working lives compared with those who do not go to university. They concluded that the size of this "premium" has often been hugely inflated by politicians and others and that this amounts to a case of mis-selling.

The thing is that discussing a single, average figure is highly misleading because the returns to an individual vary so much by degree subject, university attended and the student’s personal background (such as whether they attended a state or private secondary school).

Lots of graduates end up doing jobs where they earn enough to have to make repayments on their student debt and this could effectively cancel out most of the uplift in salary they get from being a graduate in the first place. While the report definitely isn’t intended to put young people off from attending university, it should make young people and their parents weigh up very carefully the real value of the degree they are buying through their student loan repayments.

So is getting a degree a great idea or not?

Governments of every stripe in recent years have said a big “Yes!” to this and have pumped vast sums into expanding higher education. Universities have been turned into businesses that compete aggressively with each other to attract customers. When the costs started to balloon, tuition fees and student loans were brought in.

Faced with various half truths and the occasional downright lie from the government propaganda machine and the universities’ marketing departments, what are school leavers and their worried parents to do?

I have set out below the actual, real world reality as I see it. It should help you to weigh up the various options.

Wednesday, 19 August 2015

Trailblazer Apprenticeships ~ new approach has employers in the driving seat

Trailblazer Apprenticeships ; Higher Apprenticeships ; Degree Apprenticeships

After a recent review of vocational education and training it was decided that the design of many apprenticeships was not fit for purpose and things needed to change. Groups of employers (known as trailblazers) from different industries were asked to get together and agree new ways to train up their young workforce.

To date only 20 of these new apprenticeship standards have been given the green light but there are many more in the pipeline. To give an idea of the vast range of occupations that will eventually be covered I have listed below a random selection.

Saturday, 15 August 2015

Saturday, 13 June 2015

Sunday, 8 March 2015

Becoming a Lawyer ~ advice from an expert

Becoming a Lawyer

Until 2012 Ian McIntosh was a partner in a large law firm advising business clients on corporate deals, mergers and acquisitions etc.  He is now a career coach for aspiring lawyers.

Q. “What is black and brown and looks good on a lawyer?”
            A. “a Doberman”

Few careers have their own genre of jokes, but lawyers do, especially in the USA. While this reflects an unloved status, law is still a career that attracts many young people (directly, and through parents’ encouragement). This blog looks briefly at the routes to become a lawyer and then – perhaps more importantly – lawyers’ working lives, and how they are changing.

Lawyer Facts

First lets deal with terminology. “Lawyer” is a generic term for people who practice law. But, just as doctors and nurses both practice medicine, there are different types of qualified lawyer. The three main types are barristers, solicitors and legal executives, and each of these kinds of lawyer has their own routes to qualification.

Thursday, 5 March 2015

Changes to A Level ~ UCAS Survey Findings

Changes to A levels and A levels in England, Wales and Northern Ireland

Big changes to A levels are on the way. This will mean that A levels in England, Wales and Northern Ireland will be different in terms of their structure and assessment methods.

In England, the A level will become a two-year ‘linear’ qualification with the AS ‘decoupled’.  In other words, the AS qualification will no longer count towards the overall A level grade but will be a standalone qualification in its own right and it will be optional for schools and colleges. Exam bodies are developing new AS levels for English students that can be co-taught alongside the first year of the A level programme, so that students can still be entered for the AS exams if their school or college chooses to offer this option.

Wednesday, 4 March 2015

Pathways to Law

The Pathways to Law programme was set up in 2006 by The Sutton Trust and The Legal Education Foundation (LEF), with support from major law firms, to inspire and support academically-able students in year 12 and 13 from non-privileged backgrounds interested in a career in law.

Tuesday, 24 February 2015

Q&A ~ Getting into a career in law

Interested in legal careers? Ever wondered what a real lawyer would advise?  In this Q&A Simon Wilson provides an experienced solicitor's insights.

What led you to become a solicitor?

I had an interest in the law from a young age. From about the age of twelve I wanted to be a solicitor and criminal cases on the news always fascinated me. This was fuelled by big criminal trials such as that of Peter Sutcliffe (the "Yorkshire Ripper") and the Dennis Nilsen trial.

At school I studied Maths, History, Geography and General Studies for A levels. I don’t think you need to choose certain A levels and A level law certainly isn’t a prerequisite. My advice would be to choose a variety of subjects in order to demonstrate a wide range of skills.

Friday, 20 February 2015

Why Careers Education Matters ~ by Laura-Jane Rawlings

Greetings dear reader

This post is mainly for the enlightenment of teachers and school governors.

The short video provides the opportunity for you to listen to one of England's top experts on Careers Education explaining why it is so important to do more on this.

Friday, 6 February 2015

How to write a good UCAS personal Statement

UCAS personal Statement

The Personal Statement section is the only part of the UCAS application form which gives you a chance to say something about yourself, and at the same time make a positive impression. It is vital to get it right and this guide explains how to put a good UCAS Personal Statement together.

Your personal statement may well be the deciding factor in whether you get an offer. Over the years the space UCAS allocate to the Personal Statement has grown from a few lines to a whole page, emphasising how important admissions tutors think it is.

You should give it similar attention. Take as much time and care as you can to make it effective. The most important thing is to explain why you are applying for your particular courses: what attracts you to that subject area, how your current A level studies have influenced you, career plans etc.

Friday, 30 January 2015

Monday, 26 January 2015

5 Tips To Bag Yourself A Digital Apprenticeship

Bag Yourself A Digital Apprenticeship

By: Scarlett Wilson, Digital Marketing Executive @ Bubble Jobs

If you’ve just finished school or college, then you might be thinking about starting an apprenticeship. There are lots of different subjects to choose from, and one of those is a digital apprenticeship. It can be pretty scary to start with as you may not have had any office experience before, never mind digital expertise but don’t worry!

Sunday, 25 January 2015

Wednesday, 21 January 2015

In a nutshell ~ the Special Educational Needs and Disabilities (SEND) reforms

Special Educational Needs and Disability reforms

What are the SEND reforms?

The Special Educational Needs and Disability reforms (SEND reforms) mean that local health services (clinical commissioning groups) and local authorities must work together to integrate services across the 0-25 age range. The new system is about offering help at the earliest possible point, with children and young people with SEN and their parents or carers fully involved in decisions about the support they need. The reforms are set out in the Children and Families Act 2014, and the new SEND Code of Practice (0-25 years).

Monday, 12 January 2015

Work Experience ~ What’s going wrong?

Work Experience

“It helps young people find out more about the working world, can give insight into what careers and jobs are available and what they need to do to get there. Crucially, young people tend to listen more to employers than to teachers or parents so their interventions, such as careers talks, work tasters and advice and guidance, can be very powerful.” CIPD

Research in 2012 by the UK Commission for Employment and Skills (UKCES) found that the share of full-time learners at 16-17 years old who combine work with their learning has been declining steadily from 40 per cent in the late 1990s to around 20 per cent in 2011. This indicates that young people in the UK are leaving education increasingly less experienced in the working world.

Thursday, 1 January 2015