Business Development Director of the National Apprenticeship Service, Jaine Bolton, knows all about exam results and the stresses they bring on both young people and parents. Here, she talks about how to support your son or daughter with their results, and other alternatives to University including the increasingly popular Apprenticeship route.
Children across the nation will be getting their results in a few weeks, how can parents prepare them for that?
It can be quite a daunting time for parents as they await their children’s exam results. All parents will want to support their child as they are going to be incredibly anxious at this time – and it’s helpful to keep an open mind about all the options. The National Careers Service website can provide impartial advice and have lots of information about different routes to success.
Obviously those receiving their results will be nervous and stressed, how can parents help with this?
A lot of young people forget they are in the exact same boat as their peers. Reminding them of this can be reassuring. Explaining the potential options and doing some research with them can help too. The support you can offer at this time will be crucial in influencing your son or daughter’s next steps.
If the child doesn’t perform as well as they had hoped, how can parents reassure their children?
If your child hasn’t performed as well as they had hoped, there are still other alternatives to higher education. Use this as an opportunity to think again, not as a time for disappointment. Looking at Advanced and Higher Apprenticeships, for example, gives young people the opportunity to earn while they learn and gain a degree at the same time. But don’t think an Apprenticeship is just for those who don’t get into university. Research shows that apprentices are actually more employable than those who go to university, and with over 100,000 employers offering Apprenticeships in over 200,000 locations, there is widespread availability.
There’s huge pressure for children to go onto higher education such as college and university, what are the other options?
For many young people Apprenticeships are their first choice, as they are an equal route to a successful career. Even the Prime Minister has said that he hopes that Apprenticeships or university will become the new norm for ambitious young people.
If children have trouble performing academically, what can they do to build their career options?
While Higher Apprenticeships are an equivalent to a degree, your son or daughter doesn’t necessarily need to be academically gifted to take an Apprenticeship, as most of the learning is based in the workplace. And young people can also start Apprenticeships at lower levels and work their way up to a Higher (degree level) Apprenticeship over time.
Lastly, have you got any tips for parents who are waiting anxiously for the results to come through?
Finding out about all the options and keeping an open mind to the future is the best advice I can give to parents. Whatever your son or daughter’s decision, try to be supportive and reflect on the time when you were in the same situation. And keep some sources of information to hand:
Up to 17,000 Apprenticeship jobs are available at any one time on Apprenticeship vacancies, the job site for Apprenticeships, so there is plenty of choice for anyone considering this route. Prospective apprentices can search through vacancies either at apprenticeships.org.uk or by using the new Av Search app for iPhone and Android, which allows users to create an account, log information and set up preferences, such as vacancy location, job role and salary, before searching.
For options advice National Careers Service advisers can be reached for web chats and call back requests though their website.