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Struggling to decide about your future? Explore your post-16 options

man talking to student

Struggling to decide about your future?

The law in England and Wales states that young people must continue their education until they’re 18, but what many young people don’t realise is that ‘education’ doesn’t necessarily equal ‘school’.

Exploring your post-16 options

Deciding what you’re going to do after your GCSEs can be tough for many, but we’d always encourage young people to make their own decisions rather than opt to follow the crowd. We’d advise those of you looking at your post-16 options to consider your skills, think about your long-term aspirations and to be honest about your strengths and weaknesses. It’s important to explore all the avenues and keep an open mind.

Leaving school and heading down the route of getting a degree isn’t the right decision for everyone. For many reasons, the idea of going to university can be a daunting one, whether it’s the burden of student debt or the feeling that after 14 years of schooling you’ve simply had enough of academic life and want to get out there and start earning a living.

Yet, the decision to leave education and enter the world of paid work can be a tricky one. There’s no right or wrong answer, but a lot of people forget there is another way and it’s one that combines the best of both worlds – earning whilst you are learning.

Is an apprenticeship right for me?

Ultimately, apprenticeships give you a skill for life and an increased chance of securing a job in a chosen industry, which we understand is a much-needed reassurance during the current climate. You could become a qualified electrician or plumber, and within the industry there are always options for further development and career progression. For example, many of JTL’s electrical apprentices go on to graduate with a degree in electrical engineering, with the added advantage that their course has been sponsored by their employer, meaning that they are left free of significant university debt unlike so many other graduates whilst remaining in employment.

Apprenticeships allow you to ‘earn as you learn’ and get a head start on your career at the same time. High-quality vocational education – like that delivered by JTL – is not a lesser choice. It’s just a different one. Take on a JTL apprenticeship and you’re equipping yourself with the practical skills that employers, businesses and homeowners really need. Plus, there’s plenty of demand for new talent with huge potential to progress up the career ladder.

We have summarised the top five reasons to help you determine whether one of our apprenticeship schemes could be for you here.

Thinking of leaving university?

More and more students are choosing not to go back to university. Whether your course isn’t what you expected, you haven’t gelled with the people you’re living with or you’re just not a fan of the ‘uni’ lifestyle, there’s still plenty of options to choose from. Take a read of our ‘Waving goodbye to university? Try an apprenticeship instead’ blog here.

For those of you in the first term of university and reconsidering your choice, then January is the ideal time to start an apprenticeship. Discover JTL’s wide range of exciting apprenticeships and how you can apply here. Or call our freephone number 0800 085 2308.

If you’re of school-leaving age or you’re just feeling disillusioned at the prospect of another two years in school, sixth form college or university, don’t rule out an apprenticeship. They’re really rigorous and they’ll test your skills in every area, but you’ll emerge well-equipped to find a job in a competitive marketplace. Plus, you’ll have learnt invaluable life and workplace skills along the way too. JTL apprenticeships are available to all, no matter your background, gender or ethnic group. Find out more about how an apprenticeship can benefit you here.

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