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‘It is vital that teenagers understand career pathways and industry demands’

The summer holidays may have only just started, however many parents and guardians with teenagers are already looking ahead to September and life after GCSEs and A Levels, writes Julie Richards.

Most young people will have a plan, whether that is moving into sixth form, college, university, an apprenticeship or a job but others may still be undecided about what to do next.

It could be the first time your teenager has had so much choice relating to what happens next in their lives. Giving teenagers the chance to influence which qualifications they want to achieve, or the type of career they want to build, can be the making of them.

At this stage in their lives it is vital they have a say, build on their strengths and that they understand career pathways and industry demands, both now and in the future to help them secure employment and build a sustainable career. They will achieve more and be more committed if they move on to something that inspires them.

I can’t stress enough how important it is to weigh up all the choices and not to choose or dismiss an option without current and relevant information.

The scope of what is 
possible with an apprenticeship is much greater than when I was making choices at 16 and 18 years old. Many people don’t realise that it isn’t just A Levels which open up routes to university and it isn’t just schools who offer A Levels.

There are many reasons why people take one route over another only to realise that it wasn’t the best for them. Getting up to date advice is vital to give you the right information to make a decision on.

Talk to people who offer a range of learning options including apprenticeships. Ask them about the benefits and the practicalities.

We have independent careers advisors here at Chesterfield College if you need support and advice. Call 01246 500500 or take a look at www.chesterfield.ac.uk/information-advice/support/student-services for more information.