GCSE results will be issued on August 22, 2019. But even before then, many students will be considering their options for the future.
A-levels remain the traditional route taken for post-16 education. But there are several alternatives that students can consider. Boris Johnson has written this week that the nation needs more apprenticeships to help children from a range of academic backgrounds find meaningful and fulfilling careers. But some business owners have argued that the complexity and cost of the system puts them off participating.
Here is our guide to apprenticeships and traineeships.
What is an apprenticeship?
Apprenticeships combine study with practical training on the job, and provide an excellent alternative to A-levels.
- Students are thrown immediately into working-life, able to learn directly from experienced staff.
- They will acquire job-specific skills in their chosen industry, whilst gaining a qualification in the process.
- Apprenticeships are paid: companies such as BAE Systems, for example, offer a starting salary of around £30k on completion.
"Many students prefer a more practical learning experience which might not be possible through a classroom based A-level qualification," says Tom Laws, the education and awareness co-ordinator of Serco Services.
Instead, he says, an apprenticeship is "a way for young people to earn while learning in a real job, gaining a real qualification and a real future."