News | Crunch time for A-Level students – but is University the only option for a promising career?
A-Level students around the country will be receiving their exam results today and facing that difficult decision of what to do next. Whether overjoyed with the results, disappointed or indifferent, it’s that time in your life where you have to make one of the first decisions that will affect your future career.
While University may be a great option for some, with the huge increase in tuition fees and the threat of youth unemployment even for those with degrees, needless to say, it’s not everyone’s first choice! Below we explore some of the options available for those who don’t get the grades they need to get into University or who decide to explore the alternatives.
Shell LiveWIRE UK offers support to young entrepreneurs through funding opportunities, PR exposure and an extensive online resource replete with business advice and first-hand experience from those who have made it.
The monthly Grand Ideas Awards offer 4 x £1,000 prizes to young entrepreneurs aged 16-30, whose business has been running for under 12 months, or who are on the verge of starting up, and who are based in the UK. Shortlisted and winning entries will have their video pitches uploaded onto the website and Shell LiveWIRE UK YouTube channel, and previous winners will be promoted through the ‘Alumni’ page.
In addition, there is the chance to win the annual £10,000 Young Entrepreneur of the Year Award, in which previous winners of the Grand Ideas Award can prove their business acumen and receive this prestigious award to push them to the forefront of the enterprise world.
But it’s not just Shell LiveWIRE UK supporting young people around the country. Here are just some of the many organisations around the country who offer career assistance:
The Prince’s Trust Enterprise Programme aims to help young people develop their business ideas through a variety of means. These include start-up loan funding, business skills training, mentorships and specialist business advice. The programme is aimed at young people aged 18-30 living in England, Wales and Northern Ireland who are unemployed or work less than 16 hours per week.
The Peter Jones Enterprise Academy offer five unique BTEC courses in Enterprise and Entrepreneurship, taught in colleges around the country, which inspire young people to set up their own companies under the guidance of business experts. The courses offer placements, real life business challenges, masterclasses and micro-surgeries with some of the best known entrepreneurs in the country.
Jobscentre Plus can help you find a job through an extensive online vacancy service, as well as providing loans and benefits to support you while you are searching for work. They also provide information on volunteering opportunities and advice on self-employment, including support through the New Enterprise Allowance.
For those not wanting to follow the university career path, www.notgoingtouni.co.uk gives an extensive guide to the alternatives available. With details of apprenticeships in your area, featured job and courses, as well as case studies of success stories and career resources, this website provides an in-depth look at the opportunities available to young people.
Connexions offer confidential advice and support to young people aged 13-19 on a range of subjects including careers, education, training, employment, health and personal development opportunities. With websites and centres geared to your local region, it’s definitely worth checking them out for some free and impartial advice.
What do you think?
Are you someone who left school with little or no qualifications or simply chose not to go to University so you could start your own business? What was it like and who did you turn to for help and advice? Please share your experiences with other LiveWIRE members and readers in our Discussion Forum at http://www.shell-livewire.org/forums/showthread.php?t=28576