21 September 2020

Young people encouraged to consider alternatives to College and Sixth Form

September marks the start of the academic year with many young people embarking on new educational careers at College and Sixth Form – but what if their chosen path doesn’t work out?

In the UK, young people are required to stay in full time education until they are 18 years old. The typical option after school sees many young people registering for Sixth Forms and colleges each year, ready to further their career in their chosen field. But sometimes, college or Sixth Form doesn’t work out as initially expected, and they start to look further afield for an alternative option.

Skills Training UK offers free BTECs and Traineeships available to those looking for an alternative post-16 educational experience. Three routes are offered: a range of BTEC vocational qualifications (including English and Maths) for 16-18-year-olds, Traineeships for 16-24 year-olds and Apprenticeships.

Through practical work experience and classroom delivery from experienced tutors, students are supported to achieve vocational qualifications and employability skills wanted by employers to help them reach their next level of study, an apprenticeship or full-time employment. Sectors include Business Enterprise, Warehousing, Music Industry Skills, Marketing, and Health & Social Care.

One learner, Tasfiah Anjum, decided that sixth form wasn’t for her and enrolled onto a Level 2 BTEC First Certificate in Health & Social Care with Skills Training UK, recently receiving a double merit grade.

Tasfiah Anjum, learner at Skills Training UK Walsall Centre, said: “I initially started at sixth form but found it quite overwhelming with lots of courses to choose from. I then spoke with my Connexions adviser who recommended Skills Training UK as a learning provider. This was a much better fit for me as I was able to just do the one course and put all my focus into achieving the grade I wanted.

“I am so pleased with my grades, all of my hard work paid off and I am looking forward to starting at Walsall College to study Childcare.

“I highly recommend Skills Training UK as a learning provider. They are so supportive and will guide you through every step of your course.”

During the height of lockdown, tutors continued to deliver high quality training online and exceptional levels of group and individual coaching and mentoring. Since the start of the Covid-19 pandemic Skills Training UK has welcomed over 3,000 new young people and adults onto Apprenticeships, Traineeships or one of our other vocational training programmes and have delivered approaching 5,000 online learning sessions.

Graham Clarke, Director of Education and Social Mobility at Skills Training UK, said: “We know that sometimes the first option we take following school isn’t the right one for all young people and our vocational qualifications are an exciting alternative to traditional college or sixth-form routes, with smaller classroom settings and tailored support for individuals.

“At Skills Training UK we offer free vocational training where young people are supported to achieve the skills they need to meet the demands of local employers in industries such as manufacturing, hospitality and business, while allowing them to decide what type of career they want, boosting their confidence, and helping them take their next step – whatever it may be.”

Skills Training UK won the Training Provider of the Year Award at the 2019 Times Educational Supplement (TES) FE Awards and is rated ‘Good’ by Ofsted.

Meanwhile, Apprenticeships are another practical route for people of any age, offering ‘on-the-job’ training while working towards a qualification in a specific sector. Skills Training UK works with a range of employers to create bespoke programmes that directly address employers’ needs, ensuring learners have a real opportunity to progress.

Tutors also provide practical careers advice and support with job searching, CV writing, and interview skills.

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