Careers Wales urges GCSE pupils to consider all options
12:02pm Thursday 22nd August 2013 in News
LEAVING school can be a daunting time for young people in Wales, with ‘what to do next’ being one of the biggest decisions they have ever had to make.
With thousands of students across Wales due to collect their results today (Thursday, August 22), Careers Wales, the national careers service for Wales, is urging them not to panic as there are many options available to them and lots of advice on offer to help them make their decision.
According to the Careers Wales annual pupil destinations report, which surveys all school leavers in Wales to identify what they are moving onto do, the majority of Year 11 pupils in Wales went on into further education (85 per cent), employment or work-based training (eight per cent) in 2012.
Encouragingly just four per cent of school leavers were not in education, employment or training, with the report, which also looks at the key destination trends between 2008 and 2012, showing a continued decline in Year 11 pupils not in education, employment or training by three per cent over the five year period.
These statistics, which remain at similar levels to 2011, imply that the pressures of an uncertain economic climate and the rising cost of Higher Education is not having a significant impact on the destinations of school leavers.
Ray Collier, interim chief executive of Careers Wales, commented: “It’s reassuring that these young people have not been significantly affected by the turbulent economy. It is also comforting to see that the majority of students are successful in gaining a place in education, employment or work-based training, which suggests students are taking the time to carefully consider their options.
“It is vital, however, that we continue to provide support to these young people to help them develop a range of skills and qualifications to make them work ready. Careers Wales, working closely with schools and parents, will be on hand this results period to help and encourage students to enable them to make the best decision that is right for them, whether that be academic or vocational.”
While continuing in full-time education, either at sixth form or an further education college, remains a the most popular option for Year 11 pupils in Wales, and may also be an essential route into many careers, it should be considered alongside the many other equally good pathways on offer.
Other options include employment and work based training, which allow young people to combine gaining qualifications with valuable, often paid, job specific experience. Apprenticeship vacancies can be viewed on the Apprenticeship Matching Service available on careerswales.com, in addition to information and advice on other work based learning.
Pupils who are unsure which career might suit them, or who want to gain some work experience to improve their CV, should visit the Jobs Growth Wales section on careerswales.com, which shows the variety of work placements on offer.
For students who are unsure which route they should take Ray offered the following advice: “Don’t panic and start researching all your options. Think about what you enjoy doing, your interests and what you are good at. Think about any career plans you’ve had before and research the qualifications or experience required. Talk your ideas through with friends or family, visit careerswales.com for more inspiration or talk to a Careers Wales Adviser.”
A further source of information for pupils and parents is the Welsh Government and Careers Wales ’Where Now’ campaign, which provides impartial information on www.careerswales.com/wherenow to encourage young people to research all available options including further education, apprenticeship vacancies and work experience initiatives.
Careers Wales is the national careers service for Wales and is wholly owned by the Welsh Government. For more information visit www.careerswales.com where you can use Web Chat to talk to a Careers Adviser. Alternatively call 0800 0284844.