Council View: Plenty of options for young people after exams

Coun John Peck, chairman of children and young people's committee at Nottinghamshire County Council
Coun John Peck, chairman of children and young people's committee at Nottinghamshire County Council

Students across Nottinghamshire have been receiving their A level and GCSE results over the last week and I’d like to congratulate all the young people who have worked so hard to achieved the results they needed for the next chapter in their studies.

Many post-A level students will be taking up well deserved places at universities and colleges whilst others will be considering apprenticeships which offer work-based learning in partnership with educational providers and employers.

I’d also like to reassure those students who have perhaps not achieved what they had hoped for, not to feel despondent – there are still opportunities to select other courses at university or college or to consider an apprenticeship.

University isn’t for everyone – and increasingly students are thinking long and hard about which route will best get them where they want to go career-wise.

Gap years are also an increasing possibility for some young people and provide a period of reflection for some students.

These don’t necessarily have to be taken abroad.

Many local and national voluntary-aided organisations and charities offer high quality experiences.

For many students, GCSE results will confirm their A level courses and the transition to sixth form is a straightforward one.

However, for some, whose results may be disappointing, I would encourage them not to lose heart, but to see advice from their teachers or the exam results helpline for information on what to do next.

For the past three years, all students have been expected to continue to access education or training until their 18th birthday and the increase in apprenticeship opportunities will provide some pupils with appropriate work based opportunities.

And, for those young people, not yet ready for further education or apprenticeships, traineeships can be accessed for up to six months.

The County Council has offered nearly 200 placements for apprentices since 2011.

The apprenticeships have been offered across the county, with particular focus on areas of higher youth unemployment, such as Ashfield and Mansfield.

Currently, the council has 52 apprentices working in a variety of roles from community care officers to customer service advisors.

I would like to thank the county’s teachers who have provided the learning opportunities over many years to ensure that our young people can celebrate their academic achievements.

And I would also like to publicly acknowledge the role of parents and carers for providing constant support and encouragement.