There are expected to be in the region of 230,000 disappointed young people missing out on a university place this year, damaging their hopes for a rewarding job, and in their view, affecting their future earning ability.
But is this truly the case? What about the wealth of vocational training options available which can lead to an extremely rewarding and lucrative career?
Vocational courses lead to higher-paying jobs
The median salary for graduates is £23,000*, which compares poorly to the average salary for an electrician in the UK, which currently sits at £31,701*.
Vocational courses cost less than university courses
At time of writing, university fees stand at £3290 per year, rising to £9000 in a year’s time. That’s £27,000 for a three year course (without the inclusion of living expenses).
For that price you could gain dozens of industry-recognised vocational qualifications, including plumbing and electrical awards, as well as becoming Gas Safe qualified and registered, with bags of money remaining to buy your first van and all your tools!
There aren't enough university places to go around
To add to the strain for university places, these potential students are also coming under pressure from competition for places from the EU, with applications for places rising by 8% already this year. It stands to reason that with the much vilified 2012 rise in fees, many more applications are being received per place as an attempt to beat the price hike, but to what end?
The surge in applicants shows a further increase on the quarter of a million that applied for a university position last year, with one in three unable to gain a place.
However, this needn’t be the end of the world; in fact it can be the start of a whole new successful chapter of an individual’s life. Vocational alternatives such as plumbing, electrical and gas courses are readily available. The Government recently announced their intention to set up 40 new university technical colleges (UTCs); however, this news was lost amongst the furore of the tuition fee protests. Such careers are extremely worthy alternatives to a university education, especially given the current skills gap in the country (which has existed for decades).
Even EAL, the organisation which awards vocational qualifications across sectors including plumbing, electrical and gas, has called for an end to what it rightly describes as snobbery against vocational courses.
Sally Hunt, General Secretary of the University and College Union, has said:
"Our Government seems intent on ignoring the global trend of increasing access to university, which will see thousands of applicants denied the chance to fulfil their potential."
However, Hunt doesn’t acknowledge that an individual’s potential can still be fulfilled through vocational courses.
So if you want to save your money, study for less time, and develop the technical ability and skill to earn many times what a graduate would expect to earn, all without the vast huge amounts of debt, a vocational course may be the way to go. We offer a variety of vocational courses here at Access Training - browse our latest training packages here.
*Sources: www.salarytrack.co.uk and www.mysalary.co.uk