The last month has seen school-leavers across the UK celebrate and commiserate over their GCSE and A-Level results.

Nevertheless, regardless of the score, the outcome has largely been met by the same question: “What now?”

For many, higher education is the logical next step; however, there is an alternate route that poses a wide range of benefits.

Picking up a trade fresh out of school can be a wise move that pays off for years to come, particularly when it comes to the electrical trade.

How so? Read on to find out…

 

electrical careers, electrical training, electrician courses

 

“University Is Not For Everyone”

Higher education has long been held up as the pinnacle of education and must for school-leavers looking to better themselves.

However, in recent years, that has often not been the case, with many graduates struggling to find employment post-university.

Senior Group Technical Presenter at NICEIC, Darren Staniforth, had this to say:

“University is not for everyone and the perception that you can only have a successful career if you get a degree is a false one.

“The construction industry is a well-paid sector that offers a vast array of opportunities. Yet, it is still viewed by some as a third-rate industry for people who do not perform well at school.

“A trade is a viable career path which gives students the chance to learn specific skills that can open up many doors and avenues in the future – including working abroad.”

 

Conducting Research

These sentiments were backed by figures from the Federation of National Builders, who noted that construction apprentices will go on to earn thousands of pounds more every year than many of their university-educated counterparts.

According to their research, the FMB found that the average annual salary of UK electricians was an impressive £47k, while the average university graduate in England earns £32k/year, noting that a shortage in skilled workers makes the construction industry a very lucrative career path.

These sentiments were echoed by the experts at the Pensions Policy Institute, who worked out that even a 22-year-old electrician on an average salary of £18k could have a pension pot worth £111k by the time they retire. Talk about investing in your future!

 

Electrical Courses with Access Training

If you’re one of those school-leavers fresh off your GCSE or A-Level results, now is the perfect time to consider an electrical career. Both rewarding and useful, a training to become an electrician is extremely worthwhile on a number of levels.

Best of all, with electrical courses at Access Training, you don’t need any prior experience to get your journey started!

 

New Career Courses

Our beginner courses are ideal for those with limited or no experience.

These include:

Essential Electrical Course

Professional Electrician Course

Premier Electrical Course

 

Trade Professional Courses

For more experienced, we also offer a range of courses designed to build on your existing knowledge.

These include:

Part P Domestic Electrical Installer

18th Edition

Part P & 18th Edition

PAT Testing

Initial Verification

Periodic Inspection & Testing

Fundamental Inspection Testing

Combined Inspection & Testing

Electrical Design Course

 

For more information on electrical training and electrician courses from Access Training UK, why not get in touch today? Call now on 0800 345 7492 or get in touch online using the button below.

Get in Touch

Access Training Student

For many young people today, it's easy to think of university as an automatic route - the default next step after leaving school. With fewer vacancies and greater competition, it can seem like there are not as many opportunities available nowadays as there used to be, and so going to university comes across as being the safest option.

But is the experience of university worth the enormous tuition fees and oppressive debts that come with it? Is university really the surest route to a successful career?

The answer is: no it isn't, at least not for everybody. Many other equally prosperous options are often overlooked by parents, teachers and students alike.

What does university cost?

In 2012, university tuition fees in England almost tripled, going from £3,375 per year to £9,000 per year. At the time, students were promised increased value for money, a far higher quality of university teaching, and far better future prospects - and if the higher fees actually were justified by a far higher quality of learning and a better future for students, then perhaps this could be seen as a fair deal. But with the number of students increasing each year, the value of a degree has if anything fallen since 2012.

And that's not the only problem. The latest report on student debt by the Institute for Fiscal Studies (IFS) revealed that graduate students are currently facing a lifetime of debt, averaging around £57,000. On top of tuition fees, which are continually increasing,  this extortionate lifetime bill is made even heftier when maintenance fees and general living costs are taken into account.

So unless a university education is undoubtedly, unquestionably what you want to pursue, why saddle yourself with such a huge backlog of debt?

Is it worth it?

Many students who started university courses after fees were increased have now completed their degrees, but a lot of them are not doing too well; according to The National Union of Students, nearly half of all students who attended university as undergraduates in 2012 are now back to living with their parents.

And the struggle to find employment is only going to become more difficult, according to Sharon Walpole (the Chief Executive of Not Going To Uni, an organisation devoted to spreading awareness of options other than university to help young people secure a strong future). Walpole warns that graduate intakes for large employers will be reduced when an apprenticeship levy is passed in 2017. This levy will include an investment of £2.5 billion into funding apprenticeship training, resulting in an influx of apprenticeship placements and less room for graduates.

With more and more graduates achieving university degrees, things are only likely to become worse, with more competition, fewer opportunities, and less room for work. Read this article to find out how newly-graduated students are finding life after university, and how successful they have been in finding work

What else can your child do?

Leaving university owing £40,000+ is no way to enter the world of work, and a debt of that scale can be a huge financial and mental burden, not only for the students themselves but for the families who then have to support them. With far less priority now being made for graduate employees, finding work is becoming extremely difficult.

If you are thinking of attending university, and are not 100% certain about this choice, we implore you to consider all the available options. If academia is not your forte - if you are better with physical, hands-on work - then the trade industry might be just what you’re looking for, and Access Training is the best establishment in the UK to train and qualify aspiring tradespeople.

Please give us a call today on 0800 345 7492, and enquire about the courses we have on offer. Our course advisors will be happy to give you all the information you require.

Alternatively, select one of the following options to find out more:

In recent years, the rate of young people applying for university has increased dramatically. As of 2011-2012, 49% of all 18-year-olds attended university - the highest level recorded to that date.

Alternatives to University

Image source: Kit via Wikimedia Commons

Although this number fell from around 1,100,000 to around 975,000 in 2012 due to the substantial increase in tuition fees, the UK’s university graduate intake has slowly risen again, touching on the 1,000,000 mark in 2014-2015. Even so, university remains the most popular route into the working world for young people.

But at what cost? 

With so many young people going to university, many industries and trades are bearing the brunt of rapid decline in growth, despite demand remaining just as high, if not higher.

What’s more is that university seldom fulfills the expectations of those attending. On average, around 24,840 UK graduates per year are employed in admin, secretarial jobs, office jobs, or as waiters, bartenders, road sweepers and self stackers, and 58.8% of UK graduates end up in jobs not related to their degree. Given that 26,000 students dropped out of university in 2013/14, it might not be all that it’s cracked up to be.

Read more: I’ve Dropped Out Of University: What Can I Do Next?

A perhaps more concerning statistic is that over 16,700 students are unable to find work six months after leaving university; despite teachers, parents and perhaps students themselves preferring university as the ‘safe’ option, these figures suggest otherwise.

If you are among the growing number of school leavers and students who feel that university might not be the right choice, read on for 5 alternatives to university that you may wish to consider.

1. Apprenticeships & Traineeships

If you’d prefer not to pay the thousands of pounds for tuition fees at university, but still need to acquire valuable skills and qualifications, then an apprenticeship or traineeship might be the best route for you.

Apprenticeships and traineeships are very good alternatives to university. They give you the opportunity to experience the world of employment, whilst earning a decent wage; you’ll also gain a qualification on completion.

In essence, it’s like paid work experience in your chosen field, and one which will greatly increase your employability. Combining valuable work experience and training will give you the necessary skills to start your chosen career path.

Today, apprenticeships and traineeships are not restricted to the traditional trade routes alone - they include a vast range of careers, from engineering to accountancy, publishing to veterinary science.

Read More:10 highest paid jobs that don’t require a degree

2. Gap Year

If you’re still undecided about which direction you want to take by the time you finish school, there is no need to despair. People don’t always know for sure what it is they want to do, perhaps not until years later.

Gap years are an increasingly popular choice for people in this situation. Taking time to consider all your available options, give yourself a break from education, and perhaps get some life experience working or travelling, can certainly be beneficial.

It might also be an opportunity to gain new qualifications in your spare time and enhance your personal statement or CV to improve your employability.

3. Get a Job

Not everybody is destined for an academic route. And it’s perfectly acceptable to hop off the education train after your GCSEs or A Levels and head straight into the working world.

If you aren’t interested in an academic future, but would much rather get your hands stuck in, the last thing that’ll appeal to you after finally leaving school is... well, more school

A good option for you could be to cash in on the qualifications you’ve earnt at your time in school and begin your working life at 16 or 18 years old. If you have the right attitude and are hard working, you could find yourself moving from rung to rung on the career ladder in no time.

4. Studying Overseas

Why not combine a gap year with a university experience and study overseas? If you are excited by both the idea of travelling and learning, this might be the way to go.

With several overseas studying schemes available to students, this option is increasingly popular. It is considered favourably by employers, who feel that such students are often flexible and culturally mobile, which can set you apart from other employees.

Alternatively, you could study overseas as part of your course, if not for the whole duration of it. Many courses today offer a year’s placement in another country which could provide both a hugely beneficial insight into your study, whilst providing you with those experiences which come with travelling.

5. A Career in the Trade Industry

Trade Career - Alternative to University

Not everybody wants to continue down the academic route after school, and the trade industry is an excellent alternative to higher education.

Tradespeople such as plumbers, electricians and gas engineers are thriving off the skills shortage that's currently plaguing the industry. As a result, the trade industry is set to boom.

In addition to this, with a rapidly rising UK population and huge housing and road developments proposed for the future, tradespeople are virtually guaranteed a healthy, stable and rewarding career.

With a huge workforce needed to make these developments happen, as well as the maintenance and installation of appliances for years to come, a career as a tradesperson could be the perfect for you.

Become a Fully-Qualified Tradesperson with Access Training

If a career in the trade appeals to you more than going university, take a look at the courses available at Access Training today.

With the help of our experienced course advisors, we can put you on the right path to a successful, fulfilling career. Talk to us today for more details.

Now that we've entered August it's fair to say that the summer holidays have properly started, and school children aren't going to have to even think about school for another month. But what about those 18 year olds who are just coming out of sixth form/college? It's not so easy for them as they won't be going back in September - it's time for them to think about the next step in their lives.

For many university will be the most obvious route, engaging in another 3+ years of education with a qualification and a heap of debt at the end of it. And what job is that qualification likely to get you? With most graduates struggling to get jobs relevant to their degrees, they are now beginning to fill lower-level positions that would usually be taken by those who haven't gone to uni and want to work their way up into a career via experience. So where does that leave them? As you can guess, its a pretty big problem and calls into question just how useful some degrees are in landing you your 'dream' job.

But there are other reasons one might not want to go to university. After over a decade of timetables and school work, some people might want to put that behind them and move onto something different. Instead of more sitting at a desk and writing, there are practical options out there that will keep your working life active and varied. And of course, there is that matter of student loan/tuition fee debt that I briefly mentioned earlier...

With the demand for skilled tradespeople at an all-time high thanks to a construction boom and renewed interest in housebuilding, those looking for a direction outside of university may be perfectly suited to becoming a plumber, gas engineer, electrician, carpenter, plasterer, tiler, bricklayer or decorator. Or even a number of the above! But once again, there are a few ways to go about it.

One option is to take up a college course in your chosen trade. Not a bad option, but there are a few things to think about. These courses can take around two years to complete, which means once again resigning yourself to a strict regime of timetables. There's also the fact that colleges have to budget  their wide variety of courses, which means there's every possibility you could find yourself with facilities not quite as ideal as you might have hoped for.

The alternative? Completing an intensive training course with a private trainer, where you'll be able to earn your skills and qualifications in a matter of weeks. This probably sounds impossible to many of you, but with the right tutelage from experienced tradesmen in a state-of-the-art facility the combines the very best practical and theory training it's more than possible. And with a private trainer their ONLY focus is on the facilities and the training they provide, so you know that your chosen trade is a key subject for them.

Sound like the path you want to take? Then get in touch with Access Training Academies and book your training course today. We specialise in a wide variety of trades training courses, each manned by tutors with many years' experience in the business. All of our courses are accredited by leading awarding bodies such as City & Guilds, Logic and more, and designed to take you from a beginner level all the way to that of a trained professional. Not only that, but we keep our classes to a minimal size to allow the most one-to-one student/tutor time possible, so that you know you're getting the care and attention you paid for. Following completion of your course, you'll be ready to start your brand new career and even have the abilities to go self-employed should you so wish. Its your choice what path you choose but one thing is definitely for sure - you'll have earned yourself skills for life that are constantly in demand, and as such enjoy constant work with impressive wages.

This August, have a think about where you want your life to head next. And if you like the sound of this, give Access a call on 0800 345 7492.

Loose Women's Janet Street Porter wrote an interesting piece in the Daily Mail last week about how university degrees are becoming less and less relevant in the working world, with more students ending up in jobs that have no relation to what they studied whatsoever. She also suggests that it's time for colleges to start focussing on offering trade learning such as plumbing, construction and electrical engineering. Her words - "Show me a poor plumber - there certainly aren't any in Central London."

She isn't wrong, yesterday the Guardian reported that half of recent UK graduates are stuck working in non-graduate jobs according the Office of National Statistics. Specialising in a trade is becoming more and more appealing to young people, which means taking up a plumbing training course could prove far more valuable to your future than a university degree. For a start an Access Academies plumbing course can be completed in a matter of weeks, as opposed to the average of three years you'd spend at university. With the relevant plumbing qualifications you'll be out making money as a professional in a matter of weeks, while with a university degree you'll be coming out years later with no guarantee of a job and that rather sizeable student loan looming over you.

There's also the matter of a plumbing training course giving you a skill for life. A university degree can teach you some really valuable things, no one is denying that. But the harsh truth is Britain is still very much in the midst of a recession, and you'd be entering any job you might find at the bottom of the ladder. And when the going gets tough sadly these are usually the people a business is first to let go of. With an intensive plumbing course behind you, you'll have a skill for life that's always going to be in demand. Working plumbing is something we would struggle to live without, and so a trustworthy plumber is someone that's going to be on call in every household. Not only that, but it's the perfect skill to take on and make into a self-employed business meaning you won't have to deal with pushy bosses or the constant worry of redundancy. Decide when you want to work and for home much, taking the jobs you want/need and build up a friendly relationship with your customers so they'll be sure to call on you again! 

Finally, and here's the best bit - anyone can learn a trade at any age. To get into university you'll need to earn the right grades, and that relies on you doing well in exams. But what if exam situations aren't for you? Exams can cause a great deal of pressure and certainly aren't a flawless way of gauging someone's intelligence. With our plumbing courses, we'll teach you everything you need to know from the ground up and are just as welcoming toward newcomers as we are to those who may have some previous experience in the plumbing trade.

So is university still sounding like the best option for you? If you'd like to work toward a more active and physical career with greater rewards and better job security, I think the choice is obvious. Come to Access Training Academies and train to be a plumber on any one of our intensive training courses. With experienced tutors, small initmate class sizes and state-of-the-art work areas, our number one goal is get you the skills you need to make this dream a reality. To find out more and speak to one of our course advisers, please give us a call on 0800 345 7492.