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Published on Thursday, August 15, 2019


Apprenticeships after A-levels or GCSEs

This month, we beheld the annual flurry and frenzy of A-level and GCSE results days. A time of year which is always nerve-racking for both school pupils and their parents, as future pathways crystallise, with some doors closing whilst others swing open.

First under the spotlight were those who received their A-level results, delivered on 15th August. Whilst the overall pass rate of 97.6% matched last year’s for England, Wales and Northern Ireland, the percentage of students achieving top grades fell to the lowest level since 2007. 25.5% achieved As or A*s this year.

GCSE results were released on 22nd August with the pass rate and proportion of pupils achieving top grades increasing slightly from last year’s England, Wales and Northern Ireland figures – 0.3% and 0.4% respectively.

Apprenticeships preferred choice for many

Most pupils will, therefore, be taking the next step they had planned before receiving their results. Many A-level pupils will be progressing to university and the majority of GCSE pupils onto studying A-levels. A good percentage of both GCSE pupils and A-level students will be progressing onto Apprenticeships, of course, having made this decision some time back that a vocational route coupled with continued learning was their preferred choice.

But of course, there will be a minority of pupils who find due to disappointing results that they haven't made the grades needed to either match their university offer or to sit the A-levels they wanted to. Whilst some will choose to re-sit, many will consider Apprenticeships.

Apprenticeships a promising path

It’s fair to say, that whilst more and more pupils are making an active choice to pursue the Apprenticeship route after GCSEs or A-levels, some still end up on an Apprenticeship because they didn’t get the grades they hoped for. But once they start, many of these individuals find an Apprenticeship is a positive and equally promising path to take into a career after all. It's worth bearing in mind also, that some apprentices progress onto university so choosing an apprenticeship doesn't mean the option of higher education is closed to them.

Pupils in Liverpool City Region who don't go onto GCSEs or A-levels by choice or circumstance have a wide selection of Apprenticeship opportunities available to them. The beauty of this route means that applications are open all year round, and whenever they choose to explore apprenticeships as an option, they will find vacancies available across the region with small and large employers in diverse industry sectors.

The Liverpool City Region Apprenticeship Hub team attended results days in schools this month to raise awareness of Apprenticeships opportunities, and several local Apprenticeship providers are holding post GCSE information days. At any point in the year, young people looking for an apprenticeship can check out the current opportunities in Liverpool City Region by visiting www.be-more.info 

Apprenticeships an equal alternative

The Liverpool City Region Apprenticeship Hub aims to ensure that Apprenticeships are seen as an equal alternative to A-levels after GCSEs, and an option after A-levels, either instead of university or as a step before university. The Hub team offers information sessions on choosing Apprenticeships, which detail how they can slot into a career path. To book a session, please contact apprenticeshiphub@halton.gov.uk

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