Whatever the GCSE results – good or bad – for the first time thousands of 16 year-olds across the country will be making choices that will influence the rest of their lives. All this is happening at a time when jobs are harder than ever to come by, working lives are likely to be longer, university fees are increasing and one-to-one careers advice is no longer freely available. Whether youngsters chose to stay at school, go to college, get an apprenticeship or find work, their success will depend largely on their attitude.
Celia Middleton, founder of Careers4u.tv, has interviewed hundreds of people in the early stages of their working life and is in no doubt that people who start thinking about their career early have a significant advantage. ‘Once someone has an idea of what they want to do, they are able to work towards that goal. Even if they change direction later on, they will still have gained skills and experience. Motivation is a powerful tool and respected by employers.’ The Careers4u.tv website offers students inspiration and information via videos of young employees, entrepreneurs and apprentices. They volunteer their time because they remember how difficult it can be to find first-hand information and want to help the next generation.
According to Dr Deirdre Hughes, OBE, Chair of the National Careers Council, ‘Young people with better career exploration skills are more positive about their post-16 and post-18 choices. Having access to good quality careers information and advice, especially around exam results time, is crucial.