GCSE Results Day is finally here, so what are your options?

On this day every year, it is a story of success and unfortunately, for some, failure. GCSE Results Day is a key point in young people’s lives when they decide the path which they will take for a future career. With so many options these days, it is confusing for some and while college is good, it doesn’t suit everyone.

In recent years, there has been a significant rise in young people choosing apprenticeships, earning while they learn, keeping a balance between study and practical work. This is a great option, however, for me, there are still great benefits to choosing a course with a large practical element. Being at a technical college, studying a BTEC in Journalism has allowed me to keep a balance between academic work and research, while also getting to work on a lot of practical projects.

While A*-C grades have risen, so called “top grades” have fallen. I accept that it is good to encourage students to do the best they can but think this concept of having top grades is wrong. It’s about the way that the media put it. It’s like telling someone they did well but not well enough. While I would say that so called “top grades” may be needed for entry into university, at Level 3, it is simply not a requirement to move onto the next step in your education at GCSE.

An apprenticeship is not for me but it can be the right step towards a career. With youth unemployment as it is, the prospect of getting paid and learning at the same time is something that will appeal to many. Jill Whittaker, Managing Director of HIT Training, providing hospitality apprenticeships, said this:

“After today, some young people will be reconsidering their futures  because they didn’t get the grades they anticipated; a growing number of students are making the conscious decision that further classroom study, or University fees, are not for them.”

“At 16, young people may not know what they want to do for ever, but the qualifications and real-life work experience they gain through the wealth of apprenticeship opportunities available – combined with soft skills such as customer service, professionalism and teamwork – will stand them in good stead for the rest of their lives.”

Overall, apprenticeships are just one option. Many will face difficult decisions but this is what life is about. For those getting results today, I wish you the best of luck in life and whatever is right for you, it doesn’t mean you have to do what everyone else does.