Sixth-formers explore alternative routes to success

Sixth-formers explore alternative routes to success

An industry-led event to promote degree apprenticeships proved popular with Year 12 boys, with the 15 available places soon snapped up.

The Young Professionals Industry Event, held at the South Bank’s IBM building, comprised a number of workshops with speakers from organisations including Ernst & Young, PwC, Capgemini UK and the RAF.

Degree apprenticeships, which were launched by the Government in 2015, combine higher education and vocational training, enabling university study and the on-the-job training. Training costs are co-funded by the government and the employer, while the apprentices are employed and paid throughout the course.

Head of Year 12, Helen Davies said: “The event offered boys an immersive experience of what it’s like to work in different sectors and to hear from current graduates, apprentices and business professionals.”

Established through a crowd-funding exercise in 2018 by a then-teenage entrepreneur, Dan Miller, Young Professionals aimed to fill a perceived gap in careers advice, making young people aware of “amazing opportunities… right on their doorstep”.

Young Professionals now has links with at least 35 global brands and has launched an app to help young people identify apprenticeships and work experience opportunities.

Miss Davies added: “The boys were interested to learn that the RAF, for example, offers degrees in a number of engineering disciplines and even medicine, alongside sporting opportunities for its staff.”

“Many of the top companies made it clear they expect their apprentices to move to the capital, which put our boys in a strong position as they are already in London.”

PwC representatives highlighted psychometric testing, some of which involves virtual reality headsets. Some of the tests aim to ascertain how candidates deal with frustration. “This was something again which the boys found interesting,” said Miss Davies.

“Overall, they clearly enjoyed the event and found the keynote lecture and workshop from Ernst & Young particularly engaging.”