In the last month we have heard the news that youth unemployment fell by around 20,000 in the three months up to May. There is clearly a long way to go but people seem to be feeling a bit more optimistic about the job market for the first time in years. It feels great to know that more people are finding work and gaining the experience, not to mention self-confidence, that they need. However, while finding a job can be a great boost, especially if someone has been struggling to gain employment, it doesn't mean that happiness automatically follows.
It's not easy being young. According to a recent study a third of Swedish teenagers are suffering from chronic stress. In the US an estimated 10% of students suffer from a serious anxiety disorder and in the UK 10% of children suffer from some form of mental disorder, which include anxiety and depression.
If you missed your grades on Thursday, remember to be open-minded and stay positive. I had not considered Greenwich University despite the fact that they offered the ITMB course that I wanted to study and I have had the most amazing three years. I haven't looked back, you have to take the opportunities and challenges life throws at you and turn them in to positives.
The cost of helping children to achieve their educational ambitions is arguably most acutely felt by single mothers, especially those who were not married when their relationships ended and so are not entitled to receive spousal maintenance.
I had £1,000 of my student loan left over which at the time to me was 'a lot 'but at the same time, I never felt the fear of losing 'a lot' of money. I just needed to find the right idea. As many of you will know £1k is still very little to get started when creating an online business so I had to be very strategic and do everything on a shoestring.
I did go to Uni, but not out of a choice or really wanting to, mainly due to social pressures that make every young person feel they should, or have to. As a result I dropped out after 1-year to set up my own business making and selling jewellery, which turned out to be the best decision I ever made.
Ask questions, see if you can speak to past or present apprentices. Gather knowledge. It is not all about the money either. Remembering that there is more to a job than salary and benefits will help you, the candidate, make the right choice. A key question to ask any potential employer is about the opportunities at the end of the training period.
As a postgraduate recruiter once told me, "These days, it's next to impossible to secure a job with a BA. Just like in Europe, MAs are becoming a necessity". If this assertion holds true, then we truly live in a rather sorry state of affairs. Rather than a university education empowering students, the necessity of advanced degrees seem to illustrate how the higher education industry has profited from student vulnerability.
This year over 90 businesses from across the country were given a chance to showcase their Apprenticeship programme, and bring benefits to local people through the community challenges they undertook. Teams also raised around £35,000 as part of the Challenge and are helping to recruit the future generation of apprentices.
You might think that, like me, you have to come from a farming background to succeed in the industry, but that's not the case at all. Young people from all backgrounds can make a success of it, especially those that have an interest in science, business and technology.