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.
This little spell is not evidence that I am posh. Evidence that I'm a show-off? Maybe. Evidence that I'm a pretentious prat? Probably. It might even be evidence that I'm a bit good at writing essays on "Rings in Shakespearean Problem Plays". Evidence that I have managed a feat of social climbing which would make Becky Sharp damp-eyed with admiration? Certainly not.
Our research further highlighted that outdated views are still prevalent with nearly half of parents (48 per cent) thinking that apprenticeships are geared more towards boys than girls and almost a third (32 per cent) thinking they are for less academically able young people. This is certainly not the case.
The CBI's well-publicised report, Tomorrow's Growth, as well as providing a welcome reminder of the parlous state of careers guidance available to young people, makes a strong case for tackling 'the idea that the A-levels and three-year degree model is the only route to a good career'.