So why do parents think the education system isn't working? The majority of parents (64%) said their children are missing out on the key skills that employers want, like communication and teamwork. And over half (57%) think there's too much focus on academia. Similarly, a third of parents worry that their children can't link their education today with their future careers.
One of the most flattering things in the professional world is getting headhunted on behalf of a renowned company. If someone rings you out of the blue and takes an interest in you, it is a sure sign that you are doing all the right things in your current job. When I started my first headhunting firm many years ago, almost every time I approached a candidate on behalf of a prestigious company their self-esteem would instantly be boosted. It would be a very risky approach to sit back and purely wait to be headhunted but when great opportunities do present themselves over the course over a career it is always important to grasp them.
With GCSE and A-Level results fresh in the hands of thousands of young people in the UK this week, it's important for students and their parents to be aware of the wide spectrum of available options. University will rightly continue to be a place for generations to continue their education, but it's naive to think of it as a 'one stop shop' for getting onto the career ladder.
I think it is fair to say I have an adventurous streak. I have hitchhiked and used local transport to cross West Africa and the Sahara Desert, via Timbuktu to Morocco; snow-boarded in the Himalayas; kayaked the White Nile; started an on-going volunteer project in Uganda and also driven a taxi around the world!