Students around the country have this week received life changing news. A-Level results have become one of the most important moments in a teenager's life, but does the burden piled on by these exams live up to the hype? And do the effects of that pressure on the individual last way after the results have been forgotten?
When I left school, I was doing well academically with B's and C's in all my GCSEs and so I followed everyone else and went to study full time in college. However, after a few months into my BTEC and A-levels I decided full time studying wasn't for me, as I am such a hands on learner I found it difficult to learn in a classroom environment.
So to all the all new students fleeing the nest for the next few years, I would pass on this advice: start to give your future some serious thought. Although you will probably think that an argument over who gets the biggest cupboard in your new university digs is important - keep focused on the bigger stuff.
No matter how much you think you're prepared for these opportunities, there are always things that surprise you. As school leavers around the country prepare to collect their A-Level and GCSE results this month, I thought I'd share my advice and what I wish I knew before starting my apprenticeship.
For too long, a stigma clouded apprenticeships. But now that stigma has gone. A degree is no longer the only route that the ambitious and capable can take on their way to fulfilling their potential. Apprenticeships are a wholly viable option. A-Level leavers must make the choice that is right for them as individuals.
Good luck to students who receive their A Level results today. If you have achieved your aims, good on you. If not, please do not despair. The longer you live, the less important they will be. Take it from me, the exam results you achieve at school are no criteria for a successful career.
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.
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.
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.