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.
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.
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.
Enter the search term "spare bedroom subsidy" and it returns 211,000 results. Reasonably impressive, you might think. But search for "bedroom tax" and you will find 1,120,000 results, more than five times as many. As with the poll tax, the public has decided which version they believe sums up the idea.
It looks like things might finally be changing for the better in the funding debate following the Government's announcement of a consultation on Funding Reform for Apprenticeships in England. This is great news because aside from increasing the social acceptance of apprenticeships as a genuine alternative to university.