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Young People in Northamptonshire Unaware of Vocational Options

26.09.2011

Tresham College of Further and Higher Education is calling for local parents to help as new research reveals that fewer than half of pupils preparing for their GCSEs receive specialist advice on post-exam options. Tresham has put out this call as research released today by the Association of Colleges, shows considerable confusion among young people about their post-GCSE options. A half of Year 10 pupils surveyed across the UK were unable to name more than two post-GCSE qualifications; a quarter could only name one.

The study, which was conducted on behalf of the Association of Colleges has been released to launch the beginning of Colleges Week (26th September – 2nd October) and  involved interviews with  500 pupils aged of 14 who are currently studying for GCSEs.

The research found that while 63% of young people were able to name A-Levels as a post-GCSE qualification, very few could name any of the other choices available.
Only 7% of pupils were able to name Apprenticeships as a post-GCSE qualification.

Acting Principal at Tresham, Paul Fletton comments:
“This research highlights a very worrying trend among young people, with the majority reportedly having to make serious decisions about their future, without having access to all of the necessary information. 

“We provide lots of opportunities for both parents and prospective students to get in contact or to visit our College during open evenings in November, February and April to find out what different courses and qualifications we have on offer. In light of these latest research findings, I would strongly urge parents to get in touch and help their children to explore all of the options available to them, before they make any decisions about their next steps, after GCSEs."

The study found that half of all pupils do not feel that they have received enough advice before planning their future career.

Joy Mercer, Director of Education Policy at the Association of Colleges, adds:

“These findings show that parents have a hugely important role in helping their children to fully understand all of their options. Young people deserve to know about all of the post-GCSE options available to them and their peers. These results suggest that guaranteed face-to-face guidance from an independent source would be preferable to asking schools and academies to be the primary source of advice."

Parents and pupils can find out more about post-GCSE alternatives by visiting one of Tresham's Learner Centres based at each of its campuses in Corby, Kettering or Wellingborough during Colleges Week (26th September – 2nd October) or ring 0845 658 89 90.

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