Greg Thompson, 19, wants to see a bigger push to promote apprenticeships to school pupils
For Greg Thompson university was unappealing. The idea of big debts and a hard time getting a job to pay them off made little sense to him. But when it came to finding an alternative to higher education, his school had little advice to offer, he says.
"I don't anywhere see there being alternative routes to success. We had a job fair at college once and all the stands were universities," he recalls.
What his school did have, however, was a partnership with the charity Career Academies UK. Thompson signed up for the course it offered on top of his A-level studies. It gave him a chance to do a paid internship, learn public speaking skills and find out about using social networks to job hunt. That took him on to an apprenticeship at the Financial Skills Partnership and he recently secured a permanent job there.
The 19-year-old wants to see a bigger push to promote apprenticeships to school pupils. "I feel in every school and college, university is pushed and that is the only thing that is pushed and I feel they are kind of letting students down."
"You should always have other opportunities. You should never just say you are going to university because that is what some of your friends are doing."
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