Education Done? Next Stop… Ummm… ?

Copyright: Jemma Hill

Copyright: Jemma Hill

Jemma Hill is ready for life after school. And in this article debates whether she should worry about going to university. And how hard it is to find a job if you don’t.

Aged 4, we’re toddled off to nursery and into the education system for the next 18 years.

Aged 4, we’re toddled off to nursery and into the education system for the next 18 years. We are told that this is right thing to do, not only by our teachers and professors but by society [and the law – ed]. So why is it that so many students, fresh out of education, are still umming and ahhing about whether to take the more well known yellow brick road to university or to take the daunting road to the working world?

We have all seen the news and the statistics of how much unemployment there is out there today especially for us ‘youths’. The newest 2014 figure shows 853,000 people aged 16-24 are unemployed. This  can make anyone nervous about their future. However it seems that no matter what route we there are always negatives. The uni route can lead to debts till we are 105 years old. If we don’t go to uni then we are, according to the media destined for the dole, never to achieve any aspirations or jobs.

The newest 2014 figure shows 853,000 people aged 16-24 are unemployed.

These are of course stereotypes that have been set over time; however potential debts of £40,000 and 16.2% of young adults not in education and unemployed are both real courses of concern.

But don’t panic, from one scared young adult to another; there are still plenty of jobs out there whether you have a degree or not and the following are some tips to help you jumpstart your future:

1) Where to look?

If you have a degree, websites such as TargetJobs are great for seeking out your career in Bristol; they list new graduate jobs every day and even highlight the top ten local graduate employers in Bristol covering all sectors from IT to law to publishing.

If uni is not for you there are more apprenticeships and internship schemes that you can get paid for. Even if you don’t have a degree, places such as the BBC offer apprenticeship schemes in not just journalism but technology and business. Another great site is the South West Apprenticeship Company, which lists new apprenticeships in all sectors in Bristol and can help you find full-time employment.

2) Rejection

If you’re looking for jobs, be prepared. It is not an easy process. You may even face the dreaded rejection letter or email even worse, no reply at all. It’s hard but don’t get disheartened, and remember there are plenty more opportunities out there and to keep on applying for all of them.

3) Feedback, feedback, feedback

If you are rejected by a company, try and find out why. Ask for feedback on your CV or interview. Bear in mind that companies are not obliged to give your feedback but if they do, accept it as positive criticism. To begin with you may not get the job because there is someone more qualified than you and with time and work experience and improvement from feedback you will see that this will change and so will your confidence.

4) Work experience

Uni or not, work experience is a big element in today’s working world. In a recent Channel 4 workshop in which I was able to network with different industry professionals, I asked them how much work experience was valued when looking at someone’s application. All the companies agreed that it was hugely beneficial; outweighing good qualifications on a CV and it often will be the deciding factor of who gets the job or position.

This is great opportunity for you who don’t want to go to university. Whatever sector you’re interested there are plenty of opportunities all around Bristol. Initially, getting a foot in the door may seem challenging, persevere this is the start of your career. Be as pro active as you can. This is the 21st century, you can make the first move.

Stay passionate about what you truly want to do and put in the effort, degree or no degree opportunities will come your way – you just may have to knock a couple of doors down to get there.

Are you not going to uni in the Autumn? Looking for work instead? Let us know how you’re finding the search and what other tips we need in order to get our feet in the door. Tweet us: @rifemag

Tweet Truth About Youth who run a three-week course for 16-25-year-olds who are unemployed. Also the Prince’s Trust have lots of information on their site too.

Also, Tomorrow’s People runs a course for those looking to get back into employment.

LEP creative employment programme and Skill Set run apprenticeships

Support more young people to have their voices heard

Rife is Watershed‘s online magazine created for young people, by young people.

We offer paid internships and publish work by young writers, photographers, illustrators, and filmmakers from all sorts of backgrounds, helping them get into creative careers. Rife has reached over 8,000 young people through our workshops, over 220 young people have made stuff for Rife on topics ranging from mental health to identity to baked beans, and last year, over 200,000 people visited our website.

In these complex and uncertain times hearing from and supporting young people who are advocating for social change and contributing fresh perspectives has never been so important. 

Through supporting Rife you can ensure that this important work continues and that more young people have their voices heard.