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A levels or Apprenticeship?

(11 Posts)
crapitus Thu 23-Feb-17 17:54:55

DS 16 is a bright boy. Just got A* in both GCSE numeracy and maths and is predicted to get Bs and As in the rest of his subjects (triple science, geography IT etc).

He has no real idea what he wants to do. He's very apathetic about discussing careers, preferring to bury his head in the sand and disappear off to play Xbox and football. He doesn't go far so never really needs spending money for anything so there's no real urge to earn money.

He's adamant he doesn't want to go to university. Ok, that's fine I said but you must do something. How about an apprenticeship? Not sure he said so this week (half term) I've got him in work with me in engineering dept so have a try and see if he'd like it. He's loving it, engaging, confident and getting stuck in. Today I broached the subject of joining the company in September on a 4 year apprenticeship (there will be a vacancy coming up) he'll have a good training package, it's 5 minutes away from where we live and he'll be paid right the way through.
He's not fussed as it means he'll have to go to the local college instead of doing A levels at 6th form with his friends. I think there's little point in doing A levels unless you are going to university, he thinks he can do A levels then go find a job. I think he'll struggle as most employers will be looking for either a degree or plenty of experience- he won't have either.
I can't believe he's refusing to take the apprenticeship simply because he won't know anyone on the college course.all he wants to do is go to school and come home to play Xbox or football. He'll want to learn to drive in September but if he's still in 6th form there won't be the money to buy and run a car - if he takes the apprenticeship there will be.
How can I get him to see he's throwing a golden opportunity away? Apprenticeships are like gold dust - just wish I could get him to see it. Anyone else's children manage to get a good job after A levels? Any reassurance please?

titchy Thu 23-Feb-17 18:06:54

I'm with him sorry! He might change his mind about university. He might want to broaden his horizons further than working five minutes away in the same company as his mum. He's only 16 don't pigeon hole him into an engineering apprenticeship.

Contrary to what you believe there will be plenty of other opportunities, including apprenticeships, once he's finished A levels.

Freddorika Thu 23-Feb-17 18:10:04

Why not encourage him to do an engineering degree?

surreygoldfish Thu 23-Feb-17 20:06:12

Also a number of employers offering apprenticeship type jobs post A level as an alternative to university. If he's capable doing A levels and then deciding would be a good option.

Saltpot3 Thu 23-Feb-17 20:15:53

Correct, there are quite a lot of apprenticeships for people who have completed A levels. Promising apprentices at some companies are even funded through degrees, while getting paid. Get him to look at a few engineering careers websites.

Bubblysqueak Thu 23-Feb-17 20:18:03

You can still go to university if you do an apprenticeship, I did.

TotallyEclipsed Thu 23-Feb-17 20:19:59

Quite often people do advanced apprenticeships after A levels or just one year of sixth form, if he still was against a degree or degree level apprenticeship by then, so the option would still be there in one or two years time once he's had time to grow up a bit and understand the need to have a plan to find a reasonable career one way or another. He doesn't sound mature enough just yet for a proper job, so while he's still achieving well at school that is probably the best place for him.

crapitus Fri 24-Feb-17 06:26:51

Thanks all, he's sighned up to do A level maths, chemistry and biology anyway so his options are being kept open, I think he'll do those from what he's saying. I just hope that there will be some opportunities after a level with these subjects without necessarily going to uni.

GnomeDePlume Fri 24-Feb-17 12:49:45

crapitus, I posted on the thread you started in Teenagers:

While a 4 year apprenticeship may seem like a golden opportunity to you for him it may seem like a massive commitment and risk when he isn't really sure what he wants to do. Three decent a levels in mainstream academic subjects will leave all his future doors open in 2 years time. Starting an apprenticeship then leaving it after 2 years because he has decided it's not for him could leave him having to start afresh 2 years behind his peers. If he doesn't yet know what career he wants to pursue then my view is that a vocational route at this early stage is not a good idea.

The A levels he has chosen are great ones. Mainstream subjects which leave all the doors open for the future.

I think the 16-18 education system is really hard on those young people who dont yet know what direction they want to take. For those people planning to go to uni it is easy as they dont really need to make definitive decisions about career for a number of years.

Best wishes to your DS. He will do a lot of growing up over the next couple of years. In that time he may well find his future path.

crapitus Fri 24-Feb-17 12:57:32

Thanks all, (especially Gnome for taking the time to post on both threads).

DH and I come from non university backgrounds and have managed to get good jobs in manufacturing just through sheer hard work and determination with a bit of in house training along the way. Its hard for us to get our heads around the fact he doesn't want to go to university as we realise the opportunities don't seem to be so abundant as they were when we started out.
The good thing is that he's thrown himself into this week's work experience, been interested, hands on and has really been a pleasure to have around and he's impressed quite a few people (even If I say so myself) so I have seen another, mature side to him.
Turning it on its head at least he has seen that If he doesn't apply himself and work hard the reality will be a temporary low paid job on a production line.

GnomeDePlume Fri 24-Feb-17 19:11:50

An awful lot can change over the next couple of years. At 16 DS was certain he was going into the Army. He is now into his second year at college and is now thinking that the RAF is more 'him'. He still was to be a weapons engineer but the type of weapons which interest him has developed.

I think sometimes it's hard for teenagers to see beyond their immediate experience. For your DS his immediate experience is school. He will find 6th form very different from year 11. His horizons will expand. He may surprise you and decide that university is for him. With decent grades in the a levels he chosen the world will be his oyster. Good luck to him!

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