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Q&A on career options and work-related skills with expert advisors from City & Guilds

(17 Posts)
ShadeMumsnet (MNHQ) Thu 01-Nov-12 11:37:24

At a time of such high youth unemployment, and following the recent hike in tuition fees, helping your teen consider all their available career options has never been more important.

Whether they're keen on becoming an IT expert, an electrician, a hairdresser, or a chef, every role requires its own unique set of skills. But it can be difficult to work out exactly what these are, making it difficult for parents to give their teen much-needed guidance, so they can choose the right qualifications path.

That's why on 16 November, vocational awarding body City & Guilds is gathering a team of expert advisers at The Skills Show, an annual event to showcase and celebrate skilled professions, to answer all of your and your teenager's career-related questions.

Whether you want to know what kind of skills their chosen career requires, or whether you just need some general information on the different options and pathways available, send us your questions and we will put them to the experts.

The advisers are also knowledgeable about the many vocational routes available today, so if you don't think university is necessarily the right option for your teenager, they can tell you all about the other routes to employment, helping you to guide your teenager towards career success.

All you need to do is post your questions below. Answers will then be posted live to this thread from The Skills Show on Thursday 15 November. The guidance could help your teenager get that dream job.

eatyourveg Thu 01-Nov-12 14:46:26

Is a publishing career out for anyone without a degree - all the vacancies we have looked at state they only want graduates.

lou4791 Sun 04-Nov-12 22:49:06

My son is in year 11 and is very unsure what his next step should be. Although effort has been very lacking with his studies, it is likely that he will achieve B grades for most of his 9 GCSEs.

He enjoys computer visual effects and was really interested in the work of vfx company Double negative at this years Big Bang. I am aware that this area is highly competitive and not sure how best to advise him in order to keep this option open.

He has also shown an interest in Engineering. Aerospace, aeronautical and electronic all appeal to him. An apprenticeship in this area would be fantastic.

Should I be encouraging him to stay on for his A-levels and either go onto a higher apprenticeship or Uni? Or look for an apprenticeship as his next step? Are there any other paths that may suit him, e.g. BTEC?

peachcake Mon 05-Nov-12 14:33:31

My son, nearly 18 years old is studying at college in his second year of A levels, he is taking Maths, Physics and Art and has a AS level in Graphics. He has decided to do a Maths Degree as he really enjoys Maths and is predicted an A in both Maths and Physics and a C in Art. The only thing is he has absolutely no idea what career he wants at the end of his degree, he just knows that he doesn't want to teach maths.
Can you suggest any reading he can do on careers for Maths Graduates, he is quite into Physics too, I worry that there are many careers out there that would suit him that we just aren't aware of and we don't know how to find them! Please could you advise. Many thanks.

BackforGood Mon 05-Nov-12 14:56:33

What are the routes for bright, capable youngsters who just don't want to go down the University route, but aren't practical, engineering type people?
My ds is currently doing A-levels, (Eng Lit, History, Dram and RS) but is really struggling for any direction after that and I don't know where to direct him for inspiration.

gazzalw Mon 05-Nov-12 15:10:10

We have an 11 year old (Year 7 at a grammar school) who is very keen on being a software games designer when he 'grows up' .

What type of approach should he be taking academically and is it important that he gains work experience when he's a bit older but still at school?

And would some type of specialist degree course be wisest or would there be other degree subjects that would enable him to keep his options open?

Also, he's not very good at art or DT - is it feasible to be a good games designer without being inherently artistic???

Thanks for your help in anticipation grin

PhyllisDoris Wed 07-Nov-12 18:40:15

What careers are there in music for someone who enjoys playing several instruments but who doesn't want to be a professional musician, and what is the entry into these careers.

scarlettsmummy2 Wed 07-Nov-12 23:51:56

Music therapist!

MrsCantSayAnything Thu 08-Nov-12 00:05:55

Is it for us too? Or only teens? I need advice badly....

BedHog Thu 08-Nov-12 07:43:40

Is there a resource available (website perhaps) with a comprehensive list of career paths and job types available, with short summaries on what each involves, plus the following information...

1. Qualifications required or desirable
2. Average salary, or salary range
3. Amount of competition (eg number of jobs within the industry vs applicants)?

I know when I was choosing my career, I had no idea that, for example, a lawyer earns a far higher salary than a librarian, or there will be many more applicants for a job in journalism than for a maths teacher. Teenagers need to look at the practicalities of their choices too.

Whyriskit Thu 08-Nov-12 09:51:53

Bedhog the my world of work website does this but the qualification info is in terms of scottish quals. It does have all the relevant info re pathways; labour market info etc. Connexions used to provide the same in England....

eatyourveg Thu 08-Nov-12 09:57:17

BedHog I have a 2 lever arch file thing from our college LRC when they were decluttering and its called "Jobfile - the essential careers handbook" Mine is an old edition but it says its updated annually. It has thousands of entries with job descriptions, typical work duties, qualifications needed, opportunities and pay as well as entry and training and tips on getting work experience. This is what it looks like. Pretty sure most libraries would hold a copy in the reference section

BedHog Thu 08-Nov-12 12:56:15

Thanks - DS has only just started school so we won't be choosing careers for a while yet, but I'll pass the info on to SIL who has a 16 year old with no idea what he wants to do!

milk Thu 08-Nov-12 17:43:41


Search the site and find the info you want, such as: if you search for "dentist", you will get

In the box on the right to the article, under the heading "More in this section", you can find out info such as: "Salary and conditions", "Entry requirements" and "Training".

No info on Amount of competition I'm afraid sad

BackforGood Thu 08-Nov-12 19:41:20

Wow! Thanks milk - I'm marking that to peruse later smile

TheFarSide Thu 08-Nov-12 20:37:30

BedHog for the full range of careers (not just graduate entry) see:-

As with, there is info on average pay and entry requirements. There is also some labour market information on each job if you scroll down, but possibly not the kind of detail you want - supply and demand is constantly shifting and you'll need to research this information yourself using the links provided.

ShadeMumsnet (MNHQ) Mon 12-Nov-12 10:50:23

Thank you for posting a question. Answers will be posted live to this thread from The Skills Show on Thursday 15 November.

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