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Continue with college or get an apprenticeship?

(4 Posts)
sinningsaint Tue 07-Jul-15 10:14:55

DD is 17 and has just completed her first year of college (AS levels) and has admitted she has probably messed up and failed 2 out of her 3 courses. She was going through a tough time during exam period with several personal problems, but has said she could have done much better if she had made an effort the rest of the year. So about 2 weeks ago she told me and DH she is thinking about looking into starting and apprenticeship instead of going back to college in September. This has all come as a shock to me and DH and until this point we were unaware she was having any problems with college and was on track to get the three A/B's she was predicted. Anyway after the initial shock we sat her down and of course told her we would support her in whatever she wanted today, although we both thought she should try and complete her A-levels and it will give her much broader options come next year. She has now said she might just go back to college anyway but can't decide what to do so I said I would try to find people who had been in a similar situation, so here I am.
Here are the pro's and con's of each option:
If she goes back to college she will have to self-teach herself the courses she has failed because the specifications are changing, and will be sitting 6 A-level exams plus 4 AS-level exams next May. She only enjoys one of her courses (the one she will hopefully pass) and says she isn't sure she will find the motivation to put much effort into the other 2 and is worried she will just fail everything again next year. However she realises this is the most sensible decision because it will leave her with wider options come next summer (not uni, but better apprenticeships on offer if you have A-levels).

If she gets an apprenticeship now she knows she will be focused and try her best within the company. Like any teen the money is also attracting her, but she is worried doing an apprenticeship now will effectively put a cap on what she can earn in the future because she will lack A-level qualifications. Our 3 older children have all been to university so apprenticeships are a new thing to me so I don't have much advice for her. Can they get you to a similar position in a career as A-levels? Also if she does decide to do an apprenticeship she has no idea where she would do one!

Sorry if this was a little long but we are both very confused due to not knowing much about apprenticeships so some info would be greatly appreciated smile.

CMOTDibbler Tue 07-Jul-15 10:31:19

The only apprentices I know are ones through my company - though a nephew is doing an admin one atm - and our apprentices have gone on to do degrees and have great careers. For instance our HR manager, a senior project manager, a product manager, and several of the field service engineers/ product support engineers all started as apprentices, as well as those continuing in manufacturing.

I think it does depend on the type of apprenticeship, and if there is a college course. Ours do block release to college so get a formal qualification.

TeenAndTween Wed 08-Jul-15 09:17:39

Trying to recover A levels she isn't enjoying and is failing in sounds a very tough ask to me.

Does she have the option to restart (maybe elsewhere) and choose some different A level options that she would enjoy?

Or again restart but do a BTEC? These are more practical, and are coursework based.

Does she have any idea what sort of area she would like to work in?

sinningsaint Wed 08-Jul-15 20:00:05

Sorry for late reply. The college she is currently attending is her only option really, but they won't let her restart the year because they are incredibly over-subscribed. The subject she enjoys (well loves) is psychology but obviously only really an option if she goes to university, which she understands so has disregarded. She has found an accounting apprenticeship provided by AAT local to us but this is the first she has thought about accounting, other than that she liked the sound of one in a pharmacy. My only question is though how do you know if the apprenticeship is credible? And not just a way of having someone extra in to do all the boring tasks confused.

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