It’s quite clear that young people are not receiving all the information they need about alternative options after school.
In fact, nearly 98 per cent of 17 and 18-year-olds feel their school needs to put more effort into helping them get into the world of work, and over 90 per cent believe the UK education system sees exam results as more important than career preparation.
A more thorough coverage of apprenticeships and traineeships – which offer true insights into the working world – are after-school options that many believe should be explored further by schools so that young people can gain practical working skills.
A survey by NotGoingToUni found that some of the factors that led to people rejecting university included the increasing cost of tuition fees (58%), the fact that as good a job could be acquired without a degree (52%), and the desire to learn while earning and working, i.e. through an apprenticeship (39%).
All these stats go to show – university isn’t the only option if you’re looking for your first steps in the world of work. Let’s take a look at what these other options can offer.
Customer Service Manager
In this kind of role, the right character is crucial. You will need some IT skills and a decent standard of education, but communication skills are what really matter to engage with customers. However, for those that have a knack for customer service, there is the possibility of working your way up the ladder: from service advisor to supervisor, to team leader, all the way up to a management position.
Starting salaries range from £12,500 to £18,000 a year for full-time work as a customer service assistant. However, team leaders earn up to £25,000, and if you become a manager, you could earn up to £37,000! There is also the possibility of earning commission to add to your salary in sectors such as retail, sales and banking.
Much like customer service, lettings agents usually start by learning on the job. For this position, employers are more likely to be interested in your skills and experience, with excellent sales and negotiation skills needed to make an impact.
Agents who have just started in the industry earn an average salary of £15,000, but the overall average salary stands at just over £30,000. However, this can all depend on the experience and the selling abilities of the agent, as their salary can change according to the commission they earn. There’s no doubt that if you start early in the industry, you can find yourself picking up experience, and therefore higher commission, very quickly!
You can start earning as a letting agent after earning qualifications such as NVQ’s in Residential Property Lettings Management and Sales of Residential Property. However, there is a certain flexibility for the qualifications you need for this role – even business admin qualifications could land you a role at an estate agency.
Wondering what apprenticeship would suit you?
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In a sales role, you will be introducing customers or other businesses to the product or service you are selling, trying to convince them that it’s top drawer.
To become a manager, you will need to show you have a proven track record of hitting sales targets in a position such as a Sales Executive. For this role, the average starting salary can be between £15,000 and £20,000, excluding commission you may gain for hitting your targets. Experienced sales managers earn an average of £50,000.
You can begin your sales career as an apprentice, picking up qualifications such as an NVQ in Sales and Marketing and gaining experience as you rise through the ranks. If you are good at selling and want to manage a team, this could be the career for you.
Accountants aren’t just good at handling money – they’re good at earning it as well.
Starting out as an accounting apprentice, you will gain an essential AAT qualification, which will lead you on your route to becoming a qualified Accounting Technician. Starting salaries at intermediate accounting levels can be around £15,000 to £22,000 a year, but once qualified to technician level, salaries can reach up to £30,000 a year.
Those looking for an accounting apprenticeship can find one here, and gain confidence working with numbers and earning on-the-job.