A-level results day 2016: 90% of students feel education system only prepares them for exams

Young people say their schools put too much focus on exams and not career preparation, new study reveals.

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As teenagers around the country get their A-level results, new research reveals that over 90% of UK students believe the current education system prioritises exam results over career preparation.

The study found that 91% of UK students believe that examinations shouldn’t be the only way of measuring ability. Almost all those surveyed (98%) between the ages of 17 and 18 felt that their school or college should put more effort into assisting young people into employment.

Over two thirds of respondents (66%) believe that apprenticeships offer faster career progression than further education routes such as college or university, in news which will come as a boost to employers following the release last week of detail on the national apprenticeship levy. However, only 21% claim in the survey that they felt supported by their school or college to investigate apprenticeship options.

University degrees were the most talked about education and career options in UK schools in the survey, with 63% claiming they discussed the former with their career advisor and 68% the latter. Traineeships rated the lowest, with only 10% stating that their career advisor had discussed the option of such schemes with them.

David Allison, founder and Managing Director of GetMyFirstJob – the organisation that has released the research – said: “A-level results day is a hugely important moment for so many UK students, many of whom will be relying on results to determine the next steps of their higher education.

“However, our research suggests that many young people feel that not enough is being done at schools to promote alternative career paths such as apprenticeships, despite ever growing interest in them. It is also clear from the survey that UK students feel that too much pressure is being placed on getting good grades, over practical career guidance.

“Apprenticeships are a fantastic alternative to University as they allow young people to gain a qualification whilst practically learning the skills to apply their education and earning a salary at the same time.”

  University degrees were the most talked about education and career options in UK schools in the survey, with 63% claiming they discussed the former with their career advisor and 68% the latter. Traineeships rated the lowest, with only 10% stating that their career advisor had discussed the option of such schemes with them.

University degrees were the most talked about education and career options in UK schools in the survey, with 63% claiming they discussed the former with their career advisor and 68% the latter. Traineeships rated the lowest, with only 10% stating that their career advisor had discussed the option of such schemes with them.

David Allison, founder and Managing Director of GetMyFirstJob – the organisation that has released the research – said: “A-level results day is a hugely important moment for so many UK students, many of whom will be relying on results to determine the next steps of their higher education.

“However, our research suggests that many young people feel that not enough is being done at schools to promote alternative career paths such as apprenticeships, despite ever growing interest in them. It is also clear from the survey that UK students feel that too much pressure is being placed on getting good grades, over practical career guidance.

“Apprenticeships are a fantastic alternative to University as they allow young people to gain a qualification whilst practically learning the skills to apply their education and earning a salary at the same time.”

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