Not since the Second World War has our education system been so disrupted, with exams once again cancelled and students results determined by those that know them best, their teachers. I want to wish everyone the very best of luck with their results and next steps, plus say a special thank you to teachers, who have kept education going despite the many interruptions caused by the pandemic.
Results day is always the culmination of years of hard work, and I am very grateful to everyone involved for ensuring grades awarded are based on evidence of students work and representative of their ability. In addition, one in five schools had a sample of their grades checked by exam boards – helping to give students, parents, colleges, universities and employers confidence in grades.
Last week, I visited Natures Way where I met with some local apprentices, including Charlotte and Injura who are both degree apprentices, the former is now developing new products including salad bags and coleslaw, and Injura is part of the company’s compliance and legal team. I also met Sam, who’s doing his level 3 in electrical engineering at their Selsey site. Over the last three years, the business has trained 25 apprentices and is about to take on 9 more in September.
As you can see from just this one local business, there is a huge range of opportunities available via an apprenticeship route covering different sectors, levels, and skill-sets – today 625 routes going from level two up to masters degree level are available and cover an incredible range of careers from nursing to software development, accountancy, law and the new space engineering technician apprenticeship. As a former apprentice myself and now the Minister responsible for Apprenticeships and Skills, I’m delighted that those who are receiving their results today have many more choices available to them via the apprenticeship route. The benefits are considerable as you get to study both in class and in the workplace, meaning you can transfer and apply knowledge every day. Of course, you are also earning whilst you learn and your qualifications are paid for as part of your apprenticeship. There is also the real benefit of being able to get ahead with real work experience and developing a network of contacts. Whatever you decide, I wish you the very best in your next step and many congratulations on your results, which are all the more remarkable considering all the challenges you have had to overcome.