This time last year the Joint Council for Qualifications reported a 97% A Level pass rate with 25% of these being an A grade. As 14th August approaches, it is anticipated that hundreds of young people in Leamington Spa and surrounding areas will get the grades they need to head off to university and pursue their dreams. However 22% are likely to drop out before the end of their second year.
For A Level students who have not achieved the results they hoped for, the university clearing system is often the first port of call, enabling them to search for alternative degree options. But Pitman Training (Leamington Spa / Warwick), one of the areas leading IT and office skills training companies, is urging aspiring under-graduates to consider the bigger picture before they rush into academic life.
Many young people head off to university with no clear idea of what they want to do, other than achieving a degree at the end of three years,said Dave Kelly of Pitman Training in Leamington. According to the Commons Public Accounts Committee, 22% of full time students are no longer studying two years into their courses. This may be due to the financial pressures of university life or living away from home, but I believe many young people opting for a degree which is not career specific become disillusioned and start to question whether it will actually help them gain a good and well-paid job at the end.
A report by recruitment firm Manpower found that only 37% of employers thought that graduates were leaving university with the right skills for the workplace and according to the Chartered Institute of Personnel and Developments 2006 Annual Survey, 68% of UK employers find it hard to recruit staff due to a lack of specialist skills. Technology is integral to virtually every modern business and so practical IT and business focused skills are in extremely high demand.
We regularly speak to employers who are looking for highly skilled staff, continues Dave. It is fair to say that the majority of them want people who can add immediate value to their business. If a candidate has a comprehensive range of IT or business focused skills they will be an attractive prospect for a potential employer - in many cases a degree is not the most important factor for an employer.
Having a good working knowledge of Word, Excel and PowerPoint prior to starting your degree can make the world of difference and ensure you are ready for the world of work once you graduate.Because Pitman Training qualifications are well-known and well-respected by employers, the vast majority of students go on to get jobs that they really want. This is helped by excellent links with local recruitment agencies. Not only can people aim for a career which they enjoy - the better qualified they are, the more money they can hope to earn, concludes Dave.
Pitman Training in Leamington Spa specialises in delivering practical, work-focused training designed to help people progress in their chosen career. From basic PC skills to advanced IT certificates, book-keeping to IT web-design; courses are study self-paced allowing students to study at home and so choose their own study times. Learners follow audio tuition plus a workbook but have a tutor available to provide help and encouragement.
In addition to short courses Pitman Training offers longer term Diploma programmes. Each Diploma consists of a range of modules covering a comprehensive range of IT and office skills. Students can then opt for specialist modules such as legal practice, medical terminology, marketing, book-keeping or accounts. They will then be fully equipped with the relevant skills needed to get ahead in a range of careers including Legal Secretary, Executive PA, Accounting Technician or Medical Secretary.
For more information on the range of Pitman Training courses or to arrange a free career consultation please call 02476 251021 or visit www.pitman-training.com/leamingtonspa
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