Are apprenticeships only for hands on workers like builders and mechanics etc.?
This is a common misconception. Apprenticeships are available in a wide range of industries and sectors. The food & drink sector has much broader opportunities than many people think, whether your child has an interest in IT, Marketing, Baking or Product Development etc. there is almost guaranteed to be an apprenticeship in the food & drink Industry that will suit them.
Apprenticeships are also now available up to degree level so no matter what your child’s academic capabilities are they will be able to begin and/or progress their career through apprenticeship programmes.
How do I help my child choose GCSE or A Level options that will improve their career prospects?
Researching careers that interest them is a good place to start. Look at the entry requirements for a range of roles to give you an idea of which subjects employers like applicants to have studied.
Take a look at our job descriptions page for information, including entry requirements, for a wide range of careers in the food & drink industry.
It is important to consider how the sector is progressing and adapting to advancements in technology etc. because you don’t want your child to train for a career that may not exist by the time they are qualified.
If your child is unsure about what they want to do after leaving school/college then some good advice is to encourage them to keep their options open by choosing subjects with plenty of career options.
My child doesn’t know what they want to do. How do I help find them the best route?
The key here is not to put pressure on your child to figure out what they want to do for the rest of their life right now. Many adults find their passion through trying different career paths until they find one that they really enjoy. There is nothing wrong with taking time to get to know yourself and what makes you happy.
It is however important that your child understands that their achievements at school will benefit their future. No matter what role they go for an employer will generally always pick the person who showed they were proactive and did their best to achieve good results even when they were uncertain about the future.
Should I encourage my child to get some work experience?
Work experience is great for their CV and may just give them the edge over other applicants when going for a job. Not only this but it gives insight into what working life is like and the expectations employers have and how this may differ from school/college.
How can I help my child get the skills employers are looking for?
As well as encouraging them to look into work experience roles you could encourage them to engage in activities that relate to the career they are interested in. For example, if they are interested in New Product Development, encourage them to experiment with new recipes in the kitchen or if they interested in web development get them to create their own website.
There are plenty of free resources available online for anyone looking to increase their skills.
Volunteer work can also be a great way to develop skills such as communication, problem solving and team work.