Make the Future Yours! Issue 2

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Price £2.95 Education, Careers, News & Insight Issue 2

Information on careers you may not have thought about! Going to University? - lots of advice and tips inside! How to dress for interviews and more!

What’s next?

Information, advice and case studies to help you make the right career choices!


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To find out how to have a career in the great outdoors, visit www.golandscape.co.uk

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Make the Future Yours is published three times a year – October, February and June. To subscribe visit: www.makethefutureyours.com Editorial Editor Claire Sutton claire@makethefutureyours.com @edfutureyours Advertising hello@makethefutureyours.com 02394 004042 Design Art Director Steve Davis steve@makethefutureyours.com Publisher The Future Business Ltd www.thefuturebusiness.co.uk

Get social with us: makethefutureyours1 @makethefutureyours @makefutureyours Make the Future Yours makethefutureyours The reproduction of any material, whether whole or in part, is strictly forbidden without prior written consent of the publisher. The editor reserves the right to publish any letters and submissions. Prices and details are subject to change and The Future Business Ltd accepts no responsibility for omissions or errors. All materials sent at original owner’s risk. © The Future Business Ltd 2021. All rights reserved

From the Editor Welcome to the second issue of Make the Future Yours! If you missed the first issue, it’s available from our website, www.makethefutureyours.com You can also subscribe for free to the magazine on the website so you don’t miss a copy. In this issue we look at a number of different careers and the routes in, including accountancy, law, hospitality and maritime. We are now coming up to the time of year when you could be receiving your exam results. We advise what do to do if they are not what expected – good or bad! There is also advice on going to university from applications to dealing with any anxiety. Do let us know if there is anything you would like us to feature in future magazines and follow us on social media (links below) for more careers information and advice.

Contents 4 6 8 12 16 18 20 23 24 28 30 32 36 38 40 42 44 48 50

Accountancy: a career that adds up Sandwich Degrees First Steps into Management Exam results not what you expected? Sowing the seeds of a blossoming career Five vital questions to ask before applying for university Apprentices today are the Managers of Tomorrow What is LMI and how can it help me? Serving up a great career Top Ten Tips to Clinch That Job The Open University There’s more than one way into the legal profession University applications process Feeling anxious about going to Uni? Volunteering can help you What does a Quantity Surveyor do? So you think you know Construction Moving out of home What does it mean to be a disruptor? Make The Future Yours! Issue 2

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Accountancy: a career that adds up Within a decade of leaving college, Jack had set up his own practice as an Accountant. From an early age, he’d known he wanted to work in an office, but it was a careers talk that really inspired him. Here he tells us about his journey – so far! When I was young, my Dad worked in an office and wore a suit. I didn’t really know what he did, but I knew I liked the idea of a job like that! By the end of Year 11, I still hadn’t really narrowed it down so decided to head on to Sixth Form College and study for A Levels. I chose subjects that I hoped would keep my options open: Business, Psychology and Economics. By this time, my older brother had gone on to University to study Business Management and I think I expected to follow in his footsteps. But just one careers talk changed that! We had a careers fair in college when I was in Year 12 and 4

one of the top ten Accountancy firms came to give a talk. They offered a ‘school or college leaver’ scheme where I could start working and study towards professional qualifications at the same time. Today, this would be an Accountancy Apprenticeship, but they hadn’t been written then! I thought this sounded really interesting; I had always enjoyed Maths (in fact, I had been able to take my GCSE a year early) so it seemed to click with me. When it got to Year 13, while my friends were making their UCAS applications, I was researching all the accountancy firms within striking distance of home and applying to their

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school leaver schemes. Of course, the one I really wanted was with the firm I had spoken to at that careers fair – and I got it! I know people think that accountancy sounds quite dull, but they were actually quite a cool firm to work for. As you would expect, they were serious and professional when required but a nice team and a good company to work for. We also had a few nice perks too, like always getting to take your birthday off! My professional training started almost straight away. Because I had got a good grade in Maths, I was able to go straight in at the Level 3 AAT qualification. This is a modular course, with


days in the classroom and a final exam for each module. You cover specialist subjects, like VAT, Costing and Ethics for Accountants. I completed this in a year and then started the Level 4 AAT. Fortunately, this is modular too because the company merged with another one part-way through the year, but I could just pick up the module again when everything had settled down. Within three years of getting my A Levels, I was a qualified Accountant and a licensed AAT practitioner. Of course, there are opportunities to continue training after Level 4 too. If I had wanted to become a Chartered Accountant, for example, I would have had to do degree-level studies, which could have taken up to a further five years. But, for me, I already had the idea of starting up on my own so I concentrated on getting as much experience as I possibly could. My first company had let me go about 18 months after the merger, but I quickly found a job for a book-keeping company. Book-keeping is about the dayto-day transactions of a business, so still accountancy related, and it gave me a different but very relevant set of skills. After about a year there, I took some time out to go travelling and found a job as a Finance Manager when I returned. Still thinking about setting up my own business, this role gave me inside experience of how companies run, and my first experience of line-managing other people. After about a year there, the idea of working for myself became really tempting. I liked the thought of being my own boss, of having the flexibility to travel if I wanted (even sit on a beach in Australia with my laptop if I wanted to!) and not having to work the usual 9 to 5 if it didn’t suit me. I started setting up Kiwi Accounting while I was still

working as Finance Manager, but I quickly realised that I didn’t have time to work two jobs at once so took the plunge and jumped in. I haven’t regretted it for a moment! I get to work with all sorts of businesses, and I’m finding my varied experience often helps me understand their challenges and find practical solutions. I don’t regret not going to University, but I do sometimes wonder what I would be doing now if my first employer hadn’t let me go. I expect I would be managing a department, rather than my own business! The school leaver scheme was amazing; there were a lot of applicants, so I realise how lucky I was to get it, but I think determination often shines through. I do wish that I had talked to more people around me about their experiences. I think I would still be where I am now, but I might have got here even quicker if I had listened to people who were further ahead in their careers. Technically, anyone can call themselves an Accountant, without having relevant qualifications or be a member of a professional body. However, for the peace of mind of both customers and accountants themselves, the vast majority are qualified and hold a professional membership. In order to call yourself a Chartered or Certified Accountant, you must belong to a professional body. We have listed on our website, makethefutureyours.com under ‘Careers’, more information about accountancy careers and the five professional bodies, which are the largest accountancy and finance membership organisations currently operating in the UK. They all monitor standards and promote professional development.

What skills do you need to be an accountant? Jack clearly has a head for numbers, but he tells us that there are other important skills you’ll need to make a great accountant: Attention to detail – this is so important! I know many mistakes I made early on were ‘schoolboy errors’ where I was rushing or not concentrating. Fortunately, I have learnt from them and my attention to detail has really improved. Logical – things like collating accounts or filing tax returns have to follow a process so you often need to apply a methodical approach to your work. Organised – we always work to deadlines, where tasks are very time sensitive, so you need to be actively managing and prioritising your workload all the time. Communication – I think communication is perhaps the biggest ‘must have’. I always need to explain to clients what I need or what I am doing in terms they can understand, as well as to listen to what they need from me.

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Sandwich degrees: the hearty filling to your academic studies? Often known as a ‘sandwich’ course, undergraduate degrees in applied or vocational subjects can include the option to have a year in industry, usually taken between years two and three of academic study. But do they just delay your graduation or offer vital experience? We spoke to one student to get his views.

Hi, I’m Dan and in the final year of my Digital Marketing BA (Hons) Degree at the University of Portsmouth. I had the opportunity to take an industry year last year and I’m so glad that I did! My journey to university wasn’t as straightforward as many people’s. After school, I did a BTEC in Construction Management, but quickly realised it wasn’t for me. I did finish the course but looked for opportunities in different areas for afterwards. I spotted an advert for an Advanced Apprenticeship in Marketing in the Marketing & Admissions department of the college I was already at. The idea of organising events, managing social media and learning about websites sounded interesting so I applied and got the job! I spent the next couple of years working with the lovely team at college, getting more experience of marketing from my job and learning about marketing theory through my Apprenticeship. I realised I was enjoying my studies; although I hadn’t particularly been interested in higher education before, I realised I did want to learn more about marketing. Some of my friends had gone to university and I knew they were enjoying it, so I thought perhaps now was the right time for me. Coming to the end of my Apprenticeship, aged 19, I applied to Portsmouth and got an unconditional place. 6

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During the first year of my course, I was aware of the option to do a ‘year out’ in the third year but I didn’t really think about it much. I had just spent two years in a workplace, so it wasn’t really on my radar. And I certainly hadn’t applied to Portsmouth specifically because it had a placement year option. In the second year, we had some specific tutorials on preparing for work and for a placement year if we wanted it; we covered things like CV-writing, establishing your LinkedIn profile and getting ready for professional life. I started to think about the idea again and decided it would be interesting to see what marketing was like in a different type of industry, so I decided to apply. Initially, I set out determined to get a placement with a big, well-known company – I think because I thought they would have a big marketing budget to spend! It was certainly very competitive: there was usually an interview or two and some tasks set, it was quite a long process. I got turned down for two roles, but I’m a pretty positive person so I decided to take it as a learning experience, and it did help me understand where I might not have been getting things quite right. I also had a long chat with one of my tutors. I had been set on working with a large firm, but my tutor helped me to see that there could also be a lot to learn in a small business too. I started to broaden


my search and applied to a really small company in the healthcare industry. Third time lucky - or it was for me! Very quickly, I was given lots of responsibility for their marketing, almost complete creative control, which was amazing. I think they could see I felt confident and ready, so they usually just let me get on with it: email campaigns, graphic design, blogs, events, networking, content-writing. I felt like I was expected to have some knowledge, I wasn’t an apprentice anymore, so I wanted to go in and hit the ground running. I feel I did that - but every day was a learning curve. Being in a small company certainly meant I got to experience all aspects of marketing in a way that I am sure I wouldn’t have done in a bigger company. In fact, I got the full small business experience, even helping pack boxes in the warehouse if there was a rush on! I never felt like an intern, I was always made to feel like a valued member of the team. I think I was also right to pick a different industry for my year out. It gave me insight to marketing to businesses not just consumers, as well as the legal and regulatory issues around the world of medicines and healthcare. It certainly helped me brush up on the clarity and effectiveness of my communication skills! Although I’d worked before, I still got lots from the year. I was a few years older by then and the organisation was really different from where I’d worked before. Of course, once the pandemic hit, I finished the year working from home, which was tough. I had to induct the person who was taking the placement after me over Teams, which was hard for us both. And I missed just grabbing a coffee with my colleagues. From a practical point of view, this was a paid placement year, so it meant I had a bit of financial stability. When I’d been doing my Apprenticeship, I was still living at home, so this was the first time I had felt I was in control of my own finances; I felt like an adult, paying rent and my own bills. And, after two years as a ‘poor student’, I felt independent and glad to have the responsibility. I was also able to save quite a lot too, so that helped going back to into my final year. The University of Portsmouth run the placement year as an extra qualification in professional practice. I kept an eportfolio of my experiences, which has been useful to look back on and it means I get an additional qualification too. Coming back to University for the final year, it seemed like everyone else had had a great placement, too; no one had any horror stories. I think we all came back very focussed. Our conversations now, in group work and seminars,

are so much more professional. We had all done really different things, so we’ve brought back what we learnt to our classes and we’re gaining from each other’s experiences. And it feels like we’re all more connected now. I don’t think experience is ever wasted! It all helps you stand out. When I come to applying to jobs after University, I know it is going to be a big help. I know a couple of people who graduated last year with First Class degrees, but still haven’t got jobs and they didn’t do placements. The year also opened up some opportunities and built my confidence to do a bit of freelance marketing to boost my income and my experience until I finish. If anyone is thinking about their degree options, I would say pick the one with the year out! My placement year has enhanced my degree; seeing what I learnt in action has been so valuable. I think it has also been really good for my personal growth, my confidence, working with others and taking ownership of tasks. I feel a lot more switched on to business now – and ready to graduate! Fellow marketing student, Tetiana, adds: "Through all the exciting projects I worked on during my placement, I developed communication, negotiation and project management skills. My role was focused on campaign coordination, data analysis and reporting. I am very grateful to have had the pleasure to learn from and work with amazing people. It was the most rewarding experience of my life - I would definitely recommend students who are considering undertaking a placement to do so. You will not regret it!"

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First steps into Management At just 18 years old and in his first year of full-time employment, Euan can’t believe the responsibility he is trusted with already. He tells how his IBM Apprenticeship is going so far.

I was always fairly driven at school so I knew University wouldn’t be enough for me. While I like the idea of academic study, I didn’t think it would be enough on its own. I had done GCSE in Business, and then A Levels in Business, Economics and History, so I started researching Apprenticeships in business disciplines. That’s when I found the Management Degree Apprenticeship with IBM. I was in Year 12 and my classmates were starting to research university courses. I found the IBM website and knew there and then it was the one. The benefits of working and studying at the same time, the opportunities available within the business and the positive reviews I read from previous 8

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IBM apprentices, just made it sound perfect for me. There was the opportunity to sign up for notifications about the Apprenticeship programme on their website, so I did. As soon as I was in Year 13, I applied to IBM to join the programme. It was actually the only Apprenticeship I applied for so I’d have been stuck if I hadn’t got in! I did do a late UCAS application, just in case things didn’t go as planned, but fortunately I passed the IBM Assessment Centre in March so I knew I had got the place from then. IBM don’t recruit a set number of apprentices each year, it varies depending on the business need; I know there are other Digital and Technology Solutions


Degree Apprentices in my year but I think I’m the only Management Apprentice who was hired from the assessment centre I attended. Lots of people applied so I know how lucky I am. One of my biggest fears about taking up an Apprenticeship was that I’d miss out on a social life, but that just hasn’t been the case. Friday is my University day and I get to mix with other Management Degree apprentices from other companies on the course. Already we’ve made friends and I’m planning to house share with some of them when I get to London. University is great: we study with Pearson College London, who are very industry driven. We cover the same topics as a full-time Management student would, only we do them one at a time because we’re only in one day a week. In this first year, we’re covering a lot of the basics that I was introduced to in my Business A Level, which is useful revision for me, but means you wouldn’t have had to do Business A Level in order to start this Apprenticeship. In later years, I can specialise by selecting different modules if I want, but I’ll be taking advice from IBM on what they need too. We do get assignments from university to complete, often in my own time, but IBM are really good about understanding the balance between work and study. After all, they have been training apprentices for a long time! The Degree will take

me a minimum of three years to complete, but I will also have Chartered Manager status with the Chartered Management Institute (CMI) by the end of my Apprenticeship. My current role is in Project Management, helping to get a big project completed on time, but I sit within the Supply Chain team. I can’t tell you what I’m working on exactly, but it’s an exciting new technology-based project for a major company. Project Management is a bit different to what I was expecting. I’m always interacting with other people and I’ve definitely built up my communication skills. Going forward, I will be able to try other types of management roles. My pastoral manager is here to support me and we’ve already discussed opportunities for the future. Aside from my university day, there is no typical day in the rest of my week. It varies enormously, which is good for me as I’m learning something new every day. It also gives me the flexibility to get involved with other things like being an Young Apprentice Ambassador and a student rep at University. My days usually start off generating reports for our client, to update on the project progress and any risks or issues. We’ll probably then go into meetings with clients or colleagues and raise those issues or check what needs doing next. Afternoons tend to have less meetings so I will work on my own tasks. Make The Future Yours! Issue 2

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The amount of responsibility I have gained at just 18 is flabbergasting; for example, I’m speaking to clients nearly every day. I never doubted that I would eventually, but it still amazes me that I’m here already! At my age, going into a new job, I thought I would be told what to do but I’m actually encouraged to think about solutions myself and bring them to the table. Another advantage of an Apprenticeship, at any level, is that my employer pays for the course, so IBM pick up my university fees. My salary then covers my cost of living, rent and any travel. I’ve worked out what I think it will cost to live in London and I still think I will be comfortable financially. What would my advice be for anyone wanting to follow a similar route to me? Firstly, be proactive. If your school or college isn’t pushing any options other than university, then research it yourself. There is lots of help and advice out there to help you understand what you need to do. I was never pushed by my school, but IBM were so impressed that I had taken the initiative myself, I’m sure that helped. Then, get yourself as much experience as you can, as potential employers will want to hear about it all. Look at everything as an opportunity: even at school, something like helping out with

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an after-school club will give you experience that will really help you in later life, in general. While I was at school, I worked part-time and trained as a barista. Although it wasn’t what I wanted to do in life, I still gave it 100% and it gave me great skills and experiences. For example, the customer experience and communication skills I was using daily in the coffee shop meant I was able to demonstrate at my interview that I already had these and could adapt them to IBM clients. I have had so many opportunities already. I’ve even joined the Association of Apprenticeships, a new community to provide advice and support to other apprentices. I feel very lucky to be in this position and I would recommend anyone to consider an apprenticeship. Editors note Since we conducted this interview, Euan’s role in IBM has now changed. He now works in the UKI Garage Squad. The Squad focuses on engaging with large organisations and implementing the Garage Methodology to allow them to operate at speed as if they were a startup, but, with the scalability of an enterprise.


Want to know more about the world of work? If so, we have just the resource for you! The East Sussex Careers Hub’s mission is to inspire and prepare young people for the world of work by using the skills and experiences of a network of employers who pass on their knowledge in a variety of ways.

R EE R S HUB

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CA

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We work with local businesses, schools and colleges to give every young person the chance to go as far as their talents and hard work will take them. These are just some of the ways we can help you: • Our ‘Open Doors’ programme allows small groups of students to visit employers’ workplaces and see inside an organisation. • We offer visits from ‘Industry Champions’. These are volunteers who come into a school or college to tell young people about their careers journey, and opportunities in their sector. • We also organise work experience offering young people an invaluable opportunity to learn about the skills and behaviours required in the workplace and inform them about future careers options.

What does this mean for you? If you are a student in East Sussex, you will have a dedicated Careers Leader in your school or college as well as access to a bank of resources, events and encounters with employers through your school and the Hub.

Where can I learn more? Speak to your Careers Leader or you can read more about the Hub, upcoming events and careers opportunities at:

careerseastsussex.co.uk

@CareersHubes @CareersHubes @CareersHubes

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Exam results not what you expected? You’ve got the envelope; your results are in and they are not what you were expecting! Whether they are better or worse than predicted, you are probably in a turmoil of emotions and don’t know what to do for the best. We look at the sensible steps you should take, whether you are facing disappointment or delight. A recent report by UCAS said that nearly half of the applicants in 2019 missed their A level predictions by three or more grades. Whether you did better or worse (or much worse) than you expected, the first thing to remember is that you are not alone. All over the country, there will be other people experiencing the same emotions you are. That might be cold comfort, but you can be reassured that colleges, training providers and universities are all preparing to offer advice on what to do next. Although this might be the first time you have faced this uncertainty, it won’t be the first time for your teachers, careers advisors or recruitment teams; they will be able to help. The most important thing is not to panic and be flustered into a decision that might not quite suit. You are likely to have at least a couple of weeks to evaluate your options before anything has to be decided.

Step One

To a large extent, what you were hoping to do next will influence what you should do when you get your results. In all cases, it’s worth going into school or college to have a chat with your tutor and/or a careers adviser. If your results have been lower than expected, they should be able to offer advice on whether there is an appeals process, for example, and if that is something they would support. If you’ve achieved better than expected, they could also advise on making applications to different college or university courses your predicted grades might not have made possible. 12

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Results better than expected

Doing better than you or your teachers predicted is a fantastic achievement – well done! Results are very rarely downgraded after the event so you can be confident your grade received reflects your ability. For many people, doing better might not actually change anything in terms of what their next steps will be. You picked the college course, degree or apprenticeship that you think will be right for you so why should higher grades change that? However, higher grades do give you the chance to reflect on whether other doors might now be open to you. If it’s your A Levels, you might decide


to go through the UCAS Clearing process to see if different courses have space or even take a gap year and apply through the full UCAS process to those courses next year instead. If it’s your GCSE results, similarly, different choices at college or sixth form might be an option, so talk to them and other colleges about your great results. Don’t jump into a potentially more challenging course just because you can! Remember why you made your original choice and check if it will still suit you, your future ambitions and your learning style the best.

Results worse than expected

If you didn’t do as well as you hoped, you will need to do a couple of things at the same time. Firstly, as we’ve already said in Step One, check what your school or college think, whether they can support an appeal, offer resits or advice on other opportunities. You should also start a conversation with the college, sixth form or university you had planned to go to next. Although it is likely that with poor results you won’t be able to take up the place you had hoped, don’t automatically assume that. Whether they have room and are able to take you will depend on whether all the other people they made offers to achieved their grades too, so you just never know. If they can’t, they may well also know of other courses within their institution which are under-subscribed that you might be interested in taking up instead; it is always worth asking. Finally, it’s not too late to make a late application. The UCAS Clearing process is open until midOctober, as students start and settle into courses, so you could still get to uni this year. Visit the UCAS website or search ‘UCAS Clearing’ to find out more.

Equally, FE and sixth-form colleges will usually consider late applications until around 5 or 6 weeks after a course has started if they have room and before you’ve missed too much. It’s also worth looking at institutions and courses you perhaps hadn’t considered before.

Going into an Apprenticeship

If your planned next step was into an Apprenticeship and you already have that job offer, the good news is that lower results than you hoped might not be the end of the world. By the time you’ve received your results, it’s likely that your future employer has completed their recruitment process; you’ve been through assessment centres, they’ve interviewed you and decided you were the best candidate for the job. Even if they made you a provisional offer, perhaps dependent on a Maths or English grade, training providers will offer qualifications you can take alongside your Apprenticeship to ‘top up’ a poor result. In the first instance, talk to the training provider who will be running the Apprenticeship and seek their advice. They may well be willing to make the case to your future employer for you and are likely to have alternate employers looking to recruit if they can’t persuade them. If you were thinking about an Apprenticeship, but don’t have an offer yet, it’s time to look at your plan B. Although employers do recruit throughout the year, not just in September, you will need to demonstrate that you are doing something worthwhile with your time until the right Apprenticeship comes along.

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Your plan B may well have been a place at college so it’s worth taking that up. If your grades were lower than expected, and in a subject that will be important to your Apprenticeship, particularly Maths and English, it will be very helpful to look at an early resit in that subject, to give yourself the best chance in the competition for apprenticeship places.

BTEC and vocational qualification results

Although many vocational qualifications are beginning to include exam-style assessments, very few of them actually focus on one final exam to decide your result. For many practical or vocational qualifications, including Apprenticeships and even the new T Level qualifications in England, your final result reflects your collated score over a number of projects, tests and assignments. This should mean you start to build a fairly clear idea of how you will do as the course progresses – and means you have time to do something about it if you’re not on track! It does also mean you are less likely to be in the ‘results turmoil’ that some of your friends might experience.

And finally…

It might be hard to believe in the moment, but your exam results are not make or break for the rest of your life. There are lots of people who’s plans didn’t go to plan but who look back and realise that it taught them resilience, made them work harder or helped them consider a career path they hadn’t even thought of before. So, try to maintain a sense of perspective and remember the old saying: if life gives you lemons, make lemonade!

“I WANTED TO BE JUDGED BY MY SKILLS AND TALENTS. IN THE ROYAL NAVY, I AM.” Over 100 career paths to choose from, including Medical, Engineering and Logistics. With all roles, you will get: • Life-long learning • Travel around the world • Free medical and dental care • 6 weeks’ paid holiday every year • An excellent non-contributory pension scheme

For more information call 0345 607 5555 Visit www.royalnavy.mod.uk/careers

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Sowing the seeds of a blossoming career The UK landscape industry employs over 278,000 people and contributes £11.6 billion to our economy. Yet, for many school leavers, ‘gardening’ is what their grandparents do and they wouldn’t dream of considering it as a career. We chat with one apprentice who tells us why she has decided to branch out.

Hello, my name is Alyce and I am a Landscape Apprentice, working in the Landscape Management team for Grosvenor Estates. I am studying a Level 3 in Horticulture Supervision at Capel Manor College; I completed my Level 2 in 2017. I’ve always been quite an ‘outdoorsy’ and practical person, so I was never likely to choose a career in an office. I had done a BTEC in Animal Management at college and then a year of Environmental Science at university, both of which contributed to my love of nature and the outdoors. An apprenticeship appealed to me because of the hands-on approach to learning. I didn’t really know much about horticulture before I started, but my passion for it has really grown now. Being able to spend time in nature is really satisfying, even though the job can be physically tough at times, and I’ve learnt about the many possibilities and career options there are in this industry. Grosvenor Estates manage and maintain a 16

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range of green spaces in central London, at some really prestigious locations. So, my average day will vary, and will take into consideration factors like the weather, the season and the safety of the local residents that use our gardens. For example, gardening in the winter can be hard due to the cold but your tasks are working towards getting the areas ready for the spring. In spring and summer, it is all systems go with general garden maintenance or planting and nurturing new and established plants. Watering is one of the trickiest jobs with temperatures sometimes reaching high 30s in the height of summer. London’s microclimate means plants flourish earlier, so our team will have to use their experience, as opposed to books, when it comes to understanding what’s needed. Leaf clearance will take over much of our autumn months due to the many trees on our estates, we have more than 900. We recycle 100% of our green


waste, the equivalent weight of six double decker buses a year! The most enjoyable part of my job is having the freedom and opportunity to create new designs for areas of our gardens. Taking ownership over those designs and seeing others enjoy what you have created is a great feeling. This part of my job also helps me improve my plant knowledge when it comes to learning new plant names, as well as what they need to thrive. When creating designs, I always consider biodiversity, basing my plant choices around nectar rich plants that I know will attract a wide range of insects and other wildlife, perhaps even more important in London! I have been extremely lucky with Grosvenor as I have had the opportunity to grow my passion by meeting other professionals and attending courses to improve my gardening skills. Being able to go to events like the RHS Shows at Chelsea and Hampton Court and the seminars provided by London Gardens Network have all added to my enjoyment. I have practised and learnt many skills in my role. One of them is certainly how to plan efficiently and be organised to achieve the best result. There are always times when you need to problem solve; in this industry, you need to be adaptable and find new ways of working for the benefit of yourself and the plants. Communication and teamwork skills are both really important and I think I’ve improved in both since working here. Being able to communicate effectively is essential when directing a team for the best results. I have also developed by leading projects, from maintenance tasks to understanding the vision for our gardens and how to achieve it. I think more people should consider careers in landscaping as a first choice. Horticulture or landscape management are skills that are in demand across the world – and Britain does have a good reputation as a nation of garden-lovers! Although it can be hard at times, it is also rewarding, and nature will always inspire you in a new way.

Did you know that, on average, Landscape Apprentices can earn £17,900 per year?”

Apprenticeships in Landscape and Horticulture Horticulture or Landscape Operative – Level 2 Planning and maintaining large gardens, parks and other green spaces. Landscape Technician – Level 3 Work with and support landscape professionals in designing, planning and managing spaces in both natural and built environments. Landscape or Horticulture Supervisor – Level 3 Planning and maintaining large gardens, parks and other green spaces. Advanced Golf Greenkeeper – Level 3 Assisting with the supervising of the greenkeeping team and the maintenance of the golf course. Horticulture or Landscape Technical Manager – Level 5 Now being developed! Chartered Landscape Professional – Level 7 Now being developed! For more information visit www.golandscape.co.uk

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Five vital questions to ask before applying for university Are you thinking about applying for university? Have you stopped to really think about why? ‘Because my friends are’, ‘Because my parents expect it’ or even ‘Because I don’t know what else to do’ are often quoted but are they enough? Each year, around 6% of undergraduate students will drop out of their university course. This could be for a whole range of reasons, but a significant number are because their course or university life wasn’t what they were expecting. Whilst a good many will successfully complete further study or training elsewhere, perhaps a little more thought in advance could have saved them this ‘false start’. The fundamental question has to be whether a university course is the right thing for you, for your learning style and for your future goals. But, how do you work that out? Here are a few questions to ask yourself 18

that might help you to focus in on that decision. Do you need a degree for the career you have chosen? There are many professions which require a degree qualification as prerequisite of entry. There are others where a degree is an advantage, if not actually a requirement. However, there are other ways of achieving degree level qualifications than becoming a full-time student, including part-time professional study, Open University and distance learning courses, and a growing number of Degree and Higher Apprenticeships. So, before you sign up just because you feel you

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have to, it’s worth checking out if there are other routes into your chosen career. Where will you live? Many students choose to make going to university their chance to move away from home for the first time. If that’s true in your case, university accommodation offices can be brilliant in helping to find secure and reasonably priced housing options to ease you in. Many also offer different catering packages, if the idea of having to cook for yourself (or live on takeaways!) is filling you and your parents with dread. However, it’s increasingly true that not all students do


move away from home to study. With the increasing costs involved, living at home can keep accommodation and living expenses down. This might be something you need to discuss with your parents – is your idea of a great student social life compatible with their idea of a peaceful household? And chances are you’ll need to pay for your own travel, so don’t forget to factor that in.

have to start paying anything back until you’ve reached the earnings threshold (currently £372 a week or £1,615 a month for Plan 1 loans). However, it can still feel like a big commitment, so it is worth chatting to a student finance expert to put your mind at rest. And taking out those loans for a course you’re not committed to could feel rather pointless in the long term.

Are you passionate about your chosen subject? Picking a subject that you enjoy or can see a clear purpose in is essential to giving yourself the best chance of success. Picking the subject that you just happened to do best at for A Level is not a guarantee that you will be motivated enough to reflect your best abilities. Think hard about what subject you choose to apply for and be as sure as you can be that it’s going to keep you engrossed for the length of the course. It is also worth reflecting on how you learn best and find out whether your chosen course will give you appropriate opportunities; it’s much harder to stay motivated if you’re a ‘practical’ learner who finds themselves trapped in lecture theatres or libraries most of the time.

Are you feeling brave enough? Starting a university course is a big step for anyone, at any time in their life. For most, it means leaving behind friends from school and college and making a new start, if not in a new town, at least in a new institution. It’s reasonable to expect to be nervous but many people will take to it like a duck to water (as the saying goes) and, once they have settled in, they will never look back. There are things you can do to help yourself with that settling in process, of course: Find out how many students will be on the course you apply for – smaller numbers will often mean that friendship groups form more easily than on courses with much larger numbers. Think about whether a campus university or one based on a town centre site would suite you best; if you are in accommodation on a campus site, it might feel a bit more manageable while you get to know the ropes. See if you can find out what sort of accommodation is on offer; would a house or flat-share be an opportunity to make friends more quickly than a large university hall of residence (although many

Are you prepared for the financial consequences? For about twenty years now, it’s been a reality that university students need to pay not only for their own upkeep but tuition fees as well. Clearly thousands of people do take that step every year; the interest and repayment rates are usually reasonable and have become as much as part of financial life as rent or mortgage repayments. And you don’t

halls are now organised into ‘flats’). Be honest about your social skills and plan ahead to make this big step a little easier on yourself. Overall, a university degree is a very positive experience for a very large number of people. Friendships formed at university can often last a lifetime, for example, and there are regularly surveys that show people with degrees earn more over their working life than those who don’t. However, being sure that you’re going to university for the right reasons for you is the best way to ensure you will get the most out of it.

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Apprentices today are the Managers of Tomorrow Berthon Boat Co Ltd has traded continuously since 1877 and is a family run international business based on the banks of Lymington River in Hampshire. Berthon cater for all aspects of boat maintenance for leisure and commercial vessels, as well owning a marina. Training new members of staff has always formed a key part of their business model. Now regularly recruiting apprentices, we chat to their marketing manager, Helen, about the opportunities they can offer.

Berthon’s apprenticeship program has been established for more than 100 years, and today many of their employees have been with them for their entire careers, with others returning after a short exploration elsewhere. Each year there is a new intake choosing to build skills in Marine Engineering, Marine Electrics & Electrical Installation, Shipwright (Boat Building), and Painting & Spraying. Each apprentice works closely with various mentors to develop a well-rounded knowledge of their chosen specialism. The overall aim of the programme is to provide every candidate with the skills they need to form and enjoy a long career in the maritime industry. When merited or if ambition 20

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prevails, they develop their apprentices to be the managers of tomorrow, to become leaders for the future of Berthon, and the industry as a whole. Berthon has multiple pay grade levels to compensate fairly, not just because of hand skills but people skills as well. Their apprenticeship programme encourages applications from all that meet the baseline requirements in terms of technical interest and academic ability. However, it is clear that very few women are entering their industry, a trend we would like to see reversed. In the boatyard, apprentices have shown that with the right parameters for learning, the


right support, and equal encouragement for all candidates, a woman is capable of exactly the same as her male counterpart. Berthon are equally proud of their male and female apprentices across all their apprenticeship or salaried training programmes and strongly encourage any young females considering a career in an auxiliary marine sector to find out about the fantastic opportunities available. We caught up with Stephanie Jung, a fourth-year Marine Engineering apprentice, to chat about her view of women in the industry. She tells us in no uncertain terms that she neither expects nor receives any different treatment to, or from her peers. With no desire to be known as ‘a female engineer,’ Steph states simply she’d like to be recognised as ‘an excellent engineer.’ After leaving school, Steph undertook a full-time course at Brockenhurst College, studying Performing Engineering Operations at Level 2, which included work experience at Berthon. It was then that it dawned on her that a classroom environment was just not as inspiring. So whilst her friends went off to various universities, Steph began her marine engineering apprenticeship, studying for her City & Guilds Level 3 along with hands-on training in the boatyard and on the water. Steph has held an interest in the Marine Industry from a young age when she was part of the Sea Scouts. She also cites the need to stick with an apprenticeship, and continue to work hard, explaining the work is challenging, though extremely rewarding. At Berthon, Steph has worked on several large vessel projects, assisting in the installation of

large engines (up to 1200HP - horse power), the fabrication, and fitting of new parts where required, using a variety of techniques to suit the project she is working on. Because Berthon are predominantly a service, refit & repair business, the variety of work is vast, and no two days are the same; a smile crept across her face as Steph chuckled to herself, saying “this is one of my favourite things about the job, and also one of the more frustrating but demanding parts – diagnosis, solution, execution!” A highlight through her apprenticeship at Berthon, Steph was invited to travel on board ‘Grey Wolf,’ an FPB 78 explorer yacht, from Puerto Montt to Puerto Williams through the Patagonian fjords in Chile. Grey Wolf and her owners are well-known to Berthon, generously inviting a number of apprentices to travel on-board each year. Steph aims to graduate in September this year (2021), continuing to gain experience here at Berthon. When we asked what advice she would give to her younger self when she started the apprentice programme, she simply said “don’t take constructive criticism to heart, just enjoy the process. Ask lots of questions and don’t be afraid to ask for help!” Every year they have multiple openings at Berthon, for motivated young persons to join their apprenticeship program. You receive on-thejob experience working on prestige, private, and commercial vessels, coupled with City & Guilds and NVQ qualifications, along with the aid and assistance of their training provider. If you feel you have the enthusiasm, ambition, and dedication to complete a four-year apprenticeship, you will have the opportunity to ‘Earn as you Learn’ in a topquality environment. Make The Future Yours! Issue 2

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Might a maritime career float your boat?

There are plenty of exciting careers in the maritime sector to choose from, both on and offshore. It is a growing sector with a thriving future offering well-paid careers. There are many ways to enter the maritime sector and once in, there are tremendous opportunities to move to different parts. Careers range from working on commercial ships to maritime law, hospitality to boat building, or cleaning the oceans of plastics to designing a superyacht, and many more! To learn more, speak to your Careers Leader in your school or college

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What is LMI and how can it help me? LMI – Labour Market Information – is information collected by governments and councils about employers, industries and patterns of work. Whilst they might sound like an exercise in numbercrunching, all that data can help you plan your future; here’s how. Labour Market Information provides the knowledge and understanding of how the labour market functions and is crucial for making sense of changing economic circumstances. It can also help when thinking about what the future might hold, so can support career decision making. LMI can tell us which industries are growing and declining, about how industries and job roles vary across the country and about the industries and job roles in your area. It helps you see what the requirements are to work in an industry, the qualifications, or routes to being employed (apprenticeship, degree, GCSEs, A Levels, etc.). You can see salary information and how many vacancies there are in each industry. LMI can identify ‘skills gaps’, where there aren’t enough people with the right qualifications or experience to do particular jobs and forecast future demand for job types and skills. LMI can also help to challenge stereotypes, to ensure doors are opened for people. So, what does this mean for you? LMI can help you see if the career you want will still be around when you are older or even help you decide what career you should think about. You can see whether the job you want is in your geographical area or that you may have to move away to do it. It will help you choose which qualifications to take. LMI can show you how jobs are changing and, if you’re thinking about running

your own business, it will give you an idea about your competition and chances of success A typical piece of LMI is that 1.5% of students are considering a career in hospitality and they represent 9.7% of jobs available*. This demonstrates both what the industry is looking for and the number of people considering choosing that career. (By the time you read this, this data be will be out of date, so it’s important to look at LMI from time to time.) *Education Development Trust, March 2020. Through using LMI, we can also see how the labour market has changed over time. For example, it used to be lower paid workers who worked longer hours than higher paid workers, but now it is the other way round; if you have a high wage, you will most likely work long hours. Colleges and universities often use LMI to help decide which courses are relevant to their local and regional need. This is particularly relevant following the pandemic when many industries have rethought how they are working. Some may struggle to recover, whereas others might do really well and differently than they would have done under ‘normal’ circumstances. So, keep an eye on labour market information when researching the careers you think you are right for you. Where to find LMI https://www.ons.gov.uk/ employmentandlabourmarket Make The Future Yours! Issue 2

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Serving up a great career From ‘playing host’ to family and friends as a child, Jeremy is now doing the job for real as the General Manager of a prestigious hotel. He shares the amazing opportunities his career choice has given him. I really enjoyed home-cooking when I was young; I loved the idea of entertaining people. If we went out to eat, I’d spend all the time watching what the restaurant or kitchen staff were doing, how they were coordinating with each other and taking care of the clients. I did Food Tech’ at school, but people were generally quite dismissive of my choice to go into catering at college. I was a fairly bright, 24

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ambitious student, but it was as though people thought I ‘could do better’; if only those people could see me now! After school, having decided I wanted to be a chef, I looked at different courses and decided on my local college, Brockenhurst. I did both NVQ Level 1 and 2, over two years, which was great. We switched around, one week working in the kitchen,


then a week front of house waiting and running the restaurant, then a week in pastry (cakes and desserts). I loved them all, but the opportunity to try these different areas meant I discovered a love of ‘front of house’. It was fantastic going to a college that had a professional restaurant on site where external clients would come to eat. In my second year, I got to take my turn in actually running the restaurant, coordinating the other students and any apprentices on day-release. It really helped me understand how a proper restaurant works. We were lucky enough to have some guest chefs

come into college sometimes to work with us, too. I particularly remember Raymond Blanc and James Martin being inspiring people and great to learn from. In my second year, I had managed to get some part-time work at the hotel next door to the college, Careys Manor, and I was pleased when they were able to take me on as a Restaurant Leadership and Management Level 3 Apprentice, where I could also focus on front of house. The mix of work and study suited me really well. The hotel has 79 bedrooms and three restaurants, and I started in the main hotel restaurant. Although it’s very traditional, it was often very busy and it was very exciting. College had been great but this interaction with the guests, looking after them and solving their problems was the real thing! After my apprenticeship, I became Supervisor of the hotel’s Manor Restaurant. I think Carey’s Manor must have seen some potential in me. We had had several different Restaurant Managers over that time, but it turned out to be good for me as it gave me opportunities to step up; to learn more and to take more responsibility. I became Assistant Restaurant Manager and, after about a year, when I thought I’d learnt all I could in the restaurant, I spoke to the Hotel Manager to see if there was more I could learn about running the whole hotel. Perhaps I was a bit cheeky in asking, but I was made Trainee Hotel Manager. That was a challenging but rewarding role and it gave me such a fantastic insight into every part of how a hotel works – as well as how it all works together. I worked in every department - kitchen, reception, housekeeping, portering, the different restaurants (Thai, French bistro) – so got to see how it all works as one big team. It was intense, particularly when we had additional events like a big wedding going on as well. I always took it as a challenge and put my all into it. I do believe that you’ve got to love this industry to do it well. After about 18 months as Trainee Manager, I stepped up to become Assistant Hotel Manager, supporting the Hotel Manager and running things when they weren’t there. By 2016, I’d been at Carey’s Manor about six years in all and I was just starting to think it was time for a new challenge when a vacancy came up within the same hotel group for an Assistant Manager at a hotel not far away. The Montagu Arms in Beaulieu is a very different hotel; it’s smaller, with only 24 bedrooms and two restaurants, but it’s a real ‘foodie’ hotel and we’re hoping to achieve a Michelin star very soon. I became Deputy General Manager after about a year, which was an opportunity to understand more about the business and financial aspects Make The Future Yours! Issue 2

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of running the hotel. Although I knew about the day-to-day operations, to be an effective manager, understanding revenue streams, budgets, staffing, and health and safety are all so important too. While I was Deputy Manager, I was put forward for the Master Innholders Aspiring Leaders Diploma. I was one of 18 chosen from 100 applicants in my year, so I know what a privilege it was to be accepted and it was a truly amazing experience. You cover a number of different modules, including finance, management, and everything you need to run a hotel and also how to control and better myself. Each module was held in a different location so, every few months, we’d get to go and stay in someone else’s hotel. That was a real eye-opener: I have stayed in some gorgeous five-star hotels I might never have seen otherwise! After three years at The Montagu Arms, in February 2020, I was asked to step up and become Hotel Manager when the previous manager moved on. This was what I had wanted ever since I started at Careys Manor; to be the person who puts their own touches on their hotel! I think a lot of us in the industry worry that it is undervalued. It’s seen as long hours, no social life and little reward, but from my own experience, I know that there is so much more to it than that. I have had some amazing opportunities and there is always a chance to learn something, to make a difference every day. And there certainly are opportunities for career progression if you are motivated to go for it. If I compare my career to date with that of my old school friends, some of them have only just graduated or have ended up in jobs that they hadn’t thought about and aren’t necessarily related to the qualifications they did. Some of them are rather envious of me, now! I hope that one benefit of the many TV programmes which bring catering and hospitality skills onto our screens means that it’s not a choice that is looked down on today, as it was for me. I would encourage anyone considering it to just go for it. Never be scared to do something that you’re passionate about.

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“I don’t do it for the

awards, but it is good to be recognised!” he said. The awards ceremony was held at the Beaulieu Motor Museum.”

Jeremy won the New Forest Business Partnership ‘Young Person in Business’ Award in 2020.


Could hospitality serve your career ambitions? The world of hospitality is always interesting and lively, and will develop you professionally and as a person. You will develop new skills such as communicating or working in a team and ones that will lead to a career in management. There are creative jobs, from creating food to staging an event. The skills are transferable, a career in hospitality can very easily be the key to discovering new countries, new cultures and new people. To learn more, speak to your Careers Leader in your school or college

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Top Ten Tips to Clinch That Job You’ve probably heard it said that it only takes seven seconds to make a first impression. This is why how you present yourself for an interview can be crucial to your chances of success. We’ve talked to experienced personal stylist, Fiona Mobbs, to get her top ‘dress to impress’ tips.

When it comes to job interviews, you absolutely have to be at your best to secure your desired job or university place. This means: • knowing you’ve researched as much as you can about the organisation you are trying to join; • being confident in yourself, which will include being sure about your knowledge, experience and ability; • being clear about why you want the job or course and where you want it to take you; • AND looking your absolute visual best. This will help you present the best possible version of you and ensure you feel worthy of the opportunity. Normally an interviewer is not trying to catch you out, they are trying to fairly assess how you will perform if you are given the opportunity. They will be assessing everything about you, from how you speak, what you say and do, and how you appear visually. You’ve been invited to the interview because you’ve got the knowledge, aptitude and/or skills they are looking for, based on your application or CV. Now is your time to shine above any competition, in visually presenting YOU. How you appear is something else you can prepare in advance, so you’re not worried about that on the day. There are some negatives that will detract from all your preparation so do pay attention to these tips.

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1. Unkempt, greasy hair. Wash your hair the night before your interview or, if necessary, go to your hairdresser a few days before the day. 2. Dandruff – this can increase because of stress. Of course, you can do some research to see how to alleviate this, but if it is a problem you can’t sort in time, you can disguise it by what you wear. For example, lighter coloured tops and with a pattern, even in the weave. Pop to the bathroom before your interview and shake out your jacket or brush yourself off. 3. You may feel under-confident if you have breakouts on your face – is there anything you can do to reduce or disguise these, maybe with make-up? There are skin specialists who can advise, but it may take a few days or weeks to sort, so you should start thinking about this in advance if you can. 4. When it comes to make-up, I advise a light amount. If you aren’t used to wearing any, you should practise a few days before to ensure you apply it well. I usually ask what someone is going to wear to apply complementary colours, so you will need to think about your outfit and try it on to make sure it fits, is comfortable and all works together a few days before too. Visit a department store make-up counter if you can, or look up YouTube videos, to get advice and some hints. 5. Lipstick needs to be a flattering shade. Some lipsticks will make you look drawn or fierce, so you need to get this right. 6. Knowing what you will wear and that you look your best will give you confidence. This should be part of your preparation. You probably don’t need to buy something new, and in fact wearing something you know suits and fits you is comforting. Your clothes need to be appropriate for the interview/ organisation, and you can find out if there is a dress code before you attend. I would advise a skirt or dress not to be too short or tight. It’s better to dress smarter than not, even if the dress code is “smart/casual” or “business casual”. If your first interview is online, which is becoming more common nowadays, you may give thought to how you appear on screen, what your background and lighting is like, and how to operate the software. I would advise that you practise in advance to check all sorts of things like sound, ensuring there aren’t noisy distractions and pets or children demanding attention. Remember to

switch your mobile phone off if you aren’t using it for the interview. Your clothing colour choices will be important too. Your clothes do say a lot about you, including whether you are confident or hiding behind them. Colours which flatter your skin tone and body shape will bring out your best side and won’t make you look old or ill; this was something I did before I knew which colours suited me best. A colour assessment will help you work this out. And remember: 7. Jewellery needs to be discrete and appearanceenhancing, not a distraction from you and your words. 8. Nails need to be neat and clean. Be aware that they can be a distraction too, if they are brightly coloured. Some organisations or industries do not allow nail polish so check this out before your interview. It might be better to play safe and just use a clear polish if you choose to wear any. 9. Hosiery - you absolutely must wear socks or tights to a face-to-face interview, no matter how hot it is! If you’re wearing tights or stockings which may snag or ladder, I recommend you take a spare pair, just in case! 10. Shoes need to be comfortable and clean. Shoes say a lot about you and in a face-to-face situation can be the difference between you and the next candidate. Show you care by turning up with very clean and polished shoes. With these tips, you can give yourself the style and confidence to be unstoppable. Good luck! About Fiona Mobbs Fiona Mobbs is a highly trained independent personal stylist and belongs to the Federation of Image Professionals International (FIPI). For over ten years, Fiona has been helping people understand what colours and clothing styles work best for them so that they can develop their unique style. She believes that confidence comes from wearing clothes that suit you and that are appropriate for the situation. Everyone deserves to look and feel their best - personal styling is not just for the rich or famous! yourcolourandstyle.com

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The Open University - just for adult learners?

The Open University has been offering flexible study options for more than 50 years and has helped over 2 million people achieve qualifications. At a time when more and more of life has flipped online or at a distance, we look at how The OU stacks up against a traditional university course.

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The Open University was established in 1969 with the specific aim of making higher level study both more accessible and more flexible for learners than a traditional, full-time university course might be. The OU today is the UK’s largest higher education establishment, with around 200,000 learners registered each year. They offer more than 200 qualifications across a wide range of subjects, including postgraduate degrees, undergraduate honours degrees, certificates and diplomas, many accredited by leading professional bodies. Here are some of the OU’s key characteristics.

Accessible 80% of OU students fund their studies with a student loan, meaning they don’t pay any upfront costs. Loan funding, grants and other financial support varies between England, Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland so please check your home nation’s local information for more details. Sometimes, the Open University will accept students on to a course with no formal entry or prior qualifications, but you’ll have to go through interviews and assessments to make sure it’s the right route for you.

Flexible The Open University are masters in creating flexible study programmes, after all, that was their reason for being. But what does flexible actually mean? Firstly, it means you won’t have a fixed lecture timetable; learning materials are provided online or seminars at agreed times so they can fit around your other commitments. Flexible also means that you can change your options from module to module, perhaps switching from full time to part time, or even pausing altogether. The OU don’t have set starting points each year, so you can start when it suits you. And you can also pay module by module if you wish. Typically, 72% of OU students are working full or part-time while they study, compared with around 20% of OU students who study full time. The OU is ranked number one as the most popular UK university for part-time undergraduates, teaching 42% of all UK part-time undergraduates.

Supportive The Open University do their best to provide both a supportive community and learning environment for students, even those students who aren’t ‘on campus’. Students are connected with a community of fellow students for support and social activities, for example. The OU scored 87% for overall student satisfaction in the National Students Survey and ranked first for Assessment and Feedback. Expert The OU has always championed innovation in learning and continues to do so with VR and AI experiences for students. Open University qualifications are globally recognised and 86% of OU qualified students say OU study helped them achieve their career or personal goals. Employers will often acknowledge that an OU student has juggled working and studying so it can also demonstrate determination and time management skills too. The OU produces more CEOs and Managing Directors for UK companies than any other UK University. More than 30,000 UK employers, including 80% of FTSE 100 companies, have sponsored staff with the OU. And the OU is the largest provider of degree apprenticeships in England, with over 2,700 apprentices working with over 750 employers. Interested in applying? Not all Open University applications are required to go via UCAS so check out the details for your specific course on their website, www.open.ac.uk

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There’s more than one way into the legal profession! Lucy Beck is a qualified Chartered Legal Executive and Licensed Conveyancer who specialises in property law. We talked to her about how she trained and how she is now supporting a legal trainee.

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How did I get here? It was just after my A Levels. I was 17 and started as an office junior in a local law firm. It was an amazing job; they were rather an old-fashioned firm, and I was the youngest by far, but they really looked after me. I was able to bring my IT skills to the firm, but found I had to learn the process of conveyancing to set up their IT system. I was interested in it and so I signed up for the Chartered Legal Executive qualification (CiLEX) at Bournemouth & Poole College, two nights a week plus distance learning. The Level 3 to become a Paralegal took two years and then I did the Level 6 (degree equivalent) over the next two years. Looking back, I would say that the support and course content was very different then. We didn’t do client care as a topic, for example, and it wasn’t an Apprenticeship so I paid most of the fees myself, although my firm did help. Since then, I’ve also done my Graduate Diploma in Law (LPC) As my own business has grown, I’ve wanted to recruit staff and so started exploring the Apprenticeship route. That’s how I met Jamie. He was then 18 and had done his A Levels. He found a job in a local supermarket when his Dad spotted the job advert I had posted on Facebook. I had originally thought he would do an Apprenticeship in Business but he was interested in Law, so we explored the options for that. I was pleased to find that CiLEX is now written into both the Paralegal (Level 3) and Chartered Legal Executive (Level 6) Apprenticeships, so we have followed that route.

Jamie has day-release time to study; the teaching and one-to-ones are largely online so he will often be in the office anyway, which works really well for us both. The qualification has broadened his horizons massively; he’s made of lots of contacts and talks to people nationally, and he goes to London to do his exams. The Apprenticeship is assessed through a mix of exams and portfolio work. This really helps with his course and is great for his personal development too; I’ve noticed a change in his confidence and how much more confident he is now in speaking to clients. I have to say that it’s not an easy option, or an easy subject, but the right candidate can excel. Although Jamie is focusing on conveyancing now, his full qualification will cover everything, including client care skills, regulation issues, law, practice, confidentiality, data protection and more. It’s interesting to reflect that other staff I have trained often don’t seem to have had the breadth of learning Jamie is getting so it’s been a big help to me. The questions he asks me now are really good; 18 months ago, he was asking quite basic things but I can see how technical his understanding has already become. And we both get plenty of support from the training provider, which is reassuring. Working in the law is an interesting career. Traditionally, you always had to do degree, which could be very expensive, and then you had to find a training contract for two years as trainee before you could qualify. It makes me really happy to see that the legal profession Make The Future Yours! Issue 2

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has opened up; I feel we risk losing potentially good people who can’t afford it or don’t want the debt if we don’t. Historically, there was a huge shortage of skills and diversity. I think back to how hard it was for me to get an opportunity, and how some still look down their noses at those who have qualified through the vocational route, so, personally I think it’s a good thing – and that things will keep improving. It will give more people the opportunity to start at a younger age, rather than waiting to get a law degree first; previously people were probably 24 years old and starting in the profession without any experience of what it was actually like. One thing I have learnt over my career is that you can never know everything. I still get cases where I’ll say, “I’ve never seen that before!”, but you learn from experience and precedent. Land law and conveyancing is one of the hardest subjects; people often find they get ‘landed’ in that department rather than choosing it! But I enjoy it and you often get interesting things pop up. We tend to operate on a 3-month cycle which is the typical time it takes to manage a transaction, so we have a fairly high turnover of clients as jobs complete. Criminal law tends to be the ‘glamorous’ branch because you can compare it to things

you’ve seen on TV or in films! However, there is not much money in criminal law; not many firms practice it and it’s often unsociable hours. Most people like going to court so will choose Family Law or something that involves disputes to get their teeth into. What would my advice be to anyone thinking about a career in the law? Try to speak to people already working in the profession. Do some work experience to get a taste of whether it’s really for you. You do need to be inquisitive and have drive; don’t go in half-heartedly as you do need to dedicate yourself to it. You have to be able to communicate; your clients need someone they can talk to, so we need lawyers who are down to earth and from all walks of life. The legal profession is often perceived as quite prestigious but I’m from a working-class background so don’t let that be a barrier.

www.eco-law.co.uk

Reach thousands of young people across the region (and their parents) If you would like to get in front of thousands of 15-19 year olds across the region plus their parents and guardians, contact us today. We’ll tell you all about the advertising and sponsorship opportunities available in this new magazine.

hello@makethefutureyours.com or call us on 02394 004042 34

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VIRTUAL OPEN EVENT EXPERIENCE • Explore our campus and facilities with our interactive map and college tour video • Hear from our students and lecturers in subject-specific videos and 360 tours • Watch our student and staff takeovers on our Instagram channel

BE IN BE SUPSPIRED P BE TH ORTED BEST YOU CE AN BE

NOW LIVE bcot.ac.uk/voe

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A quick guide to the University applications process If you’re thinking about making an application to study a first degree, teacher training, music studies, post-graduate study or other higher education course in the UK, here is a short guide to help you through the process. If you’re applying for a higher education course, there is a very good chance that you will need to make an application via UCAS, the universities’ central admissions system. UCAS is the centralised service which handles applications for 391 universities and colleges across the UK. They help around a million students into university places every year. It is an independent charity who aim to provide information, advice, and admissions services. They are not government funded so do make a charge for applications. For 2021 entry, the application fee is £20 for a single choice, or £26 for more than one choice. So, how does it work? Applications are now made online and you can make one application per academic year. 36

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However, you can apply for up to five courses in an academic year (either five different courses at the same university or to five different courses at five different universities). You can apply for all at the same time or start with one or two and add more later. The universities or colleges won’t see what order you’ve applied to them. You can apply the following year if you don’t accept a place in the first year you applied, you just submit a new application. It’s sometimes possible to apply in one year and defer a place to the following year, if you decide to take a year out, for example, but this needs to be agreed directly with the university.


Key Dates for applications to start courses in autumn 2021 June 2021 30 Applications received after 30 June are entered into Clearing

July 2021 04 Last date to apply for a course in Extra

July 2021 05 Clearing opens July 2021 13 Uni/college decisions due

on applications submitted by 30 June

August 2021 19 Adjustment opens August 2021 31 Any remaining offer conditions

must be met, and Adjustment ends

When to apply? It’s important to start researching courses and places early, and we recommend visiting Open Days if you can, to get a sense of the place. Ideally, you will have a good idea of your short list of five about a year ahead of when you want to start. That autumn will be about fine-tuning the details and starting to build your UCAS application. Although the dates we give on the right are official UCAS dates, it is important that you check with your school or college for more details. Most colleges will have an internal UCAS deadline that is several weeks earlier than this so that your tutors can write references and check applications in good time for the UCAS deadline. The full application calendar for 2021 is on the UCAS website, www.ucas.com. There are lots of useful resources on the website, like a guide to ‘tariff points’ (what qualifications are worth) and information about student finance and funding.

September 2021 21 Final date for 2021 entry applications October 2021 19 Last date to add 2021 entry Clearing choices

October 2021 20 Last date for unis/colleges to make Clearing decisions

Applications for courses starting Autumn 2022 open from 7 September 2021. For closing dates, check the UCAS website, www.ucas.com

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Feeling anxious about going to University? It’s only human to feel anxious about a new situation and going to University can feel like a big step. We have spoken to professional coach, Caroline D’ay, who has some great tips for keeping those nerves under control.

First off, if you’ve got into University, well done! That’s a real achievement! Hopefully, you are excited by the prospect and have somewhere to stay when you arrive, either in halls or in a shared house. But, through all the excitement, are you also a tiny bit (or even extremely) anxious? If so, that is perfectly normal. It’s your brain’s way of alerting you to possible danger, but what could possibly be dangerous about going to University? What can cause anxiety? Common answers include leaving home for the first time, not knowing anyone, being in a new city, managing money, loneliness and feeling awkward about making new friends. While they may be things that you are concerned about, they are not actually dangerous. Are they? Unless you think they are and then the anxiety can settle in! If you think about it, they are not really 38

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dangerous, but there is an element of the unknown, which may feel like danger to you. So, what is causing your specific anxiety? Write down five things that you are worried about. Look at them again. Which ones are you really worried about? Have you ever heard of them happening to someone else? Have they ever happened to you? Or are you just worrying about whether they might happen? Being anxious is often a sign that you are about to achieve new things, move to the next level, make new friends, or any of the other things you are anxious about. In those situations, a bit of anxiety is normal, and it isn’t a mental health issue. The anxiety you feel at the top of a ladder will make you extremely careful how you walk down. The anxiety you feel at a cliff edge is what will make you careful how close you stand from the edge. And the anxiety you feel in a new situation is what’s letting you know you’re about to grow.


About Caroline D’ay Preparing for anxious situations Let’s imagine something else. Imagine you get to your student accommodation and you are on the list with a room allocated. Imagine that the person in the next room is really friendly. And let’s think about going to your first lecture and everybody receives you warmly. Is that not a better way to prepare? So, look at your list and see which ones you can pre-empt. For the others, have a plan of action. The Universities are ready to welcome you and will do their best to look after you. Find out the sources of help on campus in case you should ever need them, but most importantly, get ready to celebrate a great achievement. Because you have already excelled to get there and a few weeks into the new term you will wonder what all the fuss was about. Enjoy yourself!

Caroline D’ay is the UK’s leading therapeutic change consultant. Caroline has been coaching and counselling individuals, families and teams for over 30 years, helping them to overcome personal obstacles and to achieve their goals. Caroline is qualified in a range of techniques including trauma release, neuro-linguistic programming and mindfulness, that can help with issues ranging from post-traumatic stress disorder, anxiety and depression, stress and relationship issues. www.wellbeingdynamics.com

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Volunteering can help you! I’m James and I teach Maths at a Secondary school. If I’m honest, it doesn’t feel too long ago that I was a pupil myself, albeit at the ‘rival’ school up the road. Like most teenagers, I wasn’t sure what job I wanted to do when I grew up. Several ideas raced through my mind, from chef to police officer, forensic scientist to tree surgeon, but none of them ever felt quite right. It wasn’t until I got to college that the idea of becoming a teacher really started forming. On reflection, Scouting was probably the catalyst that set me on the path to teaching. I had been a youth member for ten years by then. I had also spent the last two years volunteering at my old Cub pack in order to achieve my Duke of Edinburgh’s Awards (bronze, silver and gold). I stayed on at Cubs even after I’d completed the Awards because I really enjoyed it. This voluntary role then steered me into my first job (that wasn’t a paper round). I started working at a holiday play scheme which had been recognised for providing 40

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fantastic care for young people with severe additional needs. At college, I soon found myself having to attend interviews fairly frequently, for university applications and for other part time jobs. Were these scary at first? Of course they were, however I quickly learnt a trick. If I could bring up the subject of Scouting and everything I had achieved through it, I could often spend a lot of the interview talking about it! At this point I was clear that teaching was a career I wanted to pursue. On the advice of my college tutors, I successfully applied to do a degree in Forensic Biology. It was reassuring to know that, however far from home my university was, Scouting would still be there, offering me that instant local support network at home and at uni. On completing my degree, I decided to


We think – to get the most out of volunteering - you really have to pick something you enjoy and that you can believe in. There are lots of opportunities to volunteer near to you. We’ve tried to collect some of the larger organisations below but there are many smaller ones that would really welcome your support too. The Scout Association and Girlguiding started from very similar beginnings and still share a common believe in helping others and making friends. The Scout Association, www.scouts.org.uk, is open to all while Girlguiding, www.girlguiding.org.uk, is a dedicated organisation for girls and women. They both offer a range of skills and volunteering opportunities and occasionally the chance to travel abroad! Depending on your age, you could join a youth section or become a volunteer.

spend some time working in a school before taking the ‘jump’ into teaching. For three years, I worked to support young people with Autism in a mainstream school and this experience felt so helpful to me starting my teacher training. It also made me realise how many of the skills I had learnt in Scouting would be useful, from taking the young people climbing and kayaking to teaching them life skills, like cooking. Now in my second year of teaching, I reflect on how the different roles I have held in Scouting have shaped my career now - and how they could benefit it in the future. The two most recent Scout roles I have taken on are Deputy District Chair and a member of the Appointments committee. Both these roles are about supporting other adults and I could see a clear link to how they could help my teaching career in future. Skills such as managing adults effectively could help if I wanted to become a Head of Year, for example. Scouting has a clear focus on skills for life. I would agree that it has given me many of the skills I have needed to get to where I am now. I also think it influences the kind of teacher I am. I believe that young people need to grow up being given the skills to prepare them for the world in which they will live. Both Scouting and teaching enable me to support this.

Both of the UK’s biggest First Aid charities need volunteers of all ages. The Red Cross, www.redcross.org.uk, and St John Ambulance, www.sja.org.uk, give you the opportunity to learn life-saving skills and to make new friends. All three branches of the UK Armed Forces have ‘cadet branches’ that allow young people to get a taste for the opportunities and disciplines of military life, whilst experiencing all sorts of new activities and responsibilities too. Their websites are: Army Cadets www.armycadets.com Sea Cadets www.sea-cadets.org Air Cadets www.raf.mod.uk/aircadets If you are over 16 and a lover of animals, you could volunteer with one of the UK’s many animal charities. Visit their websites to find out what is local to you, here are three of the large charities: RSPCA www.rspca.org.uk RSPB www.rspb.org.uk Blue Cross www.bluecross.org.uk And, if you’re a sports fan, you could volunteer while you indulge your favourite hobby! We found these pages from two of the UK’s most popular sports, but we know there are more out there too. Football www.thefa.com Tennis www.lta.org.uk

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What does a Quantity Surveyor do? It’s probably not quite enough to say that a Quantity Surveyor ‘surveys quantities’. Quantities of what? And how would they even do that? There were about 60,000 Quantity Surveyors working in the UK in 2020, a number which is growing steadily as the construction industry grows. We take a look at what it actually means to be a Quantity Surveyor (QS) and how you might become one. Quantity Surveyors work within the construction, land management and property industries. They are part of a team of professionals and skilled tradespeople who help to ensure that new build or refurbishment projects are delivered on time and on budget. The QS is focused particularly on a project’s costs to ensure it doesn’t overspend. A QS can be involved right from the outset of a project, working through estimates and helping to establish if a project is financially feasible, perhaps working from an architect’s drawing to work up outline costs and a schedule of work. They will look at the materials specified, for example, to help ensure that they are both fit for purpose but also cost-efficient. As such, a QS could have an important say in purchasing decisions, including promoting sustainable or carbon-free materials. As a project moves towards the build phase, the QS will work in more detail to quantify, 42

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schedule and order final materials and tasks. They will then stay on top of the budget through the build to make sure that the actual costs are what was forecast. Sometimes this means the QS has to respond quickly to changes, if a project hits a problem, a change in material specification is required or simply if material prices have risen, perhaps finding savings or solutions elsewhere. Day to day, a QS is just as likely to be in the office as they are to be out on a construction site. In the office, they will prepare tender documents to win new projects, prepare contracts for jobs, write reports on current projects and probably be in meetings with colleagues and potential clients. On site, they’ll be assessing progress and meeting with construction teams to keep a handle on the finances. No two projects are ever quite the same so it can certainly be a varied and interesting role.


How to become a QS You will need a degree-level qualification in a subject accredited by RICS, the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors, but there are several routes to achieve that. You could go straight for an accredited degree, which will be called something like ‘Quantity Surveying’ or ‘Construction and Surveying’. You could choose another degree subject (something relevant to construction is preferable, like Maths, Civil Engineering or Geography) and then do the RICS Postgraduate conversion course. You could start by working in the industry to gain experience, perhaps as a technical surveyor, and work part-time towards your RICS-approved degree. In England, there are now two Apprenticeship routes that work this way: the Level 4 Construction Quantity Surveying Technician Apprenticeship and the Degree Level Quantity Surveyor. It is not unusual for those who trained in hands-on construction skills, such as bricklaying, to go on to become a QS through this vocational route; their previous site experience gives them great insight into understanding projects and life on site. Some QSs chose to become Chartered Surveyors, which means they are personally registered and professionally accredited by RICS. To do this, you will need to take further studies, demonstrate your experience and your commitment to continuing professional development. You can find out more about this on the RICS website, risc.org. Whether you choose to take up professional registration or not may depend on where you work. Some QSs work in consultancy, in which case the desire to be Chartered and a Member of RICS may be greater than for those who work in construction firms. You also have the option to become a member of the CIOB (Chartered Institute of Building).

About RICS – the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors RICS can trace its history in the UK back to 1792, when The Surveyors Club first met. However, it was formally recognised in 1868, when The Institution of Surveyors officially agreed on professional standards that would guide their industry. The need for such a body then was driven by the rapid development and expansion of the industrialised world; as infrastructure, housing and transport links grew, so did the need for more stringent checks and balances. Today, globally recognised and with 134,000 professional members, those same needs still apply. RICS seeks to influence policy across the world, to ensure that our physical assets are best used without spoiling the planet for future generations. Through their professional standards, qualification and development programmes, and their role in providing data and insight, RICS supports its members to pioneer better places to live and work and to be a force for positive social impact.

For more information about the RICS visit their website, rics.org The CIOB – Chartered Institute of Building For more information about the CIOB, visit their website, ciob.org

Good to know Quantity Surveyors need quite a diverse set of skills, from communications and teamwork to IT skills, from great numeracy to problem-solving skills. As you would expect, the preferred subjects for entry into this role are those that can demonstrate this. At Level 2/GCSE, Maths, Physics and Design Tech would be useful; at Level 3, A Level Maths or Physics or the new T Level (in England) in Construction are desirable. A QS needs a good working knowledge of the construction industry so any work experience you can get in this or a related area will help and demonstrate your interest in the role. Make The Future Yours! Issue 2

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So you think you know

construction? In our last issue, we looked at Decarbonisation and the challenge that faces all of us in ensuring the future of our planet. This time, we take a closer look at how the construction industry is starting to embrace this challenge, and what our homes of the future need to be.

“Our homes are the most important piece of architecture in our lives,” says Mark Southgate, CEO of the Ministry of Building Innovation & Education (MOBIE). “A well-designed home can promote our wellbeing, a poorly design one the opposite.” And Mark should know, he has spent his career working in roles that influence both our natural and built environments. “High standards of home design and high-quality home-building should be the norm. This includes zero carbon to combat climate change and address fuel poverty; secure homes and neighbourhoods that promote mental and physical health; and adaptable homes that facilitate healthy ageing.” Mark points out that the UK is a long way from that right now. The way we build houses has hardly changed in 100 years. Where other manufacturing sectors have undergone revolutions, much of our housing ‘technology’ is over 100 years old. It is incredible that for one of our most expensive purchases and monthly outgoings, time has largely stood still. The UK faces three particular challenges when it comes to our homes: • We are not building enough houses: we are in a housing crisis. The government is committed to building 300,000 houses per year by the mid-2020s, but even in our best years, we only manage to build a little more 200,000. We must significantly increase the number that we build. • The quality of houses is inadequate: that’s quality in terms of design, construction and performance. Housebuilding remains rooted in tradition but we must transform how we build, learning from the best manufacturing industries here and from abroad. • There is a homebuilding labour shortage: we have an enormous lack of new talent coming into the housebuilding and construction industries. 44

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Recent reviews predict that the industry’s workforce will decline by 20-25% in a decade, and that 32% of the UK construction sector workforce is aged 50 or over, with only 10% under the age of 25. We must bring in new talent if we are to build the homes we need and deserve. Modern Methods of Construction are part of the solution, but so is a stronger customer focus, and a culture of continuous improvement. We should demand houses that are cheaper to run, better to live in, adaptable, last for longer and reduce our environmental footprint. In the 21st century, we should be building homes in very different and much better ways than we have done in the past. With incredible developments in digital technology, the amazing research and development that goes into the performance of individual building products and higher standards of building practice, we have an opportunity to radically transform our product. Learning from other industries we can transform house building into a clean, precisionengineered and efficient product and process. “One of these new methods could be factory-built houses, for example” Mark explains. As more home building factories are built (and there are some already) the number of manufactured homes increases, and the manufacturing cost of each home will reduce. Factory-built homes give us an incredible opportunity to embrace the digital and clean-tech manufacturing age making homebuilding more efficient, more professional and potentially a more appealing industry to work in. It has the opportunity to revolutionise the way we order, buy, design, make, live-in and maintain 21st century homes. Prefabrication could be the home building revolution our industry needs to change. We need to inspire the next generation to want to be part of it.


We need to be building beautiful, smart, zero carbon homes and retrofitting our 27 million existing homes to reduce their carbon footprint and it is only by engaging with young people that we will have any chance of doing it. It will take the very best in design talent – designing amazing digital software, designing innovative supply chains, designing efficient manufacturing processes and designing new systems and financial models as well as designing homes. Mark and his colleagues at MOBIE believe that, by working together as an industry, we can show how rewarding and exciting a career in home design, manufacturing and construction can be. “There are incredible opportunities for young people to create a new built environment that is green, affordable, promotes health and well-being and builds homes that are amazing spaces to live in,” Mark says.

Architect and TV Presenter George Clarke founded the Ministry of Building Innovation & Education in 2017 to inspire young people to revolutionise the way we think about homes. We need younger generations to define how they want to live now and in the future, and MOBIE helps them do it. To find out more about them, their challenges for pupils and students, and courses at mobie.org.uk

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Can you build your career in construction? Building more homes, decarbonisation and new technologies mean construction skills are in high demand! From working with sustainable materials to designing smart homes and cities, there are many different careers in construction. You could learn to fly drones, use laser technology or the latest design software to build the next sports stadium or a theme park. Your skills would always be in demand. To learn more, speak to your Careers Leader in your school or college

Useful information

There are some great resources available out there if you know where to find them. Here is a selection:

Apprenticeships

Qualifications

Search and apply for an Apprenticeship, go to www.gov.uk and search for ‘Apprenticeships’

T Levels guide www.tlevels.gov.uk

Find out which Apprenticeships already exist and which are coming soon www.instituteforapprenticeships.org General resources and information www.amazingapprenticeships.com

Jobs Uni not your thing? Lots of options at: www.notgoingtouni.co.uk And ideas for a first step into the workplace at www.getmyfirstjob.co.uk

Find T Level map www.tlevels.gov.uk/students

University applications UCAS Undergraduate applications www.ucas.com You will also find the UCAS points guide and calculator on their website. University Taster Days guide, including online events unitasterdays.com

Funding Advanced Learner Loans www.gov.uk and search for ‘Advanced Learner Loans

To find the websites easily, go to the Useful stuff page on our website, makethefutureyours.com, where you will find the direct links.

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Moving out of home In a series of articles about managing your money and financial affairs, we asked our guest expert, Peter Johnson from Homes of Hampshire, about getting a mortgage. Buying a house is probably the biggest purchase most of us will ever make. With typical first-time house-buyers having to find an average of £216,000*, it’s no wonder most people turn to a loan for help; who has that sort of cash lying around? A mortgage is a particular type of loan taken out to buy property (or land). It is usually secured against the value of the property you are buying as a guarantee for the lender. That is, if for any reason you couldn’t keep up the mortgage repayments, the lender is entitled to take back the property and sell it in order to get their money back. This sounds scary but most mortgage providers will only use this as a last resort; they don’t really want to see their customers homeless. In fact, lots of us take out a mortgage; about nine million* homeowners in the UK currently have one. How do you get a mortgage? Firstly, it’s important to start saving up a deposit. Very few mortgage providers will lend you the full value of a property and they will typically expect you to provide a minimum of 10% of the purchase price yourself. Taking our typical average purchase price of £216,000, that means you will need to find a minimum deposit of £21,600 before you will be able to take out a mortgage for the balance of £194,400. Next, do shop around and see what mortgage deals you can get. Your own bank may be a good place to start but you don’t have to stick with an establishment you already know; there are many providers out there. It’s also worth thinking about whether you take out a mortgage in your 48

own name or jointly with a partner or guarantor; this may impact on the terms available to you. Find out how much you could borrow. The value of the mortgage you are likely to be loaned is usually calculated as a percentage of your salary. The average loan size granted is typically 3.5 times your annual salary, although it can be a higher multiple depending on your circumstances. Once this is clear, it is a good idea to have a ‘mortgage agreement in principle’ in place with your lender. This is an ‘in principle’ offer that lasts between 30 and 90 days. Although it is not a guarantee, it is a useful indication of how much you are likely to be able to get and therefore helps to give you an idea of your house-shopping

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budget (and useful to show estate agents that you are not wasting their time!). Some people may be eligible for the Government’s ‘Help to Buy’ scheme, aimed at getting first-time buyers and key workers onto the property ladder. It’s worth using the ‘Am I eligible?’ checker on the U-Switch website. What types of mortgage are there? There are several different types of mortgage typically available to first-time buyers: Fixed rate Mortgages: This is where your monthly repayments are fixed for an agreed period of time, perhaps 2,3,5 or 10 years. Many people like the stability of a fixed-rate mortgage. At the end of the fixed period, you can usually


choose to either switch to a tracker mortgage or to take out another fixed-rate term. Fixed rate mortgages are the most popular currently available. Tracker mortgages: These follow the Bank of England Base rate of interest, which means your repayments are variable and will go up and down over time. Offset Mortgages: Some lenders will allow you to link your savings and current accounts to your mortgage so that you only pay interest on the difference. You still make a mortgage every month, but your savings act as an ‘overpayment’ which can help to clear your mortgage earlier. Don’t forget that you don’t just need money for the house… Remember it’s not just savings for your deposit that you will require, buying a house will bring additional costs too: Property search (conveyancing search): when you have found

a property you want to make an offer on, it is sensible to have a ‘search’ done to check the condition of the building or for any legal or financial terms attached to the building you might not be aware of. Most lenders will insist at least a basic search is conducted before they will hand over any money. Mortgage arrangement fees: most lenders will charge a fee to set up the mortgage, typically around £1,000, but do check with your lender before you commit. Solicitors fees: you will need to use a solicitor (or licensed conveyancer) to ensure the sale of your home is completed legally. They can also help you conduct a search. Legal fees can cost up to £1,500 (VAT will be extra) depending on the size of the property you are buying. Again, do ask for a quote first. Home and contents insurance: it will be a condition of your mortgage that you take out insurance on your property,

10 top tips to getting a mortgage Save to get a big deposit Avoid surprises by knowing your credit score Pay off unsecured debts and close any unused accounts Avoid any evidence of regular gambling, too many unsecured loans or County Court judgements Avoid properties that Banks may be reluctant to lend on. e.g. flats over commercial shops or houses built by unconventional means.

Ensure you have all relevant documents ready for checking (Passport, Driver’s License, utility bills, three months of bank statements, evidence of employment and salary) Know the type of mortgage you require Ensure you are on the electoral roll Ask both your bank and an Independent mortgage broker for a competitive quote

so that any damage can be repaired. Whether you choose to take insurance on your contents as well is up to you but it’s probably a good idea. Many lenders will offer combined home and contents insurance at a slightly better rate than buying them separately but do check the small print to see that you will have cover for everything you need. Removal costs: if you are moving from one house to another, you may want to pay professional removers to do all the heavy lifting for you (literally!). Many removals companies also offer a professional packing service too. Do shop around but expect to pay up to £900 for removals for an average house and up to £300 for packing. If you are a first-time buyer and don’t have too many belongings or furniture, it may be cheaper to ask your friends and family to help you move and buy them dinner to say thanks! Furniture/white goods: of course, if you are a first-time buyer, you may well need to factor in buying a cooker, a fridge, a sofa and everything else you need to furnish your new home too. *statistics correct as of May 2020

Homes of Hampshire are a small and independent Estate Agent offering a local bespoke service, but also part of a huge network through Keller Williams offering clients the best of both worlds. Founded by husband and wife team, Peter and Jane Johnson, Peter is also a qualified independent mortgage consultant.

Most importantly, make sure you can afford the mortgage payments

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What does it mean to be a disruptor? There is much talk especially on professional networks like LinkedIn about ‘disruptors’ in business. Depending on your viewpoint, disruptors are either fresh-thinking innovators who aren’t afraid to shake-up how things are done, or they are people who simply think ‘the rules’ don’t apply to them. We meet one young man who has been labelled a disruptor to make up our own mind. Brandon Relph is the Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of Studio BE, a media production company that cross boundaries between digital and traditional media and focus on an under 24-year-old audience. TV for young people made by young people, you might say. At just 20 years old, that’s already quite a rule-breaking achievement but there’s more: this is Brandon in his own words. “It’s probably fair to say that Studio BE is my third career – so far. When I was really young, about 11, I wanted to be a cyber spy so I taught myself to code and then stumbled on the game ‘Minecraft’. Now it’s one of the world’s largest games with 150 million people playing it, but back then there were

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only a few thousand of us. Minecraft is a bit like digital Lego and I enjoyed building things within the game and getting to know people online who were playing it too. “By the time I was 13, a client was paying me and a fellow player to build stuff within the game. As the game’s popularity grew, so did we. Over the next few years, we became the largest Minecraft studio in the world, employing a team of 37 people across numerous countries. We were running several Minecraft YouTube channels and streaming at 9pm every night to millions of people across the globe.” “Of course, I was still at school at this point and juggling studies with Minecraft and the business.


People often talk about time-management as a skill but, if you’re passionate about something, you can usually make it work. One of the best things about school was taking part in the Young Enterprise Scheme, I learnt a lot from being part of it. After school, I went on to college and took AS Levels in Maths, Physics and Computer Science – all subjects that were playing to my interests! Finishing my AS Levels lead to some soul searching. My commute to college was 1½ hours each way and I think I realised that staying on to do full A Levels wasn’t necessarily going to be the right thing for me, so I decided to leave college after just one year. “As you have to stay in full-time education until you are 18, I looked around for other opportunities and I applied to the Open University to do a business degree. Without the usual entry requirements, there was as an assessment process I had to go through to make sure the course was right for me. The OU looked at my wider CV and experience and offered me the place. At about that point, I also sold my share in the Minecraft Studio and started working as a consultant, advising companies how to engage with young people, so the Open University was great because I wasn’t tied down to a geographic campus. “Being a consultant was interesting! I got to travel and meet some interesting people, and I was asked to do a lot of speaking, including a TEDx talk. However, it didn’t offer the same excitement for me as running a company had done, so I started thinking about setting up a new business. “By chance, I happened to meet Tony Dillion, a former BBC executive, at a careers event. We got talking about how to engage with young people, but how hard it is to break into TV production, and the idea for Studio BE started to take shape. Tony introduced me to Lizzie Hodgson, an experienced publishing industry professional, and with Tony’s encouragement, we decided to set up Studio BE. The business now employs young people to make the kinds of programmes that they want to watch. “The media industry is really different to anything I’ve experienced before, a very different mindset. Lots of people who work in TV are freelancers, going from job to job; as well as knowing your own professional skills, you also have to effectively run your own business, manage your finances and be on top of interview skills. This can make it a real challenge for things like training and consistency, especially during a pandemic, but it’s something we hope to challenge as our own business grows. “I am particularly interested in how gaming is being used widely in film and TV now; programmes like ‘The Mandalorian’ are filmed live in front of screens powered by game technology, and this

is on the increase. ‘Virtual production’ is a really exciting opportunity for young people and those gaming skills are in demand. The traditional job ad’ which says “We need 3 years’ experience” has been blown out of the water as this programming language hasn’t even existed that long! Jobs that will exist in five years haven’t been invented yet; who would have thought even three years ago that you could have a career in building virtual environments for filming? We’re looking at how we can build apprenticeships into our business in order to encourage more young people into this industry. “I do want to add that I am a big believer in formal education, but that it’s got to be the right education for you. My Granddad was a big supporter of my business but also believed in a good education and losing him last year did make me reflect on my educational experiences so far. Some of my business advisors suggested I consider doing an MBA (Master of Business Administration). I am now with City of London Business School and really enjoying it. It’s very collaborative and, even though it’s online, we have regular sessions and a fantastic learning experience. I’ve been really impressed with the resources that universities can offer in terms of enterprise support, too, so I know this will benefit my business as well as me. “What would be my advice to others? Do what you enjoy and figure out a job from that! I get to use my passion for tech, creativity and working with young people. I do think a lot is down to luck and the right opportunity coming at the right time, but you have to be able to spot those opportunities in order to take advantage of them. “I’d also say it’s about making good use of your time, too, and I don’t just mean about balancing work or school and life. It’s not just about hard work but about standing out so find ways to show how you are different. For example, I volunteer for charities (like Young Enterprise, young-enterprise.org.uk, and ThinkNation, thinknation.co ) and always find time for them as this balance is so important; they stop you getting burnt out by one thing and puts you in front of lots of other people and opportunities.” Find out more about Brandon’s remarkable career on his website, brandonrelph.com, or visit the Studio BE website, studiobe.co.uk

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