Welcome to the GCSE and A‑Level area of our Skills London hub. Here, we share content that helps with the decisions you’ll be making next, as well as top tips for interviews, the world of work and further education or university.
GCSE and A-Level
Skills London shares information and support ahead of results day
Mind has a wealth of resources available for young people, from information on wellbeing through to understanding a mental health diagnosis. There are also tips on how to boost confidence and self-esteem, as well as on how to support a friend who is struggling with how they are feeling.
The National Careers Service skills assessment is a good place to start in helping students think about the type of work they might want to do in the future. Their assessment takes five-10 mins to complete online.
Skills London shares information and support ahead of results day
If you’re in Year 11 or 13, you’ll be finding out your GCSE and A‑Level results. Opening results can be stressful, but it’s important to remember that your teachers and career advisers can offer advice and support to help with your next steps.
Opening your results can be a challenging time for many teenagers, so it’s easy to feel anxious and stressed. Knowing how the process works is important so you can best prepare for all scenarios.
Speak to a friend, family member or teacher if you feel overwhelmed about results day, don’t suffer in silence.
If you’re waiting for your A Level results, ensure you have access to your university offers and any contact details you may need.
Keep your mobile charged for making any calls or double-checking your emails.
Prepare for all outcomes of your results, including resits, changing course, or deciding to do something different.
If you feel disappointed on results day, don’t worry, there are many options available for you.
Talk to your teacher or careers adviser. They have experience of results day and can talk with you about the different options available and what your next steps can be.
You can always resit your exams to reach the required grade, or you could consider alternative options.
Further Education colleges provide a first-class education if you are still looking to progress.
You may decide to go down the apprenticeship route and begin earning straight away – jobs in every industry, at every size of business, are open to apprenticeships, and they are a great way to learn while you earn. For more information, we recommend visiting Apprenticeships/gov.uk
If you don’t get the results you needed for your first-choice university course, it doesn’t mean your dreams of going to university are over. You can visit Ucas Clearing to see which university courses still have availability that you may be interested in attending.
Many students find that after results day, they need time to decide what they want to do and choose to take a gap year. You can use this time to reflect on where you want your career to go and use it for your personal development, and this could be through building on life skills, trying something new, or volunteering.
Remember that whatever your results, there are always options, advice and support available to you.
We know everyone is different, and no journey is the same, so it’s important not to compare your experience to that of your friends.
If you would like to learn more about the options available to you, hear from professionals about the world of work and discover over up to 35,000 different live jobs, as well as training and apprenticeship opportunities, our Skills London career fair is free to attend at London ExCeL on 24 and 25 November 2023.
Skills London is the UK’s largest jobs and careers event for 14 – 24-year-olds, connecting young people with over 100 potential employers, education and skills providers to give practical advice and information, helping the next generation to discover a future that works for them.
Fresh polling shows that almost two-thirds (63%) of London’s 16 – 18-year-olds are feeling relatively optimistic about their future career prospects compared to just 8% who feel negative and 29% who feel unsure. Over 50016 – 18-year-olds who live in London and are in education took part in the survey, carried out between 15 – 19th June 2023. Healthcare and medicine (15%) are the most popular career path for respondents, followed by finance (14%) and law (13%). In contrast, a far smaller proportion want to pursue a career in a trade (1%), hospitality, professional services such as management consultants, or as an influencer (all 3%).
Obtaining in-person placements were difficult post-pandemic but the survey also shows just over half (57%) of London’s 16 – 18-year-olds have undertaken work experience in the last two years, 30% didn’t do any work experience, and 13% were unsuccessful in obtaining any. Of those who secured work experience, 61% agree it has positively affected their ability to choose a future career path compared to 15% who disagree.
BusinessLDN, which runs Skills London, the UK’s biggest jobs and careers fair, is calling for urgent action to ensure young Londoners are equipped with the skills they need to succeed. This includes creating a one stop shop careers advice service, reforming the apprenticeship levy and encouraging more businesses to offer work experience placements. It comes weeks after it set out a slew of recommendations to tackle skills shortages, address inequality and boost labour market inclusion in London as part of its leadership of The London Local Skills Improvement Plan (LSIP), with the capital’s other leading business groups.
Muniya Barua, Deputy Chief Executive at BusinessLDN, said: “It’s good news that young Londoners are feeling upbeat about their prospects but more needs to be done to ensure the skills system supports their ambitions and to equip them for the jobs of tomorrow. The Government should reform the Apprenticeship Levy to boost take up and devolve more powers and funds to the Mayor so he can create a London-wide careers service to provide high quality advice to jobseekers. Young people clearly value the role of work experience when it comes to helping them make choices about their future careers and we encourage firms to ensure they offer placements and jobs fairs like Skills London to give young Londoners a taste of the workplace and help them develop critical skills.”
The survey also found that more than three-fifths (61%) listed strong communication and writing among the top three skills they felt necessary to achieve their dream jobs. Soft skills (39%), such as good interview skills, and digital skills (37%) were both included in their top three career skills by over a third of those surveyed.
Don’t miss your chance to learn more about future career prospects and meet with over 100 potential employers at Skills London on 24 and 25 November. Book your place.