By Sam Massink, The Student Room

The world of education, careers and student pathways is buzzing with activity and developments.  Some would argue action taking place now is long overdue but let’s not ponder on what ‘could have been’ and instead focus on the future and how it should be approached.

The student finance reform, introduction of the Office for Students and an increase in diversity of accessible pathways are all hot topics for discussion. They were addressed by the Prime Minister in her speech on the 19th February, where she announced the wide-ranging review happening for post 18 education is high on the government’s agenda.

In my opinion however, the most crucial starting point should be tackling the ‘outdated attitude’ which favours academic over technical qualifications.

It certainly feels like the cornerstone of this movement has already made an impact with the increase in degree apprenticeships and the apprenticeship levy; and we can expect even more to come with the future introduction of T-Levels. Although there’s still much to be revealed about how the qualification will sit within the current structure of education, it’ll definitely contribute to the shakeup of the industries landscape.


Bringing it back to the student


With National Apprenticeship Week fast approaching, I wanted to shed a light on the important role apprenticeships play for young people and how that’s driven the governments direction for the sector.

At The Student Room, every decision made from Monday morning debriefs through to board meetings is focussed around our student community, which accounts for 75% of all UK students. With access to such a vast audience, we are in the unique position to gauge young people’s perceptions on all factors surrounding education and life around learning.

Our most recent annual Options Report of over 11,000 students revealed how young people make their pathway choices and what influences their decisions. The findings below showcase key results from our research on apprenticeships and pose some interesting questions to consider.

It is crucial that we take all decisions involved in developing student pathways and bring them back to those who matter most. The students. We can argue over the impact of the apprenticeship levy, hold different opinions on how student finance should work, agree to disagree on whether T-Levels should hold the same gravitas as A-Levels but it’s important to remember who the real experts are: those who are currently entrenched within all these changes imposed on them whilst in the most stressful and defining years of their lives.

Let’s take the classroom to the boardroom – not vice versa.