Since its launch in 2012, Getting-in.com has rapidly expanded to become one of the UK’s top online resources for school leavers. At just 26, the website’s founder Stephen Newall is still familiar with the pressures faced by the current generation of school leavers.
Newall decided to create this website in 2012 in order to solve the biggest dilemma every student faces as they get ready to leave school. What now?
Suffering from severe dyslexia, when Newall left school he realised that it was nearly impossible for him to sift through all the information, strewn across hundreds of websites, that he needed in order to make an informed decision about his future.
Mr Newall said, “I struggled to work out if university was for me and if it was, where I would go? I also wondered about the possibility of apprenticeships, work experience and work placements”
As a free to use resource, Getting-in.com has a comprehensive online database of information, including every UK University and course, open days, apprenticeship opportunities, as well offering advice on a range of related topics. This is all neatly packaged on an easy to navigate and engaging website platform perfect for assisting students in making big decisions about their futures.
Attracting around 250,000 visitors each month, Getting-in.com lists opportunities offered by universities and large companies alike. Students looking to go to university can choose to search for information according to their location, course type, predicted UCAS points and more, ensuring they can narrow down their search to receive relevant and up-to-date information, which they can use to make an informed decision. For students looking for apprenticeships, the system is largely the same offering students access to between 10,000 and 15,000 opportunity listings on the site at any time. Furthermore, Getting-in ensures large companies can communicate, answer questions and recruit school leavers like never before, ensuring students maximise their potential and make great decisions about their future careers.
University admissions were at their highest level in 2013 with 496,000 young people starting full-time undergraduate studies. According to the university admissions service, UCAS, 40% of young people now enter university by the age of 19. On the face of it, these figures are impressive. However, we’re also seeing the highest levels of student debt and rising levels of graduate unemployment. A recent study, carried out by the Institute for Fiscal Studies for education charity the Sutton trust, revealed that the average student graduates from university with £44,000 of debt.
It’s clear that university is not the right option for everyone and it’s becoming increasingly evident that the drive for young people to consider apprenticeships will provide huge advantages for both individuals and the wider economy.
At an individual level, apprenticeships offer a valuable alternative to university, where young people can gain the practical skills, on-the-job training and qualifications that they need to succeed in their chosen career. At a population level, increasing the number of apprenticeships will provide a much needed boost for economic growth and will sustain a skilled workforce that can keep pace with the changing demands of industry.
According to the Confederation of British Industry (CBI), the National Audit Office estimates that adult apprenticeships alone offer a return of £18 to the economy from every £1 of public spending. Furthermore, they state that apprentices can boost a company’s productivity by £214 per week, with the potential to generate £3.4bn for the economy by 2020.
Since the publication of an independent review of apprenticeships by Doug Richard in 2012, there has been an apparent shift in the government’s priorities with regards to vocational training. In recent weeks, both Ed Miliband and David Cameron have been keen to champion the reform in vocational education and apprenticeships. At the CBI conference (November 2014) Mr Miliband emphasised his support for apprenticeships, echoing the Prime Minister’s pledge to to create 3 million new apprenticeships by 2020.
There has been a resurgence in the popularity of apprenticeships at a policy level, with politicians and business leaders pledging their support for the revolution in vocational training and apprenticeships. The fruits of this revolution are becoming increasingly clear.
The team at Getting-in.com support this vision to increase the participation of young people in apprenticeships as an alternative to university. However, they believe passionately that there is no gold standard when it comes to either going to university, or doing an apprenticeship.
Mr Newall said, “Whether students choose to go to university, or to take on an apprenticeship, each has its advantages and individuals are likely to be better suited to one than the other. We want to provide a resource that offers the current generation of school leavers a well-informed and unbiased platform to find the option that suits them best. Whilst many schools and colleges are very well equipped to inform and aid their students into higher education, they often lack the information and expertise to advise on the alternatives.”
Getting-in.com aims to work with schools, universities and apprenticeship providers to offer a resource that helps school leavers to find the option that is best for them. The website offers a comprehensive source of information on university courses and apprenticeship opportunities, provides impartial advice and is the largest online resource of its kind. This is surely an invaluable tool for our nation’s school leavers.