Young people today face huge obstacles when they set off into early adulthood. Gone are the days when you could leave school and sail straight into a job for life. Now, with a ferociously competitive job market, higher fees for further education and cutbacks to school advisory services, some teenagers are expressing bewilderment and anxiety as they try to decide what is best for their future.
Parents are uncertain too. What direction should they steer their child in? What if they support them through a degree and still find they can’t get employment? Horror stories in the media do not help the atmosphere. Is it really all gloom and doom out there? Or are some sectors still safer bets?
Forward-thinking companies are embracing the good old-fashioned notion of apprenticeships and traineeships. On-the-job training for school leavers is a logical and sensible idea. Many so-called NEETS (not in education, employment or training) in the youth market have found satisfying steps on to the career ladder by becoming a registered apprentice. The call to make them “the New Norm” seems to being taken up by businesses and in future this will create a very reasonable option for many youngsters to consider. A small salary is a considerable incentive as well.
Choosing not to go to university is not necessarily the end of educational enhancement. It is perfectly possible to get a degree through flexible or distance courses. Colleges of further education also work in tandem with many employers to provide tiered qualifications combining hands-on experience with college credentials. Higher National Diplomas are highly regarded by many companies that recognize the hard work and commitment that goes into obtaining them. These are good attributes for prospective candidates.
Is there such a thing as a “recession-proof” industry to recommend to a young person starting out on their career? Those that cater to a regular and on-going demand will always be better protected than others. The old saying that two things in life are certain, death and taxes, certainly keeps accountancy in a strong position. Businesses, however small, all have to keep their books and run their payroll – and pay their taxes. The other side of this saying is also true. There will always be a need for funeral directors.
Drowning Our Sorrows
It takes a lot to keep us away from the pub. In fact, economic downturns don’t seem to affect drinking habits. The beer and wine industries and associated hospitality outlets are not likely to suffer. If we drink too much and end up in A&E we will find a host of professionals who will always be in high demand — the nurses, doctors and other medical staff essential in all countries.
Banks and Building Societies
This is also a secure and sensible choice for youngsters, as they can find entry levels at all different levels of experience, including graduate. They can find banking jobs in all major towns and cities. They needn’t necessarily have a head for figures, as contact-centre work is increasingly a part of the banking customer interface.
This is another evergreen, as people will go on having babies and increasingly mothers are being encouraged back into the workplace after childbirth.