Find the right path for you
FOR SCHOOL LEAVERS
• Armed Forces
Christmas Microsopic art
on a budget
Ideas to find the Dr Willard Wigan OBE
of a lifetime
Traditionally, there’s only been one route when school comes to an end.
University. Degree. Career. But things have changed.
at school or college
Get a Head Start on
our school and college
No matter which path you choose, there are no limits
as to how far you can go and how much you can achieve.
Go to uni and
give your career
a Flying Start
Our school leaver programme, just like our graduate programme, To find out more and apply, go to:
offers structured career development as well as learning on-the-job, pwc.co.uk/schools
and study towards real business qualifications. And on one of our
Flying Start degree programmes, you’ll get the opportunity to go to PwCCareersUK
uni and start your career with us at the same time.
So whichever path leads you to us, and we have a few, we’ll take you
career further. Join PwC. We’ll help you realise your potential. pwc_uk_careers
© 2019 PricewaterhouseCoopers LLP. All rights reserved.
Graham Hasting-Evans, M.Sc, C.Eng, MICE, FIC-CMC
Group Managing Director, NOCN
The UK construction industry is one of the best sectors you can work in. It expects you
to work hard and be flexible; in return it pays very well. You can have a very good
standard of living and a great life.
I started in the industry, as a kid of 17 from a council estate in South Wales. Two years later I
was working in Denmark on “Element Konstruktion” of a new town outside Copenhagen. By
the time I was 25 I had a degree, was a chartered civil engineering and had worked for just
over two years in Libya. There then followed a period of working in UK, Southern Africa and
Thailand. In the 2000’s I had the honour of working on the construction of the Olympic Park
for London 2012.
And there are many thousands of others like me, such as the bricklaying apprentice who
won Gold at the WorldSkills competition and is now in his late 20s a regional manager for a
major house builder.
Not everyone wants to travel the world like I did. You can have a great career in the UK
working on projects that make a real difference to peoples’ lives.
The industry constructs and maintains all the buildings and infrastructure we take for granted
– houses, factories, offices, power stations, reservoirs, water supply, sanitation, ports, roads,
railways and airports as well as lots more.
Within the industry you will find opportunities to upskill and move into supervision, design and
management. The world is your oyster!
And you do not need to be a young person to get in. The sector is very open to older workers
who want to move into construction. With Bridgwater & Taunton College, we at NOCN, have
had great success at bringing in the long term unemployed into civil engineering trades such
as steel-fixing to support the new build of Hinkley Power Nuclear Power Station.
Young people who are not academically minded can get a real skill and with hard work can
rise to be directors of major companies.
For those of you that are academic there are fantastic opportunities in design and research of
new ways of working and materials to help address the challenges of climate change.
Like other industries construction is embracing digital technologies/AI and drones. So if you’re
into ‘tech’ digital engineering may be the job for you.
The opportunities are there if you want them, so give it a go – get into construction.
www.careermap.co.uk Careermag for School Leavers Issue 13 | 3
Fund your future
We have scholarships
and bursaries available
of at least £1,000 to
support your studies.
Whether you’re just about to start
on an IET accredited course at
university, are already enrolled on one,
or even if you are working through
an IET approved apprenticeship,
we have funding available to
support your engineering passion.
Find out which scheme is
right for you and apply
The Institution of Engineering and Technology is registered as a Charity in England and Wales (No. 211014) and Scotland (No. SC038698).
Michael Faraday House, Six Hills Way, Stevenage, Hertfordshire, SG1 2AY, United Kingdom.
Issue 13 November 2019 Welcome to careermag
for school leavers
Publisher Careermap Ltd
Editor Sharon Walpole Christmas will be here soon!
Contributors Not long before the holidays. Have you started your Christmas
Aviation Skills Partnership, PPMA BEST, shopping yet? If you are on a tight budget, our Jodie has found some
Just Masterpieces great ideas for perfect gifts and to inspire you to get creative.
Production Assistant Jodie Hill
But it isn’t time to take a break just yet. If you are thinking about careers
Design Richard Berry for your future, we have four great Sector Spotlights to help you find out
www.studiobellytimber.co.uk more about a range of interesting sectors: construction, manufacturing,
aerospace and the armed forces. You may be surprised at the range of
Contact opportunities available and the pathways to get to that perfect career.
www.careermap.co.uk We are delighted to have had support and insight from industry experts:
CITB, Aviation Skills Partnership and PPMA BEST. They have shared
@CareerMapNews their expertise to ensure we have provided the most up-to-date
@careermap.uk information on the skills, careers and qualifications in their sectors.
career_map We have been stunned by just how diverse the jobs are!
And there is a special treat in this issue, an exclusive interview with Dr
About careermag Willard Wigan MBE, an artist on a microscopic level. His sculptures are so
tiny, they literally fit on the head of a pin! Having dyslexia and autism, he
Careermag is designed to provide quality shares his experience of growing up facing challenges to finding a special
information about careers and qualifications. place on the world stage of art. Truly inspirational and incredibly creative.
Careers are not a linear path and you cannot
know what you don’t know. We aim to inspire We had fun putting this together and hope you enjoy it!
and inform about all sorts of careers and The Team
opportunities, now and in the future. We look
at all the pathways you can take, be that
vocational, academic and/or professional. 07 Most frequently asked 41 Sector Spotlight -
questions by students Aviation
Look out for our Special Editions and
Careermag for Parents! 09 Sector Spotlight - 47 Meet Jess, engineering
Construction degree apprentice
We welcome your input! Please get in touch if you
have any questions or something to contribute. 18 The Great STEM Shortage 49 University challenge - UCAS
Contact the Editor at [email protected]
21 Sector Spotlight - 50 How to write a great UCAS
Subscribe Manufacturing Personal Statement
If you would like to receive regular editions of 29 Making it BIG by 52 Top Tips for landing your
Careermag direct to your inbox, go to making it small - dream career
www.careermap.co.uk/careermag Making Microscopic Art
56 Interviewing for an
Careermag is published by Careermap Ltd ©2019 31 WorldSkills UK Live Apprenticeship
All material is copyrighted both written and illustrated. Reproduction in part or whole is strictly 33 Sector Spotlight - 58 Christmas gifts on a student
forbidden without the written permission of the publisher. All images and information is collated HM Armed Forces budget - Top 10 Festive Fivers
from extensive research and along with advertisements is published in good faith. Although the
author and publisher have made every effort to ensure that the information in this publication
was correct at press time, the author and publisher do not assume and hereby disclaim
any liability to any party for any loss, damage, or disruption caused by errors or omissions,
whether such errors or omissions result from negligence, accident, or any other cause.
Careermag for School Leavers Issue 13 | 5
My Apprenticeship Journey
Samiul Choudhury -
Life after the scheme
Sam started the level 3 engineering apprenticeship
scheme in 2015 and is now a Senior Technical Oﬃcer
based in London. We found out more about his
experience as an apprentice with Network Rail
Why did you choose an apprenticeship with What was a particularly positive experience
Network Rail? during your apprenticeship training?
Working on track "After completing my A-levels I was in two "A positive experience would be that of
minds about whether or not to go to meeting new people and making friends
Working as part of a track team means university or straight in to working but that you know you'll be in contact with for a
ensuring that the track system is operating decided to explore apprenticeship long time. I also really enjoyed learning new
to its optimum so that trains can run and opportunities. I wanted an apprenticeship skills and gaining conﬁdence".
Britain can keep on moving. with a well-established engineering
employer". Did you have any negative experiences?
Track assets include all rails, sleepers and
ballast that support the trains together with What made you apply? "I wouldn't say that there were any negative
their associated drainage structures. experiences. It does take time to adjust to
"I explored the career paths you can pursue not being around your family whilst training
Working on track often involves making on the scheme along with proﬁles of at Westwood though".
judgements based on experience and know- previous apprentices - it was a no brainer".
how but new problems and challenges arise
making it essential to work as a team to No looking back
decide on the best and safest solutions.
Can you tell us more about your journey I feel that the Engineering Apprenticeship
Track work is an all-weather, around the since completing the scheme? scheme with Network Rail is one of the best
clock job where engineers could be out at apprenticeship programmes available. It
any time. It's the kind of challenge that our "3 years sounds like a long time but when I gives you a great foundation and there is
apprentices enjoy the most. look back, it's clear that the time has ﬂown continuous support along the way to make
by. During the apprenticeship programme sure you get the most from yourself and
there is always something new to learn and secure that role you've been working so hard
you're surrounded by teams and individuals for".
who are willing to support you.
I completed the scheme in June 2018 and
secured a permanent position only 2 months
later. I'm now a Senior Technical Oﬃcer as
part of the track team at the London Bridge
Depot and I'm really enjoying it!
Most frequently asked
questions by students
Will other employers respect the How would I learn?
Most employers allow day release once a week
Whilst studying an apprenticeship, you will gain a wide for college attendance and time to complete
range of practical skills through study and on the job training, coursework. Other employers allow for blocks of
making you an employee that can hit the ground running. study such as one week at college every six weeks
Employers value this and many of them would be keen to help or so. Employers will make your training relevant
you progress onto a higher or degree apprenticeship. and timely to what you are working on within your
role. Some larger employers provide training in-
How much would I get paid? house. If you are doing a degree apprenticeship,
you would enroll at university.
The minimum an apprentice can earn is £3.70 per hour,
this should rise regularly as you progress and get older. What if I don’t like it?
However, many employers pay above the minimum
apprentice wage. Most employers and training providers offer
support – if you are not content speak with your
Will I miss out on a social life? Will I employer or mentor. There should be no issue with
work alongside other young people? switching employers and continuing on the same
apprenticeship. Your training provider will help
This depends on the size of your employer. Some with this.
organisations have many apprentices start at the same
time and they organise socials where you can take part in What level of apprenticeship
fun activities to help get to know everyone. You will also should I take?
meet other apprentices on your course. Smaller businesses
tend to have fewer apprentices, but there will be other Most apprenticeship levels are intermediate or
employees that are a similar age to you. advanced (levels 2-3), which are GCSE or A level
equivalent. After A levels students’ options become
Is it hard work? broader and higher and degree apprenticeship are
becoming more common.
Studying an apprenticeship can be difficult at first as you
learn to balance a full time job and college. Most employers Would I miss academic study?
offer day release to college to give time for apprentices to
attend classes and study. You will have a mentor/coach that It depends what your main motivator is.
will help you prioritise. Apprenticeships are very specific, applying what
you learn at college to your job role. If you enjoy
Would I still live at home? an academic challenge, in depth research or
reading, you may prefer university. However, an
In most cases yes, you often don’t need to move away from apprenticeship is a fantastic way of earning
home as your employer and college should be local to you. whilst you learn and getting a head start on the
As your wages rise you may look to move out. career ladder.
www.careermap.co.uk Careermag for School Leavers Issue 13 | 7
DEC Whether it’s protecting
NOV wildlife, providing clean water,
OCT designing roads, buildings,
SEP bridges or tunnels – our people
AUG improve the world we live in
JUL and you could be part of it.
JUN Become the difference
MAY and leave your mark.
FEB Mott MacDonald
JAN early careers
LinkedIn: Mott MacDonald
YouTube: Mott MacDonald
SECTOR SPOTLIGHT - CONSTRUCTION
Putting it all together
People working in construction shape the world
around us. They’re involved at every stage of
projects great and small, from planning a new bus
shelter to putting the finishing touches to the latest
skyscraper. It’s an industry with lots of opportunities.
Sponsored by Careermag for School Leavers Issue 13 | 9
SECTOR SPOTLIGHT - CONSTRUCTION
Sponsored by Construction is one of the most important sectors in the
UK, and not only because it employs a lot of people.
Without the construction industry we’d have no new
roads, buildings or railways; and there wouldn’t be
anyone looking after the ones we already have either.
10 | Careermag for School Leavers Issue 13 www.careermap.co.uk
SECTOR SPOTLIGHT - CONSTRUCTION
There are a few stereotypes attached to the industry £113 BILLION WAS THE AMOUNT THE
which it’s helpful to boot out of your mind right now: CONSTRUCTION INDUSTRY CONTRIBUTED
TOWARDS THE UK ECONOMY.
• First of all, while there’s always room for improvement in every
sector there are nonetheless a growing number of opportunities 7.2 MILLION CONSTRUCTION JOBS FILLED
for women, with hundreds of thousands already employed in the IN 2018. THAT MARKS THE HIGHEST
industry. EMPLOYMENT RATE IN A DECADE.
• Second, it’s not all high-vis jackets and shouting (although of 23,000 APPRENTICESHIPS WITHIN
course that forms part of site life) – there are management roles, THE CONSTRUCTION AND PLANNING
design and IT jobs and office positions too. INDUSTRY IN 2017/18.
• Third, we’re not talking about an old-fashioned world: 4.8 MILLION JOBS ARE EXPECTED TO
construction workers can use the latest tech and techniques to get OPEN WITHIN THE SPECIALTY TRADE
the job done. CONTRACTORS INDUSTRY BY 2026.
What can I do?
Careers in construction are as varied as the shapes and sizes of
the buildings in our towns and cities. Whatever your talents and
interests, there will be a role in construction to suit you. You might
be working as part of a skilled team laying bricks or putting a new
floor into a nightclub, managing a building site, or even carving
stone gargoyles to repair a cathedral.
Construction can be a hands-on profession and you can learn plenty
of skills on the job. Training is available at all levels, from your
first steps to moving into a senior position. Plus, you’ll be entering
a global industry where your skills could be in demand with
employers all over the world, so you could learn, develop your skills
and travel as well.
You’re not limited to carrying out building work, either. There are
design roles, supervisory positions, and big construction firms
have all the office, technical, finance and IT needs that any other
company has. Or maybe you fancy being your own boss? More
than a third of people working in the construction industry are self-
employed, so you could even end up running your own business.
www.careermap.co.uk Careermag for School Leavers Issue 13 | 11
SECTOR SPOTLIGHT - CONSTRUCTION
71% IS THE NUMBER AT WHICH AI WILL IMPROVE THE
CONSTRUCTION INDUSTRY’S PROFITABILITY BY 2035.
The skills to buildIMNOFREO Apprenticeships include:
• Civil Engineering
People working in the construction industry come from all kinds of • Construction Steel Fixer
backgrounds and will need different skills to do their jobs. Some • Property Maintenance Operative
manual jobs will demand good hand/eye coordination and a • Railway Engineering Design Technician
decent level of physical fitness, for example, you’ll need a good
head for maths to be an engineer, while a manager / supervisor If you’re interested in degree level training, there are Degree
will need to be a good leader and have business knowledge. Apprenticeships such as a BSc in Construction Management.
If you’re interested in a career in construction it’s worth thinking A Levels and Bachelors Degrees
about where your strengths are and what roles might suit you – but
don’t forget that you’ll also develop a lot of the skills you need as Useful A Levels might include:
part of your training. Alternatively, you can switch to construction • Engineering
from a different background and get industry qualifications to bring • Maths
you up to standard. • Business and Finance
• Design and Technology
Already know that a degree is the way you want to break into
Here are just some of jobs available in construction: the sector? Head to UCAS and find out what A Levels (or Scottish
Design and Management – architect, building surveyor, civil Highers / IB modules) you’ll need for the course that interests you.
engineer, facilities manager, landscape architect, project manager,
quantity surveyor, structural engineer, town planner Industry-specific degree programmes in this area include Bachelors
Technicians – architectural technician, buyer, CAD operator, programmes in Construction Management, Project Management
estimator, site engineer and Building and Surveying; you could also consider related
Craft roles – carpenter, joiner, demolition operative, floor layer, programmes like Civil Engineering.
painter and decorator, plant mechanic, plasterer, roofer, scaffolder,
shop fitter, stonemason Getting started
Training You’ll be able to find apprenticeships and jobs in the industry at
careermap.co.uk, or head to the goconstruct.org website to find out
There are plenty of different ways to get the skills you need for the more about construction and the opportunities available.
construction industry, and only a few of them require a hard hat...
Routes into construction include:
Work-based & work-related qualifications • Apprenticeships
• Vocational qualifications / A Levels
Relevant NVQ and BTEC programmes include: • Construction Diplomas
• Construction and the Built Environment • National Diplomas and Certificates
• Construction Site Management • Higher National Certificates (HNCs) and Diplomas (HNDs)
• Construction Operations and Civil Engineering Services • Foundation Degrees (England and Wales only)
• Construction Site Supervision • Bachelors Degrees
Don’t forget: BTECs etc. can also pave the way for a degree. Sources:
There are relevant Apprenticeships at three levels: constructionstatistics/number192018edition
Level Two (Intermediate) – https://www.bls.gov/careeroutlook/2018/article/careers-in-construction.htm
equivalent to GCSEs / Standard Grades https://www.gov.uk/
Level Three (Advanced) –
equivalent to A Levels / Highers You could work in...
Level Four / Five / Six (Higher) –
equivalent to Foundation Degree / Advanced Highers, • Infrastructure – roads and rail
Visit industry site
goconstruct.org to find • Schools
out even more about
life in construction • Industrial building
• Offices and retail
• Repair and maintenance
12 | Careermag for School Leavers Issue 13 www.careermap.co.uk
SECTOR SPOTLIGHT - CONSTRUCTION
Life as a construction
Construction is an incredibly varied industry and
careers reflect that. There’s a lot more to it than
swinging a hammer and drinking tea (although both
of those things can happen): you might be working on
a construction site; taking care of admin in an office;
surveying a new building site; or learning to use the
latest software to design buildings.
Whatever your role or company, you’ll be expected to fit
in and work well with your new colleagues. That means
getting to work on time, being reliable and paying attention
to instructions – particularly on building sites, where safety
is very important. You’ll start at the bottom, but as your skills
improve and you find your feet, you’ll be able to work your
way up: many current managers in the industry started as
apprentices, for instance.
Construction can involve early starts, travel, being outdoors
in all weathers and a lot of hard work. You can also expect
deadlines, delays and all the challenges that come with
working to a range of different building regulations and for
different clients. However, it’s a great industry for gaining
skills and qualifications, and you’ll hopefully be ready to build
a lifelong career on those solid foundations.
www.careermap.co.uk Find apprenticeships and jobs in
construction and the built environment
near you at careermap.co.uk
Careermag for School Leavers Issue 13 | 13
Industry led, funded by the CITB levy
A CAREER LIKE
There’s so much more to the construction industry than
simply working on building sites. While the bricklayers
and the tilers are still vital, there’s a huge range of
exciting and varied roles in construction.
There are so many different options within the construction industry.
Whether you prefer an active job where you’re out and about, or an
office-based role that relies more on planning and paperwork, you’ll surely
find something engaging and exciting in construction. As well as house
building, there’s commercial building – which covers everything from
offices to football stadiums – and infrastructure, which includes roads,
bridges, water, electricity and much more. There’s also off-site manufacture,
which is concerned with components and parts that are built in factories
and then transported to the relevant site.
HOW TO GET INTO THE CONSTRUCTION INDUSTRY
There are many different entry Academic qualifications such as I GET TO
points into the industry. HNDs and NVQs will definitely help CREATE 3D
you find a job, but some first-hand MODELS OF
Apprenticeships: If you’re aged experience might be a good idea THE BUILDINGS
16 or over and live in England, to find out if the reality matches WE ARE
Scotland or Wales, you can apply the expectations. Either way, it’ll PLANNING
for thousands of apprentice be good for your CV and offer an
positions online. You’ll need invaluable opportunity to shadow Daniel Young
to successfully undertake an experienced professionals to find Trainee CAD Technician
interview and an induction, out more about construction.
but this is a brilliant way to get Applying for jobs: If you’re looking
started straight from school. to go straight into the world of
Most employers will support work by going for existing full-time
you if you wish to gain further roles, make sure your CV is up to
qualifications on top of the scratch before you start applying.
vital hands-on experience you’ll Make sure your covering letter is
gain on the job. well-researched; limit it to a single
side of A4, and include all your
Traineeships: If you find academic relevant skills and experience.
work difficult or don’t think you Alternatively, if you need to fill in an
will leave school with good application form, make sure you read
qualifications, a traineeship could it very carefully and ensure the right
be the ideal solution. Ranging from information goes in the right places.
a couple of weeks to six months When you list your employment
in length, a traineeship will help to history, list the most recent job first.
build your skills to prepare you for a If you want to learn more,
job or an apprenticeship. Alongside the GoConstruct website
hands-on experience, you can also (goconstruct.org) has a huge
get additional help with maths and amount more information about
English if you need it. how to pursue a career in the
Work experience: If you think
construction could be right for you
but you want to ‘try before you buy’,
why not try to organise some work
experience alongside your studies?
Let’s meet a couple of people who work in the construction
industry, and find out about them and their roles.
KIM PALFREY learning from those around me to be areas of the business. I also make
a key skill. alterations where necessary.
How did you get into construction? How did you get into the industry?
What does your role involve? I’m 34 years old and have three I joined Stepnell Ltd straight from
I’m a carpenter, but my job involves children so I’ve focused on school after gaining 11 GCSEs. I am
much more than just that. I work raising them in recent years. Before currently studying for my Level 3
on buildings and extensions, I had children I worked in retail, but BTEC Diploma in Construction and
housing, exteriors, interiors, roofs, alongside bringing up my children, the Built Environment, and I hope to
fascia and guttering, and fitting I’ve experimented with upcycling progress to complete my HNC and
kitchens and bathrooms. I love the pallets and creating pieces with ultimately a degree in my chosen
variation in my role and being out wood. I then decided that it would subject area.
and about. be a good idea to go to college, and
now I’m really happy learning and What do you love about your role
What do you like about your job? working as a carpenter. in construction?
I’m a people person and very I get to create 3D models of the
interested in meeting people, Do you have any advice for buildings we are planning. When
especially some of the interesting someone thinking about a I get to issue sheets from the
characters that I come across in my career in construction? drawings I’ve produced, that’s
work. I’m very sociable, and enjoy I’d say that anyone is capable. Don’t a big highlight and a great
being hands-on with my work. doubt yourself; it’s worthwhile in the encouragement for me.
end, and if I can do it while raising
What’s your working day like? three children, then anyone can. What would you say to someone
I’ll meet the team on site, so will who is thinking about a career in
take my tools with me in my car. DANIEL YOUNG construction?
The work I do is mainly on and in There are lots of different
people’s homes. I get on well with TRAINEE CAD TECHNICIAN positions that are available in
people and feel that sometimes, the construction industry, so it’s
as a female, I can be a comforting Tell us about the company you worthwhile to take your time and
presence and better able to interpret work for and a bit more about explore all the aspects and to find
construction information to a your role. what you enjoy and are interested
customer who could be vulnerable. I work for Stepnell Ltd, a building by the most. I’d also say that work
contractor that takes on multiple experience is a really valuable
What skills do you need in roles in the construction process. opportunity to see what a
your job? I am currently a Trainee CAD certain career is like. It gives you
Patience is a major skill, and also Technician – CAD stands for the chance to experience work
the ability to communicate well. Computer Aided Design – and without having to commit long
I have to adapt quickly to situations I create 3D models and 2D drawings periods of time to it, which I think
and pick up new skills and take of buildings and sites for other is essential when you’re trying find
on information at speed. I’ve also your ideal career.
found my willingness to keep on
FACT OR FICTION?
There are many lazy stereotypes around the construction industry, but in the
modern day it’s a versatile, environmentally aware and forward-thinking place
to work. It’s estimated that there are two million people working inconstruction
in the UK – that equates to around 10 per cent of the entire workforce! Here are
some popular myths that we can dispel about the construction industry:
CONSTRUCTION IS JUST CONSTRUCTION OVER
‘JOBS FOR THE BOYS’ APPRENTICESHIPS
ONLY OFFER A LIMITED 320,000
Over 320,000 women work in CAREER POTENTIAL
construction in the UK. Females WOMEN WORK IN
working in construction are Many construction professionals CONSTRUCTION
employed in lots of interesting started their careers as apprentices. IN THE UK
and varied roles. Some 92% of all Apprenticeships can be a route
females in the construction industry into Higher Education or university,
work in professional careers: for and you can study for Higher
example, as architects, civil Apprenticeships or Degree
engineers and quantity surveyors. Apprenticeships. Some companies
may even pay the tuition fees!
I DID WELL IN SCHOOL, Apprenticeships are a great way to
SO CONSTRUCTION IS start in the industry if you want to
NOT FOR ME earn while you learn.
Managing a multi-million-pound Whatever your skills and aspirations,
construction project or business you're sure to find a role within the
requires high levels of skill and ability, construction industry that plays to
so it's a career path that's open your strengths and helps to develop
to people of all levels of academic you on both a professional and a
achievement. There are lots of personal level.
well-paid career opportunities in the
construction industry for people who
are educated to degree level. Many
construction employers sponsor
undergraduates while they are
gaining a degree, and once you have
your degree many employers have a
graduate development programme.
Industry led, funded by the CITB levy
With over 170 different roles, every ambition has a place
Plus it’s the industry with the second-highest average pay,
and with opportunities for apprenticeships or at graduate
level you’re sure to find the path that’s right for you.
Why not head to our career explorer to discover more?
Shortage(and why it’s good news for you)
You may or may not have heard that we What can you do about it?
have a STEM problem. This isn’t about
gardening: it’s about a lack of young All of which means the world wants STEM experts, and it wants
people studying STEM subjects – like maths, them yesterday. Which is where you come in, as there are growing
physics, IT and engineering – and going into numbers of opportunities for great careers for those who pursue
STEM professions. STEM subjects and training.
Why does that matter? Because we kind of need people who are That could be in the form of an apprenticeship or degree
good with coding, computers, digital magic and engineering. apprenticeship, depending on what stage you’re at, for example.
That’s the way the world works now: the UK has one of the
largest digital economies in the world, contributing £100 billion Level 2-4 Apprenticeships are available to school-leavers in areas
to the country every year, for example. So we need new blood like network engineering, software development and cyber security.
with new ideas to keep things fresh and moving forwards. You’ll learn on the job, get top STEM skills and embark on a career
that could well shape the future.
We also need engineers, mathematicians, technicians and more
to meet the challenges facing not just the UK, but the wider world: Degree Apprenticeships have been developed with STEM employers
things like climate change, alternative fuels and cyber security to and higher education institutions. Again, you’ll train on the job but also
name just a few. gain an honours degree in subjects like Digital & Technology Solutions,
IT Management for Business or Software Development, all of which
Plus, there’s space exploration to carry on, new cars to develop, could set you up for jobs in cyber security, data analysis, international
railways and roads to maintain and even faster broadband to sort business or perhaps your own tech startup.
out for when we absolutely must watch all of The Walking Dead in
one terrified, shaking rush. (Could happen.) Alternatively, you could pursue STEM subjects at A Level and go on to
a degree programme that way. However you get there, though, it’s the
end goal that matters: getting the future-ready skills that will help you in
your career, and will help the rest of us in our daily lives thanks to your
innovations. We want those jetpacks soon, please. We were promised
jetpacks. Or at least hoverboards.
STEM stands for Science, Technology, Engineering & Maths
If you want to investigate the opportunities STEM offers, your school or college will be able to advise
you on STEM subjects. There are lots of useful places to go for more info too, including:
stem.org.uk general STEM stuff | thetechpartnership.com lots of info on digital careers
theiet.org Institution of Engineering and Technology
ucas.com for more on Apprenticeships and Degree Apprenticeships
careermap.co.uk to search for STEM vacancies
18 | Careermag for School Leavers Issue 13 www.careermap.co.uk
We’ll make you into a
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You’ll make Morrisons.
Morrisons Degree Schemes offered:
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SECTOR SPOTLIGHT - MANUFACTURING
Meet the makers
Sponsored by Have you ever considered
www.careermap.co.uk how your box of cereal
was packaged, or how
your headache tablets
got into the blister packs?
If you are interested in
engineering, think about all
the goods that you take for
granted each day that are
processed on a huge scale,
and then in bulk to be
delivered to thousands
of retail outlets, business
premises and homes across
the country. The innovative
engineering needed to keep
our supply chain moving is
Careermag for School Leavers Issue 13 | 21
SECTOR SPOTLIGHT - MANUFACTURING
Sponsored by A smarter approach to
processing and packaging
The manufacturing industry crafts and assembles
products from the component parts into the finished
item. It’s an industry that moves fast, adapts and
evolves constantly, and always needs new, skilled
talent, from the factory floor to the boardroom.
22 | Careermag for School Leavers Issue 13 www.careermap.co.uk
SECTOR SPOTLIGHT - MANUFACTURING
A big part of manufacturing is linked with engineering. The very first packaging machine was
Engineering generated £1.23 trillion, which equates to 23% invented by William Rose in Lincolnshire
of the UK’s turnover in 2018. The total headcount of those 130 years ago. The first product
involved in engineering currently stands at 19% of the total mechanically wrapped was tobacco.
workforce in the UK. However, Rose is more famous for the
chocolates that bear his name today.
Manufacturing is a vital part of the UK’s economy and infrastructure.
Manufacturing and engineering are rapidly growing sectors and Historically, sweets and confectionery were
are faced with immense challenges. As such, 205,000 engineers a hand-made luxury available only to
and technicians are required per year just to meet the current kings, queens and wealthy aristocrats. The
demand. This includes 79,000 additional roles. To meet this quota, industrial revolution brought about many
the sector needs to recruit more apprentices and undergraduates. technological advances, lowering prices for
refined sugar and allowing for sweets and
Manufacturing is also concerned with making the things we need confectionery to be produced in factories.
to make other things, so a course is just as likely to teach you how Due to these changes, sweets were no
to make moulds for different parts of the ceramic manufacturing longer a luxury item for the wealthy.
process as it is how to use those moulds – and you’ll know how to
make a new tea mug if yours breaks, so that’s a bonus! This vast sector of engineering continues to
keep the things we love and take for granted
Add to this the advancement in robotics, automation and machine available to us every day.
vision technology, these companies offer complete production
line solutions, which are vital to the mainstream sectors of food,
beverage, pharmaceutical, household products and automotive.
What can I do?
The sector is made up of an eclectic mix of SMEs, as well as larger
blue-chip companies. All offer a wide range of career opportunities
through various industry disciplines. The career paths available ensure
individuals can learn and acquaint themselves through a range of
practical and academic skills. In many cases, it can entail working
with groundbreaking technology and the opportunity to work on new
projects, being innovative at a very early stage in your career.
In every industry there are hands-on roles actually working with
materials and putting it all together; or there are management and
supervisory positions once you have a bit more experience.
Types of jobs
• Mechanical Engineer
• Design Engineer
• Digital Engineering Technician
• Control Technical Support Engineer
www.careermap.co.uk Careermag for School Leavers Issue 13 | 23
SECTOR SPOTLIGHT - MANUFACTURING
Skills Pathways and qualifications
You don’t have to be Albert Einstein to be an engineer. What you There are plenty of different ways to get the skills you need for the
do need, however, to be clear on the path that you want to take, manufacturing industry, and you won’t need to build them from
which aligns with your area of interest and competencies. Are you scratch, but having good GCSE results in Maths and Science is a
a problem-solver, or someone who is diligent with a good eye for good start. If you plan to go to university, then A Levels in Maths
detail and data analysis? Perhaps you’re into more visual aided and science (particularly physics) is important.
design and manufacturing processes – to name just a few. There’s
something for everyone. There are many great opportunities available in engineering within
Processing, Packaging, Robotics, Automation and Machine Vision.
There are many different kinds of work environment in this sector Here are just some of them:
and the jobs themselves vary a lot, so you might need different skills
depending on your role. Some are very specific, so you may be • Mechanical
learning skills that will set you up for a particular trade. • Electrical
Other skills will transfer to multiple roles. Being fit, active and able to • Systems integrators
move heavy equipment safely might be one; or having a sharp eye
for detail could be another. Some types of manufacturing can involve Work-based & work-related qualifications
a lot of repetition, perfect if you are good at concentrating on a single
task and consistent with the quality of the work you do. Meanwhile, in One example is NOCN’s Level 2 NVQ Diploma in
management and supervisory roles you’ll need an understanding of Performing Manufacturing Operations. You can also consider a
the work your team is doing, along with good organisational ability BTEC National in Operations and Maintenance Engineering.
and the communication skills to make you a good leader.
Don’t forget: both NVQs and BTECs can pave the way for a degree.
If your interest is in robotics or vision technology, there are
many companies in the sector that work at the pinnacle of Apprenticeships
technology, pushing the limits to solve complex problems within the
manufacturing industry at large. There are relevant engineering and manufacturing apprenticeships
at three levels:
Level Two (Intermediate) –
equivalent to GCSEs / Standard Grades
Level Three (Advanced) –
equivalent to A Levels / Highers
Level Four / Five (Higher) –
equivalent to Foundation Degree / Advanced Highers
Apprenticeships are available in many sectors, such as aerospace,
electronics, marine and product design. Some examples of
• Plant Engineering Aerospace
• Maintenance Engineer
• Food and Drink Manufacturing
• Engineering Manufacturing
If you’re interested in degree level training, there are Manufacturing
Degree Apprenticeships such as BSc programmes in Manufacturing
or Manufacturing Engineering.
Already know that a degree is the way you want to break into the
sector? Head to UCAS and find out what qualifications you’ll need
for the course that interests you.
Industry-specific degree programmes in this area include Bachelors
programmes in Manufacturing, Manufacturing Engineering and
Mechanical Engineering. Programmes in business and management
might prepare you for senior roles.
If you want to find out more about careers in this sector, events you can attend www.careermap.co.uk
and how you can meet employers, contact the PPMA through its education
charity PPMA BEST at ppmabest.org.uk. PPMA BEST has access to a range of
engineers, on hand to answer any questions you may have.
To find out more about becoming an apprentice, check out MAKE UK’s
Technology Hub at: www.makeuk.org/future-makers/become-an-apprentice
24 | Careermag for School Leavers Issue 13
SECTOR SPOTLIGHT - MANUFACTURING
Jack Woolmer, Third year appentice
Find live apprenticeships and other vacancies Jack Woolmer is a third-year apprentice at METTLER TOLEDO
near you at Careermap.co.uk Safeline and is a valued member of the business. In the last three
years, he has not only developed into a skilled engineer but has
also undergone a tremendous amount of personal development.
He has played key roles in projects that have benefited the
company and the wider manufacturing landscape, and has
aspirations for a long and successful career in engineering.
Jack has worked in all production areas to develop his
knowledge and engineering skills, mainly focusing on
mechanical engineering. Jack’s enthusiasm and his willingness
to learn has led him to being specifically requested by
management to work in certain areas of the company. For
example, he was asked to oversee the flow of production and
distribute workloads throughout the team to cover for a team
leader. Jack relished in this role, maintaining the production
boards and highlighting any shortages and production issues.
Jack’s success in this leadership role has led him to training
the rest of the team for specific fitting jobs. This involves
creating in-depth work instructions and providing training
lessons on new workplace regulations such as ATEX.
Jack’s leadership qualities have quickly developed over the
three years, leading him to become the spokesperson for his
year, both at METTLER TOLEDO and at college. This has had a
big impact on our other apprentices, who have developed their
confidence by following Jack’s attitude and strong work ethic.
Jack currently works in the Material Handling Systems
Assembly (fitting) department and supports the rest of
his team members with training and advice on using the
computer system to create new tasks, scan completed work
and source technical drawings.
When asked what advice he would give to potential
apprentices, Jack says, “Don’t be ‘put off’ by the
misconceptions of apprenticeships. They are a fantastic
opportunity to progress into a rewarding career and I am
forever thankful for the opportunities I have received whilst
working for METTLER TOLEDO Safeline. By the time I finish
my apprenticeship, I will have gained my BTEC Level 3,
HNC, HND, and be studying for a degree in Mechanical
Engineering – as well as having four years’ work experience.
Work hard, be enthusiastic and take opportunities when
they arise and you will reap the benefits of a rewarding
career in engineering!”
www.careermap.co.uk Careermag for School Leavers Issue 13 | 25
CONSIDERING A CAREER
CLICK www.nocn.org.uk CALL 0300 999 1177 CONNECT
NOCN CASE STUDIES
CASE STUDY ONE - NAOMI CASE STUDY TWO - TYLER
18-year-old Naomi, who is studying Bricklaying at Brooklands College, 22-year-old Tyler Pearce felt he was a more practical hands on worker
shares her experience as a student in the construction industry. and decided to book onto a multi trade course to give him a taster of
different trades in the construction industry, following this Tyler decided
Naomi aspired to make a difference in an industry that she felt was to put his hand to bricklaying. During his studies, Tyler learnt how to
male dominated, so she booked a meeting with Brooklands College lay bricks in a number of different styles with feature panels, gathering
to look around the campus and get to know more about the course. evidence and write ups to build his portfolio.
Naomi started her apprenticeship with Lee Marley, a leading provider
in stonework, bricklaying and scaffolding and enrolled onto the NOCN Our NOCN qualification allowed Tyler to gain an understanding on
Level 1 Diploma in Bricklaying. how a variety of techniques are used in the trade work and how each
component contributes to the structure of a building. During and after
Whilst studying at Brooklands College, Naomi is discovering how to his studies, Tyler entered and placed 1st in a number of industry
build in different ways and is able to apply these skills practically in her competitions including the Intercollege competitions, Skill Build, Guild
job role at Lee Marley. She has gained invaluable experience that she of Bricklayers and Construction News Apprentice of the Year 2018.
can utilise throughout her career.
Naomi has recently completed the Level 2 Diploma in Bricklaying and Tyler was one of the first apprentices to be taken on by successful
is now studying the Level 2 NVQ Diploma in Trowel Occupations. construction firm Lee Marley Brickwork. Since starting with Lee Marley,
Tyler has worked on a number of sites building his skillset and
During her apprenticeship, Naomi has been recognised for her work increasing his working speed. He is now a Level 3 NVQ qualified
including a number of industry awards. In 2019 she came 1st at the Bricklayer and often takes lead on projects offering guidance to his
inaugural Bricklaying Forterra Females, the first all-female bricklaying colleagues.
contest and a ground breaking competition that took place as part of
a wider construction skills day at Havering College in Essex. Naomi Tyler’s advice to all budding construction workers would be to “go for
also came 1st place in the 14-18 category of the FIS Skills “Ibuilt this” it and put 100% in, Bricklaying is a skill to be mastered and a skill I
competition in 2018. will never loose, I only gain more knowledge in the trade. The skills I
have learnt will be with me forever and it can be with anyone else who
Naomi’s advice to those considering a career in construction would be is willing to stick at it. What I enjoy most about my job role is the ability
to complete all levels of qualifications through apprenticeships in order to product a piece of work that will be standing for many years and be
to gain hands on experience whilst studying, and take part in as many seen by many people”.
industry competitions as possible.
NOCN MYTH BUSTERS
1 Careers in construction are only for students who don’t do well in school 8
Construction offers a wide range of careers for learners with all types of qualifications. Many construction
companies offer a range of degree apprenticeships such as NVQ Diplomas in Construction Site Management,
Building and Civil Engineering, Contracting Operations Management and many more.
Women don’t belong in construction 8 2
Over 300,000 women work in construction and this number grows by the day. It’s definitely not just for boys!
3 Working in the construction industry is dangerous and bad for your health 8
The construction industry takes health and safety very seriously. Most workers have studied health and safety
and have job cards to prove it. Construction is taking a leading role in wellbeing too.
Construction is all about working in the cold and getting dirty 8 4
There are hundreds of different roles in construction, both site and office based.
You can choose your own path in one of the UK’s biggest industries.
5 Construction is a traditional industry, it doesn’t use new technology 8
Construction uses cutting edge technology including Building Information Modelling (BIM),
Computer Aided Design (CAD) and even nanotechnology.
The construction industry is bad for the environment 8 6
More and more construction careers focus on green technologies and sustainability,
helping to protect our environment during the construction process and beyond.
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and pick the one that suits you best:
Making it BIG Making
by making Microscopic
Having a special educational need
does not mean you can’t have a
great future! Dr Willard Wigan MBE overcame negative
attitudes to become the world’s greatest micro-sculptor!
Who am I? In 2007 the boy who was told he would amount to ‘nothing’ was
honored by HRH Queen Elizabeth II with an MBE for services to art.
I am Willard Wigan, creator of the world smallest handmade Then in 2018 I received an honorary doctorate from the University
sculptures in history. of Warwick in recognition of the significant contributions that I
have made to art and sculpture. I have also achieved two Guinness
As a young boy I found both reading and writing did not come World Records, travelled the globe exhibiting my work, been the
naturally to me. At that time autism and learning difficulties were not subject of TV documentaries and Radio shows and made sculptures
well recognised. I was told by my school teachers that I would amount for many celebrities.
to nothing and would achieve nothing. I was used to demonstrate what Scientists have been unable to explain my dexterity and I have
failure would look like for being unable to read or write. been invited by leading brain surgeons to consider if my skills are
trainable and transferable to surgical procedures.
So from the age of 5, I decided to show the world that nothing did exist Who knows where this all will lead, but of one thing I am certain,
and nothing really does matter. I began to carve and sculpt my own with self-determination and a positive belief in myself, I have
world, one that could not be seen by others for fear of yet more criticism. achieved far more than the nothing I had
been told I would be from a young age.
Upon seeing my work my mother often told me that the smaller I
made things the bigger my name would become. She would often This sculpture about the size of a full stop in a newspaper, balanced upon
tell me that my work wasn’t small enough and that I should try one of Willards own eyelashes, which is balanced upon the sharp point of a
again. This inspired me to make things increasingly smaller. dressmakers pin.
Working with tiny instruments to create teeny tiny art meant I
needed to learn great self-discipline. I had to learn how to control
my movements, slow my breathing and lower my heart rate enough
to be able to work between the pulse beats. I use materials that you
can’t see and paint with eyelash tips and dog hairs. Now I can
make things in beautiful detail often smaller than a full stop in a
newspaper, within the eyes of needles or upon the heads of pins.
“If anyone ever tells you that you are no good or will amount to nothing, do not believe
them. You were born to be amazing not to be nothing. Believe in yourself and always
see the little things, because little things can have a big impact”
www.careermap.co.uk Careermag for School Leavers Issue 13 | 29
A WORLD OF
TUI is more than a brand, it’s who Begin your journey with us in:
we are. Trusted – Unique – Inspiring. • Analytics and Data Science
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be yourself with us and discover a • Finance
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... and more!
Who knows where a career with TUI
could take you – the sky’s the limit.
TUIJobsUK TUI tuijobsuk
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and incredible hands-on skills activities. • The worlds largest Mental Health lesson
in partnership with Million Minds and top
Suitable for students from Year 7 upwards of special guests
all academic abilities, there’s something to
inspire every young person to take the first • Expert information and advice on all routes
steps towards a rewarding career. into jobs, from apprenticeships to university
This year’s theme is ‘Mental Strength’ and • Hundreds of top employers and educators
we’ll be focusing on giving young people offering amazing have-a-go experiences
the skills and tools they need to thrive in the and skill demonstrations
world of work.
• The thrilling WorldSkills UK Competitions
• Dedicated areas for networking and
Get your FREE tickets today at: www.worldskillsuk.org/live
www.careermap.co.uk Careermag for School Leavers Issue 13 | 31
OPEN TO Looking for something out of the
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SECTOR SPOTLIGHT - ARMED FORCES
HM Armed Forces
For Queen and country
Members of the armed forces work all over
the world in a range of roles. Some of them
are fighting, while others are assisting in
peacekeeping or humanitarian operations; or
they might be doing all three depending on
where they’re serving. The army, navy and air
force need people behind the front line, too,
in areas like training, driving, intelligence and
Sponsored by Careermag for School Leavers Issue 13 | 33
SECTOR SPOTLIGHT -ARMED FORCES
Sponsored by Combat can and does form part of what the armed
forces do, but their role is much broader than that.
Front line personnel might be part of search and rescue
teams after an earthquake, or they might assist with
flood defences in UK towns and cities, or they could be
transporting food to regions hit by famine. You can also
join the Ministry of Defence (MoD) as a civilian, with
roles available in engineering, business admin and
34 | Careermag for School Leavers Issue 13 www.careermap.co.uk
SECTOR SPOTLIGHT - ARMED FORCES
What Can I Do? THERE WERE JUST OVER 192,000 MILITARY
PERSONNEL EMPLOYED BY THE UK ARMED
There’s a lot to choose from. You could be in an operational role, FORCES AS OF THE START OF JULY 2018
such as infantry in the Army, marine in the Navy or pilot in the Air
Force, all of which will involve taking part in dangerous combat THE BUDGET FOR THE SERVICES
operations anywhere in the world (as well as peacekeeping and WAS £49 BILLION FOR 2018-19
FROM 2019, WOMEN WILL BE ABLE
Within each branch of the services, there is a range of other TO SERVE AS REGULAR SOLDIERS IN
specialisms. You might be a cook on a submarine, for example, THE BRITISH ARMY’S INFANTRY
learning to prepare food in confined conditions and living under
the sea for weeks at a time with the morale of your crew depending
on how well you feed them. Or you might be a member of an
RAF regiment, responsible for the security of airfields and aircraft
wherever the RAF might be based.
Alternatively, the MoD offers lots of civilian roles, where you’re not
a member of the armed forces but work to support them. Find out
more about MoD roles here.
That’s just the tip of the iceberg. There are further opportunities
in navigation, admin, publicity, weapons specialisms, transport,
construction…even in creative areas such as music, which plays
a big part in ceremonial occasions – another important aspect of
the role of the armed forces in public life. Plus, where did all the
people/horses marching Meghan and Harry to the altar come
from? The armed forces.
Armed Forces Skills
Whatever branch of the services you join you’ll go through basic
training, which is designed to prepare you for life in the forces and to
equip you with the general skills you’ll need. That includes a certain
level of literacy and numeracy as well as communication, ICT, physical
fitness and teamworking skills. You’ll also learn about the structure,
traditions, rules and regulations of the armed forces, which are an
important part of the job as they help maintain order and discipline.
www.careermap.co.uk Careermag for School Leavers Issue 13 | 35
SECTOR SPOTLIGHT - ARMED FORCES
Armed Forces Employment Apprenticeships
There are many roles open to you, but at the start of There are relevant Apprenticeships at four levels:
your career you might be in a job such as:
• airman (RAF) Level Two (Intermediate) –
• sailor (Royal Navy) equivalent to GCSEs/Standard Grades
• combat infantryman (Army) Level Three (Advanced) –
• lab technician (MoD) equivalent to A Levels/Highers
Level Four/Five (Higher) –
After basic training, the skills you develop will very much depend on equivalent to Foundation Degree/Advanced Highers
the role you choose. Engineering or construction roles will demand Level Six/Seven (Degree) -
problem-solving skills and a high degree of really specific technical equivalent to Bachelor’s or master’s degree
knowledge (have you seen how complicated a helicopter is?) to
enable you to do the job, for example, but the training you’ll receive Apprenticeships include:
is amongst the best in the world. • Public services and health
The same is true of roles throughout the services, as you might learn • Telecommunications
to train and work with sniffer dogs or military horses, how to jump • Animal care
out of a plane safely and be ready to fight when you land; how to • I.T.
build bridges, roads and ramps, how to navigate a plane travelling • Logistics
at twice the speed of sound and how to behave in the officers’ mess • Construction
(hint: well). • Business administration
Plus, any skill you can develop in the civilian world, you can • Marines
develop in the armed forces. It’s helpful to think about what interests • Air traffic control
you, what you might enjoy as a career both in and out of the • Cybersecurity
services (you won’t stay in forever) and what your strengths are: it
will all help with your research. A Levels, Highers and Bachelors Degrees
Training If you want to join the forces as an officer, you’ll need A Levels/
Scottish Highers or their equivalents. Most subjects are relevant,
Routes into the armed forces vary depending on your age but might include:
and the level you want to join at. In some cases, you’ll need • Maths
qualifications, but if you don’t have any (or don’t have many), • Physics
joining the forces can be a way to gain them – you can even get • ICT
paid to go through university. The qualifications you need (or that • Languages
you can get) include:
If you’re 14-16 you can also study at the specialist armed forces
• Apprenticeships institution, Welbeck Defence Sixth Form College, to gain your A Levels.
• Vocational qualifications / A Levels
• National Diplomas and Certificates You don’t need a degree to join the services, but they can help you
• Higher National Certificates (HNCs) and Diplomas (HNDs) get one. Join the Defence Technical Undergraduate Scheme (DTUS)
• Foundation Degrees (England and Wales only) after Sixth Form (or equivalent), for example, and you’ll receive a
• Bachelors Degrees £16,000 bursary to go to one of 11 UK unis, where you’ll take part in
adventurous training and leadership education alongside your regular
Work-based & work-related qualifications student life. You’ll have a guaranteed career once you graduate, too.
NVQ and BTEC programmes that you can gain in the services include: Programmes on offer are all technical ones, so you’ll need an
aptitude for Science, Tech, Engineering and Maths (STEM) subjects.
• Public services and health The idea is to provide technically-savvy grads to the Army, Navy
• Engineering and Air Force. Most students join the scheme after studying at
• Telecommunications Welbeck, but you can also sign up at uni – see the various forces
websites below for more info.
Once you’re in the services, you’ll be able to gain more
qualifications: almost all roles give you the option of going on to
further degree or masters level study.
IMNOFREO If you’d like to know more about what the armed forces do and what a career
with them might involve, you can visit each branch’s individual website:
royalnavy.mod.uk | army.mod.uk | raf.mod.uk
The websites will also give you details of your nearest recruitment centre and any
careers events happening near you, so you can go and find out more in person.
36 | Careermag for School Leavers Issue 13 www.careermap.co.uk
SECTOR SPOTLIGHT - ARMED FORCES
www.careermap.co.uk Life in the
In some roles in the armed forces, you will be in high-risk
situations where serious injury or loss of life is possible,
so you need to be aware of this going in. On the other
hand, not all roles involve combat and civilian roles for
the MoD or at sites like GCHQ (the government’s listening
station that monitors global communication for the security
services) could be based in the UK in offices, labs and
UK military bases. And yes, you could be a spy if you’re
deemed to have the right abilities.
Armed forces careers vary a great deal and a lot depends on
what role you go for. You might be deployed on active service
as an infantryman in the Army; help crew a Royal Navy ship
on manoeuvres in the Pacific, or form part of the ground crew
at an RAF base.
Equally, you could be building walls, repairing equipment,
handling admin, manning remote outposts, or taking part in
adventurous training, which is basically going somewhere
exciting and learning to function well as a team there. That
can mean snow, sand or jungle. Whatever stage of your
career you’re at, you’ll receive a salary. That’s right, the
armed forces pay you to learn to ski.
Life in the services is unlike anything else. You’ll learn to rely
on the people you’re serving with, whatever your job and
wherever you are until they come to feel like your family. You’ll
live, train, work, perhaps even fight alongside them, so it’s
a pretty close bond, as you’d expect. Along the way, you’ll
gain confidence, discipline and professional skills that any
employer will value.
Find live apprenticeships and other vacancies
near you at Careermap.co.uk
Careermag for School Leavers Issue 13 | 37
SECTOR SPOTLIGHT - AVIATION
Fly to the Skies!
Sponsored by The aviation sector contributes around £20
www.careermap.co.uk billion to the UK economy every year, currently
supporting over 230,000 jobs. The UK represents
the largest aviation network in Europe and
the third largest in the world and as the need
for worldwide connectivity and passenger
demand increases, this is set to grow rapidly. UK
passenger traffic is projected to soar from 284
million last year to 435 million by 2050.
As the industry grows, it creates increased scope
for career opportunities. For many the perception
of careers within the aviation sector surrounds
pilots and cabin crew, however, there are a wide
variety of careers available to suit people from all
walks of life with various skills and qualifications.
Careermag for School Leavers Issue 13 | 41
SECTOR SPOTLIGHT - AVIATION
Sponsored by You could be working in...
42 | Careermag for School Leavers Issue 13
• Airlines – operations, ground and cabin crew
• Freight companies
• Baggage and cargo handling
• Airport concessions – retail, catering and parking
• Aeroplane manufacturing
SECTOR SPOTLIGHT - AVIATION
What type of jobs are available? To become a commercial pilot, candidates must first achieve an
Airline Transport Pilots License (ATPL) or Multi-Pilot License (MPL).
There are many different career opportunities available for anyone There are generally three entry routes to become a commercial pilot
interested in getting into aviation however, the main 6 career either through private training, armed forces training, or through a
opportunities are: university course which includes pilot training. Candidates must be
over 21 years old and be educated to at least A Level standard.
1. Engineering Maths and physics are key subjects for those wishing to become an
2. Pilot airline pilot.
3. Air Traffic Control
4. Airport Operations Cabin Crew - Many airlines will only recruit Cabin crew from the
5. Cabin Crew age 21, but some do from age 18. Although customer service is an
6. Operations, Planning and Crewing important part of the job, the main role of cabin crew is the safety
of passengers onboard an aircraft. Most airlines require a minimum
The six areas of aviation relate to a wide range of roles within of 5 GCSEs grade C and above (including Maths and English).
airlines, airports, air traffic control (ATC), civilian, military, rotary, Maths and English testing at interview is commonplace.
fixed wing, aerospace manufacturing, engineering and ground
handling. There are also numerous non-aviation specific roles The interview process can be intensive. Some airline interviews
catered for within the sector. will consist of several stages. Once candidates have succeeded at
interview, they must attend and successfully complete a rigorous
The skills to succeed training program which can take anything from two to six weeks
covering a wide range of skills including: safety procedures,
As the airline industry is so large, there is a wide variety of roles security, firefighting, first aid, teamwork and communication and
which can suit many different people with various skillsets and detailed knowledge of aircraft types, as well as customer service
qualifications, however, there are some key attributes which are and people skills.
important in this industry. The ability to work well as part of a team
and under pressure, strong communication skills, flexibility, good Airport - There are also a wide range of roles available both front
timekeeping and problem solving are skills suited to many aviation of house at an airport like ticket desk, customer service and check-
related roles. in. And behind the scenes, jobs include: dispatchers, baggage
handlers and ramp operatives. For airport operations and airport
With such a wide range of positions available, the skills and customer facing roles, there is normally a minimum requirement of
requirements needed will vary from role to role. GCSEs (check as the requirements may change) and candidates
must be over 18. The ability to work well as a team, perform under
Pilot – To become a pilot, it is essential that applicants have a good pressure and in challenging circumstances, such as delays and
standard of health as a detailed medical assessment forms part of flight cancellations are essential. An airport is a busy, fast moving
the initial recruitment process and is regularly retested throughout a working environment requiring a great level of flexibility and strong
career as a pilot. people skills.
www.careermap.co.uk Careermag for School Leavers Issue 13 | 43
SECTOR SPOTLIGHT - AVIATION
The future of Aviation
With rapid expansion, there is an increase in career opportunities.
The industry is growing faster than the availability of skilled people so
this presents an ideal opportunity for more people to choose aviation
careers. Aircraft manufacturer Boeing estimates that there will be a
need for 95,000 new commercial pilots by 2034 in the EU alone!
This illustrates the level of demand for people to join this sector.
Technology is at the forefront of aviation and the sector is constantly
developing new and innovative means to enhance safety, training,
operational performance and communication and great strides are
being taken to enhance fuel efficiency and limit environmental impact.
Pilots now carry electronic flight bags removing the need to carry Relevant A Levels
heavy physical manuals onboard the aircraft. Cabin crew use
electronic point of sale (EPOS) or IPads onboard to calculate Strong core subjects are recommended when looking to forge a
online sales. career in aviation. The following A Levels could help you to achieve
your dream career:
Air traffic control (ATC) uses a variety of automated solutions that
provide controllers with timely information, increased visibility • Maths
and better communication with aircraft. Improved technologies • Physics
assist ATC in ensuring safe flight and help to fulfil the primary • Chemistry
responsibility of preventing collisions between aircraft. • English
Aircraft and airports are continually being modernised and updated
using new and ground-breaking technologies. Maths and physics are essential. If you don’t select these choices,
depending on your degree choice, then you may need to complete
Apprenticeships in Aerospace an additional year of study. This will usually be a Foundation
Degree – before starting the degree course.
Aerospace careers are closely linked to the aviation sector.
Apprenticeships in aerospace include: Going to College
• Aerospace Engineering Some colleges also offer aviation related engineering courses, these
• Aircraft Data Analysis colleges usually have close connections with aviation companies.
• Aircraft Engine Technician The Aviation Academy at Craven College based at Leeds Bradford
• Aircraft Maintenance Engineer Airport offers a range of courses and qualifications to work in the
Aviation apprenticeships offer a practical route allowing you to
work and earn as you learn through a combination of academic Aviation and Aerospace Degrees
study and on the job training. You can opt to obtain intermediate,
advanced or higher apprenticeships in a wide range of roles. There are a range of aviation related degrees available at
universities. Degrees courses include:
The Aviation Skills Partnership (ASP) strives to • Aerospace engineering
continuously improve education and training • Aviation and airport management
opportunities leading to and within the aviation sector, • Aviation and logistics management
ensuring that the right people have the right skills to get
the right job. You could be working towards a BEng (Bachelor’s level degree), three
years of full-time study, or an MEng which involves an integrated
A Charter for Aviation Skills was launched on 3rd additional year of study leading to a Master’s level qualification.
September 2019 to address the growing shortage of
skilled people within aviation and aerospace sectors.
Find out more at www.aviationskillspartnership.com
If you are interested in getting more information, please
contact [email protected]
44 | Careermag for School Leavers Issue 13 www.careermap.co.uk
SECTOR SPOTLIGHT - AVIATION
about the Aviation Sector
Where are the jobs based? Worldwide
What kinds of salary/pay can be expected? The
salary varies depending on the individual’s level
of experience, qualification and the company/
Are there apprenticeships available? In some areas
particularly in engineering.
How competitive is it to enter the sector/find work?
Pursuing a career in aviation is highly competitive,
however the requirement for skilled people within this
sector is increasing. The aviation industry in the UK
is facing strong growth both in a civil and defence
capacity, this creates a clear and defined need to
develop talent for a growing industry.
What should I know about working in the sector?
Long anti-social working hours are the norm in
this sector. Aircrew and airport staff are routinely
required to work early in the morning, late at
night (or through the night), weekends and bank
holidays. Although this causes disruption to social
life, it develops a great sense of comradery within
the industry. Working in aviation represents a
lifestyle rather than a job. Although there are many
challenges, those who work in this sector tend to
share a lifelong passion for aviation.
For those who stay within aviation, there are many
great opportunities for progression both within chosen
roles and across other roles within the sector. Many
people move around within aviation, perhaps working
in an airport, then as cabin crew for an airline and
then become a pilot or move to air traffic control.
www.careermap.co.uk Find live apprenticeships and other vacancies
near you at Careermap.co.uk
Careermag for School Leavers Issue 13 | 45
M&B APPRENTICESHIPLAUNCH A FUN AND EXCITING CAREER WITH
CLICK HERE TO APPLY TODAY
Jess Stone, 23, is an undergraduate engineering apprentice
with Airbus. She lives in Portishead, Bristol with her girlfriend,
Alex. She will be supporting the Government’s Engineering:
Take A Closer look campaign stand at World Skills Live
Birmingham careers event in November.
Tell us about your job? generation of engineers. Encouraging more young people to
consider STEM careers is something I’m really passionate about,
As an apprentice I study for a degree alongside working for Airbus, and so being recognised for this was a big achievement for me!
where I get to complete placements around the company and
experience lots of jobs within engineering. If you were to give advice to someone unsure whether
engineering is for them, what would you say?
When did you first realise that you wanted to be
an engineer? Engineering is such a diverse field that there is definitely something
for everyone! We work with cutting edge technologies that mean
As a child I loved taking things apart and trying to understand how our jobs now are different from what they will be in 10 years.
things worked. I really enjoyed science at school, but my favourite
subject was definitely design technology as I found problem solving Maths, Science, Design and Technology are some of the key
and designing new products really interesting. foundations, so make sure you work hard in those subjects to keep
your future options open!
How did you go about following your dream?
Is engineering a diverse profession?
At school I got involved with as many engineering trips and projects
as possible. I still use some of the things I learnt and speak with the Engineering sometimes gets a bad reputation for not being a
people I met through those trips and projects today. diverse industry but things are definitely changing. The job of an
engineer is essentially to be a problem solver, and the more ideas
Why did you opt for an apprenticeship? we have to solve problems the better. So we need a wide range of
people which means many companies are actively diversifying their
I’ve always been a hands-on learner and I learn best by having a workforce. Airbus has a huge range of people which help to make
go and doing it for myself, which is exactly what my apprenticeship it a really interesting and dynamic place to work.
enables me to do while giving me the academic challenge of university.
My apprenticeship has enabled me to get a degree and four years’ of What’s it like at Airbus?
work experience and at the same time to fast-track my career!
Airbus offers lots of opportunities from playing in sports teams to
What support did you receive? teaching young children how to read. I particularly enjoy working with
school students to help them explore Science, Technology, Engineering
My mum was hugely supportive of my decision to join Airbus as an and Maths, and to show them what a great career engineering is!
apprentice. Getting my degree paid for, gaining experience at a global
company, and getting paid at the same time seemed almost too good to I’m really excited to be attending World Skills Live this year; Airbus
be true, and she could see what an amazing opportunity it was. will be displaying our Bird of Prey which illustrates some of the
exciting opportunities ahead of us in engineering.
My school friends often joke how envious they are of my position.
They are graduating with a huge student debt and having to find What are your career hopes for the future?
their first jobs, while I have had my fees paid for and I’m doing
something I love. As is demonstrated by our Bird of Prey, we’re in a really exciting time
for engineering as a whole. The development and introduction of new
What do you love most about your job? technologies, particularly in the digital field and relating to the way we
work, means we have an opportunity to ‘re-engineer engineering’. I’m
Many things, but the thing I love most is the problem solving. I get a really looking forward to being a part of this change.
huge sense of satisfaction when I come up with a solution to a problem
that I’ve been working on for a while, especially when I remember that Careermag for School Leavers Issue 13 | 47
six million people fly on the planes we work on every day!
What has been your proudest moment?
My proudest moment has been when I was awarded Make UK’s
Outstanding Apprentice of the Year award. A contributing factor
was the work I do with young people to help inspire the next
is for problem solvers
Unpicking puzzles. Finding answers. Making sense of things.
There’s a lot more to accountancy than just numbers. It’s a career that
Ucnanpitcakkinegyopuuzinzlteosp. Freinttdyinmguacnhsawneyrsin. dMuasktirnygyoseuncsaenotfhtinhkinogfs..
There’s a lotAmnodraentoICaAcEcoWunAtpapncreyntthicaensjhuispt insuymoubrewrsa. yIt’isna. career that
can take you into pretty much any industry you can think of.
So if yoAunadreann’tICsuArEeWabAopupt ryeonutricneesxhtipsteispyo- purowbaleymin.solved.
So if you aren’t sure about your next step - problem solved.
More than you’d imagine
More than you’d imagine
Applying for university can seem complex, but break down the process
and it’s a task that is much more straightforward than many imagine.
Deciding to go to university is a big enough decision in itself, but fee is £18 for one course or £24 for multiple courses. For 2020,
the UCAS application process can seemingly pose just as much of the application fee will be £20 for one course or £25 for more than
a dilemma. one course).
Not only do you need to decide on a number of suitable courses There’s plenty of help should you need it, UCAS have a dedicated
and colleges, but there’s a number of important dates and deadlines support team who can be reached weekdays during working
to adhere to, plus the small issue of compiling applications – hours on 0371 468 2568 or by email at ucaprogresssupport@
including personal statements – and then the finale of ‘offers’. ucas.ac.uk. They can also be messaged on Facebook or via twitter
There’s lots to consider and complete. However, you can simplify it
greatly by splitting it out into key areas: Responses
Research Now, you’ll need to wait to hear back from your chosen universities,
which can take some time. They may make you an unconditional
First off, you need to identify what you want to study and where. offer where you are accepted straightway or a conditional offer,
Colleges and universities will have open days and it’s important that where they will offer you a place based on your exam results. If
you attend – it’ll provide an invaluable insight into the facility and you’re not accepted by your five colleges/universities or decline
give you the chance to talk to students and tutors. the offers, you can then use UCAS’s free ‘Extra’ facility to apply for
other courses, one at a time.
You can use the UCAS course finder tool to find the one that is ideal
for you. You’ll be able to choose up to five courses and will also be Once the offers are in, you then need to identify a firm favourite
able to see the entry requirements and the deadline for applications. and decline the others. This will need to be done by a specific date.
If your chosen course offer is conditional, you can have a back-up
Applying course, should you not gain the entry grades for your first choice.
Usually, students will apply during their final year in sixth form or Acceptance
college, with January of the following year being the deadline for
many courses. Applications can be submitted later (you’ll need to You will see in your UCAS profile’s ‘Track’ section whether your
check with the college or university) but those received after the end place is confirmed. If your offer is unconditional, then you’ve been
of June go into ‘clearing’, which matches students to courses that accepted. If it’s conditional, the college or university will update you
haven’t been taken. once your exam results or other qualifying material is in.
To apply through UCAS’s Progress facility, you’ll need to register via If you don’t meet the entry requirements, then you can search for
its website, fill in all your details, qualifications and course details. other courses through ‘Clearing’.
Notably, you’ll have a personal statement to complete, where you’ll
have the opportunity to talk about yourself and why you’ll be a Should you be fortunate enough to exceed the entry requirements
great student. You’ll complete your application with a reference from of your preferred course and have done better than expected, then
a teacher, adviser or professional who knows you academically, there’s also the option to look for an alternative course via UCAS’s
plus the application fee (as an example, for 2019 the application ‘Adjustment’ service.
Looked at on a step-by-step basis then, the university application progress is actually quite straightforward. There’s
plenty to consume and consider, but the key is to be thorough in your application and take your time in compiling
such essentials as your personal statement. Best of all, the process does offer a good level of flexibility, allowing
students the chance to adjust their application as their preferences and circumstances evolve.
For further details on applying to university, visit: UCAS: www.ucas.com
www.careermap.co.uk Careermag for School Leavers Issue 13 | 49
How to write a great
UCAS Personal Statement
When sitting down to write your personal statement you might be feeling completely
overwhelmed. We have put together some simple steps to help. Remember, the admissions teams
at universities read thousands of personal statements each year, so you need to make yours shine!
What is a personal statement? Important tips!
The personal statement is a key part of the UCAS application to Use the UCAS personal statement tool.
university. They will know about your grades and other UCAS points
you have achieved, the personal statement is all about you! This is incredibly useful. It helps you to consider what you need to
include and how you should structure it. BE WARNED - there is a
This is your chance to convey to the admissions team why you’d like character limit to your personal statement. The tool will tell you how
to study a specific course and the skills and experience you hold many characters you have used and when you’re close to exceeding
which will highlight your commitment to your chosen subject. It’s the 4000 character limit.
basically like a CV but for university.
WARNING: This tool doesn’t save your work so you will need to copy,
What do I need to write about? paste and save your work into another document you can save!
To begin with, it’s a good idea to create a list of key points about what Do not mention a university’s name
you’re going to include. You’ll need to show the university why you’re a
suitable applicant and explain the reason for your interest in the subject. You’ll only create one UCAS personal statement that will be viewed
by all of your chosen courses which may be at different universities.
This is not a time for waffle. You want to match what the course
requires, so make sure to read the entry requirements of the university. So avoid mentioning the university by name. If you are applying
for more than one type of course, also avoid mentioning specific
“Be specific from line one” course names.
Include your career goals, identify any relevant skills, experience Don’t copy or buy a personal statement
or awards you have. You may have developed skills through work
experience, Duke of Edinburgh Award, National Citizen Award or Although you might be thinking that buying or copying a personal
Young Enterprise. The admissions team want to know about these! It statement will save you a whole lot of stress, DON’T! Personal
will help you to stand out from the crowd! statements are checked for resemblance and will be flagged if
similar to any other applicants. This could hinder your chances of
Show the reader that you’re passionate about the subject you want being accepted at your chosen university.
to learn through engagement away from the classroom. Perhaps
you’ve gained work experience in the industry? Maybe you’ve been PROOFREAD
to a relevant event? Or you read books related to the subject?
We’re all guilty of relying heavily on spellchecker to flag out spelling
You could also include your hobbies in your personal statement, mistakes but this isn’t always 100% reliable. A personal statement
although this isn’t a must, we highly recommend it as admission without grammar or spelling mistakes is a sure way to make sure you
tutors look for personal statements which are unique. Including your make a strong first impression. So proofread and proofread again.
hobbies can make you stand out - just make sure it’s for the right
reasons and you’re not putting ‘seeing friends, going to the cinemas Read it aloud. You will be surprised that text reads differently than
or long walks’ - try to keep it relevant but interesting. you intended.
Tell them what you have learned and how it has benefited you as a Ask a family member or friend to read through it - what may make
person. Link any aspects to showing how it helped you be prepared sense to you may not to another pair of eyes.
for the course.
Don’t leave it to the last minute
Once you’ve written down all the important information, it’s time to
summarise and create a draft. Make sure to include a summary at the Writing a strong personal statement takes time. It’s not something
end with a conclusion. After you’ve worked hard on your personal you can do in one night! You need to make sure you include all
statement, you really want to do it justice - this is your chance to leave the relevant information you possibly can and even ask others for
a lasting impression. Quickly revisit key points mentioned previously their feedback!
and you could discuss how you’d be a credit to the university.
Need further inspiration or have other questions? Head over to the university section on our blog:
50 | Careermag for School Leavers Issue 13 www.careermap.co.uk