Get the Career You Want with the Skills Employers Need

In 2018 Pearson partnered with the CBI* to ask representatives of over 28,000 UK businesses what skills they needed to thrive. 

For young people ambitious for a fulfilling career, there was optimistic news: 79% planned to recruit for more roles needing higher skill levels;  85% indicated they would increase investment in workforce training. 

The research painted a positive picture – but with a warning note: 66% of businesses feared there wouldn’t be enough skilled candidates to fill those vacancies.

We’ve talked to successful young professionals across the UK about how they got the knowledge and skills they need for their chosen career.  They took many different pathways, including Apprenticeships, University and FE College courses. And many combined those routes to suit their own unique ambitions and circumstances.  

But they all had one thing in common: they chose a career-focused qualification offering practical learning in real-life scenarios. 

They chose BTEC.  

So here’s their advice to young people today choosing their options and taking the first  steps into their future careers:

Life Stories

What’s it really like to be an apprentice? We asked Ryan to share his experiences. 

In summer 2018, Ryan Kenny received the 2018 BTEC Apprentice of the Year (16-18) Award 

“I was blown away,” Ryan told us. “I just see myself doing what I love.” This spring we caught up with Ryan to find out where his passion for IT started – and what’s next for his career. 

“I wanted to build software that made a difference” 

“I was 11 when I started falling in love with computer technology. I would build applications and games, continually comparing everyday tasks to see if I could build something that would make it easier, faster and more efficient.” 

“I wanted to build software that made a difference.” 

Aged 15, Ryan knew he wanted to pursue his passion, but didn’t know how – until he took up a work placement at Stanley Black & Decker and designed a succession training and planning system. 

Follow Your Passion 

Creating an IT solution in the real world made Ryan determined to turn his passion into a career. At 16, he started an apprenticeship which included a BTEC Level 3 in Information Technology. 

“Choosing a BTEC apprenticeship completely changed my life. It was the only option for me to develop academic knowledge and real-world experience. BTEC’s practical project work further developed my core skill base.” 

Pushing boundaries to make a difference Today, Ryan travels the world as an IT Manager – and is pursuing a degree in Computing, IT and Business, with an MBA in his sights after that. 

Live Your Dream – Make a Difference

“I am living my dream. I get to meet people from different countries and truly make a difference.” 

As Ryan reflected on his journey from curious youngster to a globe-trotting IT professional in less than 10 years, we wondered what’s left to achieve in the next decade. 

“In 10 years’ time, my goal is to be pushing the boundaries of digital excellence as a Chief Information Officer, leading the charge in terms of digital excellence and innovation.” 

“The skills and knowledge I have gained on my apprenticeship have proven priceless and I can truly say all this would not have been possible without my BTEC.”

If, like Ryan, you think that learning in the real world can transform your passion into a career, find out more at – or see how a BTEC can work for you.

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