Recently, a lot of young people have gotten in touch with us to share their concerns that exam cancellations will ‘negatively impact’ their ‘future options’ but that’s a myth we can bust right there.
Although the current COVID-19 outbreak has led to exam cancellations, the Government has promised to ensure pupils’ opportunities will not be hindered because of it. They are making it a top priority to ensure every pupil receives a grade which reflects their true potential. This is being measured on reflection of their mock exam results, classwork, book work, teachers opinion, non-exam assessments and predicted grades. Each grade will fairly reflect your academic performance and this will be analysed by teacher representations prior to finalising your grade.
Ofqual is working endlessly with examination boards to modulate grade outcomes. Whether you decide to go to university, college or take an apprenticeship – you will have the same prospects as what you would have done should you have sat the exams.
What if I don’t agree with my grade?
If you don’t agree with the grade you are awarded then you can challenge it. This will give you the option to sit the exam when schools, colleges and universities open their doors again. Don’t worry! You always have options.
I’m looking for an apprenticeship, will there be less positions available?
In short, there could be! COVID-19 is having a huge impact on the economy as many workplaces have been forced to shut or work from home. However, it’s important to remember that this won’t be forever. In fact, when companies do reopen, they are going to need apprentices more than ever but temporarily their main priority has to be workers safety.
The economy will need to adapt to life after coronavirus and when employers restart their recruitment campaigns, apprentices will be needed! Employers are still hiring, however, it’s worth bearing in mind that start dates may well need to be pushed back and if interviews do take place, they will all be done online. Read our guide to online video interviews for top tips.
Should I still apply to apprenticeships?
Definitely! If you’re hoping to get onto an apprenticeship then you can still apply. It’s worth remembering that there may be a few less listings available as some employers have frozen their recruitment campaigns but this isn’t always the case.
Make the most of your free time and start thinking about the industry you’d like to forge a career in. Research employers to discover what their culture is like, what their mission is and whether they are a small or large company. Do they match what you’re looking for?
Push forward during these unprecedented times. Find companies that aren’t currently hiring and create a speculative cover letter and CV. After all, this will show you’ve used your initiative and been proactive which employers love. And when things do return to normal, you might just land your dream apprenticeship.
How can I boost my CV?
We’re guessing that you’ve got a lot of free time on your hands right now. Use this time positively, to write a winning CV application. When creating your CV you should tailor it to the job description. Normally, the employer will list the skills they are looking for so you should make sure to include these in your CV.
You should also include:
If you’ve already created your CV but want to give it an extra push to stand out from the crowd then there are plenty of options available to you. You could look for online courses with companies such as Future Learn, Codeacademy, Khan Academy and many more. These are also free to use! You can also register your CV with Careermap.
Just be aware that some of these websites offer a free Pro account for a set period of time but charge afterwards. If you enter your bank account details, remember to check that you don’t need to cancel!
Another option is to set up your own blog, show employers where your interests lie. Whether you’re passionate about technology, business or beauty – highlight your drive and passion on your blog. You never know, this might help you land your dream career and it will certainly help you to stand out from the crowd in a very competitive job market.
You could even volunteer to support the NHS during the COVID-19 outbreak. Whether you make frequent telephone calls to check on people isolating at home or you could be transporting medical equipment and supplies to the NHS – this will be a rewarding opportunity and will look great on your CV!
Having something to focus on also provides a distraction from the current COVID-19 outbreak we face today. It will also help to combat boredom and prevent you from going stir-crazy. If you’ve found yourself with a lot of free time on your hands and you’re unsure what to do with it, then these options can all tackle the indirect impacts of coronavirus.
Although it’s hard not to get wrapped up in the current pandemic, try to avoid any negative thoughts. Things will return to normal and exam cancellations will not hinder your future opportunities.
Use this time wisely to enhance your future career opportunities. Keep focusing on your studies and continue working hard. We will all get through this together. Stay positive, strong and safe!