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Planning to change direction, need advice on apprenticeships and college education

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TSR's new app is coming! Sign up here to try it first >> 17-10-2016
    • Thread Starter

    Oh boy.

    We've all screwed up at times in our life, normally you spot it really quick, but sometimes it's only years down the line that you fully comprehend the magnitude of your screwup. This is one of these times.

    It all started with the decision to do my A-levels instead of going to college, and I've only just realised how stuck I am on my current path now that I'm in my first year of university and hate every second of it, but don't know where to go. I'm a very practical person, and not to blow one's own trumpet, but I am very knowledgeable and passionate about brewing, as well as quite skilled at blacksmithing/fabrication to the level of building machines with no pre-made parts. I'm really looking for a career in brewing or agriculture. But being qualified in nothing other than DT, Computing and Classical Civilisations isn't exactly conducive to that.

    Hindsight is 20/20, but I was far less sure and less aware of the options back when I needed to make them, now I'm in a bit of a rut. My primary aim is applying for brewing jobs with no formal qualification in the area. If you start from the bottom, this quite is possible, but I can only hope it works out. If that doesn't work, I need to be looking at other options, which basically means going back 4 years.

    I've been looking at my local agriculture college, which offers various diplomas and apprenticeships. Having never been primed on this route, I'm in the dark a little about how progression tends to work, especially coming back as a 21 year-old.

    For example, it offers this apprenticehip in brewing, but I'm unsure how this actually works as it seems to require current employment, unlike most apprenticeships I've seen directly with a company. Similarly, I'm aware of the different levels of NVQ and what they mean, but I'd like to know where I can read about how they fit into the industry, and how the education > employment transition tends to go.

    Moved to Careers, where you're more likely to get an answer

    It's a little different, as I'm on an engineering apprenticeship, however most colleges that offer apprenticeships will likely be able to at least give you an idea of some of the employers who use the college. At least then you could approach the companies and ask if they have any jobs open (be aware apprentice pay can be pretty poor)
    I'm fairly similar to you in that I'm an academic but prefer getting my hands dirty. I left university a year in and took a long time out before going back to an apprenticeship at the age of 24.
    Don't be afraid to make the jump. The worst that will happen is you'll regret it, it's not the end of the world.

    I don't see why you couldn't retrain in agriculture like I did now at a college either at BTEC or degree level, there is still funding available either through student finance or a 19+ loan. At the college I was at there were loads of folk who'd were mature students
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