Just received your BTEC results? Our National Competitions team explain what options you can take next to help improve your employability skills and make you stand out from the competition.

You’ve just received your BTEC results and you’re probably thinking, now what?

Further qualifications? Apprenticeships? Getting a job? Going to university? Starting a business? These are all really exciting options and worth investigating. It’d be hard though to ignore how the current climate might impact on that decision and the challenges for young people that Covid-19 has created.

We’ve already seen the virus disrupt the education journey of millions of young people and it looks likely that it’s set to create some of the highest levels of youth unemployment the country has ever seen. We’ll also see young people competing for jobs with older people who have been made redundant and have more experience.

But on the positive side businesses have started opening up again and the government has been stimulating the economy and investing in young people.

So wherever you are with your thinking on life after your BTEC results, there are a few things you could do to help improve your employability skills to make you stand out from the competition:

1. Career support: The National Careers Service provides information, advice and guidance to help you make decisions on learning, training and work. They have a range of careers tools and resources to help you make the choice that’s right for you. You can also reach out to your local job centre, as they have access to programmes that can support you, such as traineeships, the ‘Kickstart Jobs’ scheme (which rewards businesses that employ young people), professional work coaches and job listings. 

2. Professional Training: build up your professional self so that when you are looking for work, you’ll have a great CV which shows off the skills and knowledge you’ve gained. Youth Employment UK’s professional training programme offers resources and training to boost your life and work skills.

3. Improve Technical and Employability skills: 100s of students who are studying or completed their BTECs take part every year in the WorldSkills UK skills competitions in areas ranging from Health and Social Care to Game Design. Our competitions provide young people with an opportunity to improve their skills and explore their career options. 86% of those who take part in our competitions report an improvement in their technical and employability skills.

After competing in the WorldSkills UK Forensic Science Competition, Vicky knew that this was the career for her. While studying for her BTEC’s, Vicky decided to take the opportunity to build on her skills. Vicky says that taking part in the WorldSkills UK competition increased her technical skills and boosted her self-confidence. Taking part in the competition helped her explore her career options and decide what she wanted to do after she left college.

She would encourage anybody considered entering WorldSkills UK Competitions to take the plunge:

‘If you’re interested in getting involved, go for it. It’s a great way to find out about the different career routes out there – everybody’s experience is different and equally rewarding!’

4. Volunteer or work experience – to help you gain work skills. This could also include hobbies which help to improve your confidence. Find out more on The Prince’s Trust website.

Everyone will have a different journey to employment but it’s worth starting to think about how to enhance your opportunities. Taking control of your own personal development will help you find a great course, a rewarding apprenticeship or a good quality employer that you’re going to thrive with.

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