More than half a million young people in the UK received their A-level results today, prompting leading figures to urge them to consider apprenticeships as they think on what to do next.

The headline results were:

  • The number of students receiving grades A* to E fell slightly to 97.6%
  • Similar, slight drops were seen in students receiving A* and A* to A grades, to 8% and 26.4%, respectively
  • Science, technology, engineering, and maths subjects increased in popularity, particularly among young women
  • Chinese overtook German as the third most popular language A-level

Education minister Damian Hinds offered his congratulations to students. He said: “I want to congratulate everyone getting their results today. It is the culmination of a lot of hard work and dedication—from both those receiving their marks and the teachers who’ve been supporting them every step of the way. They should rightly feel proud of their achievements.”

“We’ve worked to improve education for every child—from their early years through to secondary school and beyond. I also want young people to have wider choice, whether that’s going to university, earning through an apprenticeship or in future taking technical qualifications that match the best in the world.”

“Today is a significant milestone in the lives of many young people. No matter what path they choose to take next, we are working to make sure it provides them with a world-class education and a passport to an exciting future.”

Commenting on the 2018 A-level results, Kirstie Donnelly, managing director of educational organisations City & Guilds and ILM, urged young people who received theirs today, as well as those looking at their education and training options, to consider apprenticeships as their next step.

Donnelly said: “Now more than ever, young people have access to an array of different routes into education and employment. While A-Levels or GCSEs may be exactly the right approach for many, these should not be seen as the only way to gain employment or a successful career. If we deter young people from alternatives to academia, it’s not just them that will suffer, but UK businesses too.”

“Our recent research has highlighted that the UK faces a significant shortfall of skilled and talented people, with ongoing uncertainty around Brexit set to exacerbate this. It’s essential that young people understand the full range of options ahead of them, which can pave a way into industries including engineering, construction, hospitality, media or the built environment sector.”

“Parents too, need to be more aware of the current reforms to technical education in the UK, so they can fully understand the expanded role schemes like apprenticeships can play in businesses. These have traditionally long been associated with low wage jobs—but this is simply no longer the case. Technical routes into the workplace can give young people the skills they need to enter some of the UK’s most exciting industries.”

Apprenticeships and skills minister Anne Milton said: “University has often been seen as the only route to a successful career, but apprenticeships can be a great way to give you the skills you need to get the job you want.”

“We are shaking up the education system and working with businesses to provide even more opportunities to get into amazing jobs, and there are now high-quality apprenticeships available in a range of exciting industries including aerospace, fashion, nuclear and teaching—and up to degree level too.”


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