James Heappey Weekly Column

Over the last two weeks thousands of students across the Wells Constituency have been receiving their A-Level, B-Tech and GCSE results. It appears that our schools continue to provide our children with a fantastic education with high pass rates and top grades being won by a significant proportion of local young people. Some of our schools have been doing this for years but that doesn't diminish the achievement - these results don't happen by accident. Other local schools have had a challenging few years and it is particularly pleasing to see the hard work of the staff and pupils in those schools being rewarded.

Those who have received their exam results in the last few weeks willl now be making their decisions on what to do next: study for A-Levels; pursue vocational or technical qualifications; apply for an apprenticeship; or head to university. These are big decisions but one of the great things about the way our qualification landscape has changed in the last few years is that those tracks are no longer as divergent as they once were.

Not too long ago studying for A-Levels and going to university was essential for achieving the best employment. That route continues to have great value and I'd recommend it heartily, but I also know from the businesses I see every week and the many young people studying at our local colleges or in apprenticeships that there is great value in these other routes too. Many local employers offer apprenticeships that extend all the way through to degree lelvel. Our colleges offer technical and vocational qualifications that are highly prized in the local ecnomy and can turbo charge careers.

So if you're mkaing the big decision on what to do next make a point of exploring all the options and don't be scared to change the plan. There are many routes to success, and we are truly fortunate to have them all available right here in Mid Somerset.