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'I did apprenticeship after my A-levels – not uni'

'Best decision I made,' says mortgage advisor, 24

Andy Murrill

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Andy Murrill

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'I did apprenticeship after my A-levels – not uni'

Lauren Jessett, 24, started at FirstXtra Financial Services in Newbury as an apprentice after she completed her A-levels.

Her job was administrative assistant but she was quickly promoted and in 2015 she started her mortgage exams. Within six months was a qualified mortgage advisor.

She said: “When I was 17 I felt immense pressure to apply for university from my school.

"During my last year of A-levels I decided to explore the alternative options and my friend recommended going through West Berkshire Training Consortium on Cheap Street to see about an apprenticeship in finance.

“I thought apprenticeships were only available and aimed towards industries like plumbers, electricians etc. It was the best decision I made.” 

The full-time mortgage advisor said she would love schools to do more work on showing people that university is not the only option. 

She said: “I never thought I would be this successful without university and I have no debt.

"The apprenticeship has enabled me to buy a house, which I probably wouldn’t have done if I went to university, doing a degree with no relevance to my employment.” 

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Article comments

  • PhilW

    17/08/2017 - 12:12

    Bought a house, no debt? What do you think a mortgage is?

    Reply

    • PaulS

      17/08/2017 - 14:02

      A mortgage is a loan not a debt!

      Reply

  • Ihavenonickname

    17/08/2017 - 10:10

    The problem is that the 'success' of a school is judged in part by the number of pupils going on to University! The whole system is rotten to the core. One of the lasting legacies of Michael Gove!

    Reply

    • Racegoer

      17/08/2017 - 14:02

      It was Tony Blair that made the aim of 50% of people would go to university - partly as a measure to reduce youth unemployment figures. High quality apprentice schemes, such as Lauren did, engineering courses at polytechnics and sandwich courses mixing study with real jobs offer a better route to the future for many people. At this time of year when universities are trying to fill courses, many of which are of dubious value, many of those with new A levels should consider alternatives which will lead to better jobs and no student debt.

      Reply

    • PhilW

      17/08/2017 - 12:12

      Michael Gove was Secretary of State for Education for less than a year, his effect on our education system is minimal

      Reply

      • EugeneStryker

        17/08/2017 - 16:04

        PhilW, Michael Gove was Secretary of State for Education between 2010 and 2014, wasn't he?. His impact on education is far from minimal. He described Teachers, Teachers' Unions and Local Authorities as 'the blob' and started about destroying their influence on the education system, because why would committed, trained and experienced professionals know how to best run their sector. I think we should expand the idea of 'free schools' to other areas like 'free surgeries': "You're not my usual Doctor!", "No, I am not, nor I am adequately qualified, but I thought I would give it a go anyway because there is some money up for grabs. Happy for me to proceed?" That said, he did introduce the phonics check which was quickly taken up by primary school teachers as a good system of teaching kids to read. This does further undermine your statement that his effect of the education was minimal, sorry.

        Reply

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