What do Lord Sugar, John D Rockefeller and Ozzy Osbourne all have in common?
They never made it to college.
Along with Simon Cowell and Henry Ford, they either didn’t go the distance at high school or decided to leave education before sixth form.
This lack of academic excellence didn’t prevent them from becoming big successes. So why do so many people pitch lack of success in A Levels and GCSEs as being a sign of abject failure – with no hope of redemption ahead?
College and university can be a great experience not just in learning but also in broadening horizons and helping young people make the transition from child to adult. But while we enjoy the footage of some school leavers shrieking with joy when they open their envelopes we should spare a thought for those for whom results day may be the first real disappointment they have experienced in their young lives.
There is still hope for these young people, even in today’s cluttered employment market. Failing exams does not mean a bleak future. There
is always the option of re-takes and, if you turn your talents to training rather than college, you could soon find yourself ahead of the academic student in the job hunt.
While competency in literacy and maths is a bedrock, bosses are increasingly looking for employees who can hit the ground running and have actual experience. By tackling Rathbone’s Pathways programme in Greater Manchester for example, you can:
- Pass the numeracy, literacy and ICT exams you need to progress on to further training.
- Go on a variety of work placements.
- Learn to search for work properly, do a mock job interview and get together an effective CV and covering letter.
- Draw-up a clear career plan and most importantly;
- Re-build the confidence you may have had shattered at school!
Our famous non-college-goers also used their considerable charisma – something many practical young people have in spades.
To add to our earlier list, we also have luminaries such as Gordon Ramsay and Dame Vivienne Westwood who decided that pursuing a vocational route suited them best. Many canny kids who would like to get ahead in the queue for work and would rather not be saddled with student debt, are choosing apprenticeships whether they passed their qualifications or not.
So whatever your results, the exam envelope should not be the end of hope but rather a new beginning in a country where (thankfully) you always get a second chance. Good grades don’t always guarantee success and you can still forge a bright future. Particularly if you follow the words of one of Ozzy Osbourne’s songs and, “Never Say Die!”