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Thinking of taking a year out? Lawrence Lockhart

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Presentation on theme: "Thinking of taking a year out? Lawrence Lockhart"— Presentation transcript:

1 Thinking of taking a year out? Lawrence Lockhart Email:

2 What are your concerns about the future? - The recession - Youth unemployment - Graduate unemployment - Tuition fees - The cost of living

3 YOUR OPTIONS Which of these options do you think would be most appropriate for you when you leave school / college? Get a job and start your career Go straight to university Go travelling Get career experience Go volunteering

4 Turn to your worksheet OPTION 1: GET A JOB AND START YOUR CAREER Give one reason why you think this might be a GOOD idea FOR YOU. Give one reason why you think this might NOT be a good idea for you.

5 OPTION 1: GET A JOB AND START YOUR CAREER WHY? I hate studying? I want time for myself? I want money to spend? I have skills that can earn me a living? HOW? Go to job centre, employment agencies Access social media and websites Look in local papers Talk to schools careers service Apply for an apprenticeship PROBLEMS? Are there enough well-paid jobs locally? Do I need training for a career? Do all apprenticeships provide good quality training?

6 Turn back to the worksheet OPTION 2: GO STRAIGHT TO UNIVERSITY Give one reason for thinking this might be a GOOD idea for you. Give one reason for thinking that this might NOT be a good idea for you.

7 OPTION 2: GO STRAIGHT TO UNIVERSITY WHY? Better career prospects Higher lifetime income Lifelong intellectual and cultural enrichment Fun and friends HOW? Apply at school / college through UCAS or after Results Day PROBLEMS? Do I know enough to choose the right course for me? What about tuition fees, living costs, graduate debt? Are there enough jobs for graduates?

8 Turn back to the worksheet OPTION 3: GO TRAVELLING Give one reason for thinking this might be a GOOD idea for you. Give one reason for thinking this might NOT be a good idea for you.

9 Option 3: INDEPENDENT TRAVEL WHY? I need a break! See the world, new experiences and skills Fun and friends HOW? Use student travel specialists: STA Travel Get safety & health advice PROBLEMS? Will it improve my career prospects? Will I want to go to university afterwards?

10 Turn back to your worksheet OPTION 4: GET CAREER EXPERIENCE Give one reason for thinking this might be a GOOD idea for you. Give one reason for thinking this might NOT be a good idea for you.

11 OPTION 4: CAREER EXPERIENCE WHY? Improve your CV and employment prospects Rethink your HE & career plans It may be a requirement for your training or degree course HOW? Choose between UK or overseas careers experience UK: YINI, Accountancy, PGL, holiday companies, care sector UK: Day release degrees with part-time study Overseas: BUNAC, Oyster, Gap Canada, Work NZ, etc PROBLEMS? If you work overseas, there will be costs

12 Go back to your worksheet OPTION 5: VOLUNTEER Give one reason for thinking this might be a GOOD idea for you. Give one reason for thinking this might NOT be a good idea for you.

13 OPTION 5: VOLUNTEER OVERSEAS WHY? Experience a different world Give something back, make a difference Time and space to rethink your future Improve your CV and employment prospects There are opportunities for travel afterwards HOW? Raise the money (a valuable experience) Research reputable, ethical organisations Minimum 2 - 3 months project work Independent travel afterwards PROBLEMS? Costs: £2000 to £5000 Will you want to go to university afterwards?

14 PLAN FOR AN OVERSEAS EXPERIENCE (A Year Out lasts 15 months) Raise the money yourself Its a valuable experience. A project in a working situation 2 to 3 months minimum if you want to make a real contribution. Go travelling Travel and accommodation in the region where you have been working wont cost much.

15 MINI GAP EXPERIENCES Most gap organisations offer short projects HOW LONG? 2 weeks to 3 months WHEN? Summer after A levels / Level 3 courses During university summer vacations Give the project as long as you can spare.

16 MAXI GAP EXPERIENCES Organisations requiring 11 months commitment Project Trust The Year in Industry Dont be put off by the length of these programmes. They are very highly regarded by universities and employers.

17 WHAT CAN YOU DO IF YOU DECIDE NOT TO GO STRAIGHT TO UNIVERSITY? The main options Teaching and community work worldwide Expeditions and conservation work worldwide Caring for the disadvantaged (UK or overseas) Paid UK placements in engineering, finance and management Working with children: au pair, summer camps, activity centres Skills development: IT, office, business, languages Sports and outdoor pursuits: play, be coached, coach children Work & travel programmes: N America, OZ & NZ, China, Russia, etc Career experience: medical, law, journalism, tourism (UK or overseas)

18 Some other possibilities Archaeological digs Art History courses in Italy Cookery courses Drama at Stratford-on-Avon Ski & watersports instructor courses and many more

19 What do past volunteers say? Every important decision I have made since has been influenced by my gap year experiences (Minty Gilders, ex Africa & Asia Venture) If you look at the buzz words for any application form or job interview, you can relate them to a gap year experience: teamwork, leadership, initiative, independence, creativity, resourcefulness, motivation. (Amy Daw / Green, ex Lattitude) My gap year gave me the time to pick up new skills and qualifications …..and helped to guide my career choices. The biggest impact my gap year had on me was increased confidence and maturity. (Rupert Laing, ex Africa & Asia Venture) My decision to do a year away is probably the best choice I have made, and I am reaping the benefits to this day. (Chris Hitch, ex Project Trust) It has been a great way to experience the culture of a country close up, whilst developing a lot of skills important in my future career and personal life. (Alex Clarke, ex Raleigh) The school was absolutely fantastic and the teachers were lovely. They obviously needed our help and really appreciated everything we did. (Ellen Fitten, Oyster Worldwide) I gained knowledge useful for my degree, got sponsored through uni, and I have a year of work experience on my CV. (Joseph Harris, Year in Industry)

20 SOME PHOTOGRAPHS from an environmental research project in the Selous Game Reserve, Tanzania 1. Home, sweet home 2. Relaxation after work 3. The camp bar 4. Collecting water 5. The camp cookhouse 6. Passing wildlife 7. The camp long drop 8. Riverside village









29 WHY TAKE A GAP YEAR? A break from study and examinations Independence & confidence and a sense of achievement A chance to rethink your future You will get more out of university Learn new skills Improve your employment prospects Getting things into perspective Fun and new friends

30 FINANCING YOUR GAP YEAR PROJECT : SOME OPTIONS WHICH CAN PAY FOR THEMSELVES Industrial / commercial placements Social / caring work Working with children Work and Travel programmes THE HIGH COST OPTIONS Teaching / community work overseas Expeditions / conservation work Outdoor pursuits and sport Skills courses OUR ADVICE: If you DONT join a project you may spend just as much money doing things a different way.

31 HOW MUCH? For most overseas volunteering projects: £2000 to £5000 (depending on length of project, air fares, in-country cost of living) Extended work experience overseas: similar to volunteering For travel after the project: a few hundred £s (very cheap accommodation and local transport, unless you go globe trotting) Childrens camps abroad: air ticket and local travel costs (accommodation, food and pocket money usually provided at camp) Ski, watersports, other sports courses: expensive!

32 HOW TO RAISE THE MONEY Paid work for part of the year Work as you travel Fundraising Letters to businesses and charities Bursaries DONT ASK YOUR PARENTS TO PAY! Fundraising will be part of your experience, and evidence of your skills.

33 How to choose your gap year organisation Decide what you want to do. Look at several organisations that match your interests. (Sources: our database; Year Out Group;; websites) Get contact details of past participants. Talk to them. (Was there a selection process? Were they met on arrival? Was there in-country support? What work did they do? What accommodation was provided? Did they feel safe? Was it value for money?) E-mail us if you wish to. (Lawrence Lockhart,

34 HOW WE CAN HELP Gap Year Fairs is a voluntary organisation which since 1998 has provided free impartial information and advice for post-16 students on taking a gap year or shorter periods of overseas volunteering and career experience. We monitor the gap year market. We recommend and invite to our Fairs only those organisations which offer a genuine educational experience through ethical, value- for-money projects. Email us at

35 FINALLY FINALLY Get out of your comfort zone and GO FOR IT!

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