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“Like most of my peers at Marling School 6th Form, I went through the process of applying to university through UCAS.  I received offers from all five universities, but I started to have doubts that the university route was really what I wanted.  I’d applied to do Business Management as I wanted to do a broad-based subject, to keep my career options open, and all the courses I applied for included an industrial placement year.  I’d considered this as essential to gain some work experience rather than three years of pure study as employers often see graduates as not ‘work ready’.  

“As Year 13 progressed I was concerned that I did not want to study for studying’s sake – especially with the costs associated with university now.  I was keen to get into the workplace and for any studying I was doing to relate more directly to a job.  

“My apprenticeship means I can relate what I am studying to the real work environment and I am learning the way organisations work and about the finance world whilst surrounded by experts in the field.  This is also building networking opportunities for my future career and I am developing my ‘soft’ skills such as communication and team working.  

“The apprentices are given a study day each week and I am working towards a professional qualification, which graduates joining the company after university would still also have to do.  I’m earning a competitive salary with employee benefits such as health insurance, reduced gym membership and access to Sharesave schemes and I will not have the financial debt with which graduates leave university.  

“I was concerned that I might miss out on being with other young people by not going to university – but I am one of about 20 apprentices taken on each year so it is good to have other ‘newbie’s and like-minded people to work alongside and to socialise with.  We also work together on charity events and are completing Gold or Silver Duke of Edinburgh awards as part of the apprenticeship scheme.  The application and selection process was not easy but I am really glad I went for it – it is great to be ‘earning and learning’.”

Stephen Farr, Head of 6th form at Marling School, said: “We encourage our 6th formers to explore all options open to them, including apprenticeships and going straight into the world of work.

“We hosted a number of local employers at our recent Futures Day event and we are really lucky that we have such a diverse range of industries in Gloucestershire.

“It is encouraging to hear how former students, such as Matt, are thriving in a work environment whilst also gaining valuable skills and qualifications.”

For more information about Marling School 6th form, see


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Main Office:
01453 762251
6th Form Office:
01453 760156