Ask most parents why they feel a good education is important and they will probably say to give the best possible chance of future employment, so their offspring can stand on their own two feet financially and lead happy and successful lives. A concern for parents in 2013 is, despite solid career guidance and gaining the best possible degree, so many twenty-somethings remain jobless.

So how can you give your teenager the best possible chance of securing a job in the future? The answer, in my opinion, is to focus on employability skills and nurturing contacts with employers. Whether gained via a vocational degree course such as teaching, medicine or architecture, where on the job training is an integral part of the programme, or studying a non-vocational subject where a work placement or internship is an integral part, building links and contacts with employers is a must.

University is not the only pathway and many employers, even in what have previously been seen as ‘degree’ professions such as law or engineering, are now offering apprenticeship programmes to school leavers, nurturing their own talent for the future. Offering bespoke programmes which not only allows students to gain the academic knowledge they will need, this immerses them in the working environment, acquiring basic skills learned from the bottom up, while earning!

Sept 2013 sees the opening of the exciting new Bucks UTC, giving parents with 14-19 year olds the opportunity to put employability at the top of their priority list. In my view it presents a winning combination of core curriculum subjects, alongside technical workplace training, delivered in tandem with local employers from the world of construction and I.T.