Forget the Strikes and Help Pupils Get into a Decent Job

Article excerpt

I WORK six days a week for one of the top supermarket chains, getting up at 4am to ensure customers have their newspapers. But, along with my colleagues, I'm regularly shouted at by the public, and people make remarks like: 'Oh, so you didn't get into university?' In fact, I didn't apply. I knew it wasn't the right option for me, though I wasn't sure which path to take instead. As soon as I made it known that I wasn't taking the uni route to flatter the statistics, my school basically washed its hands of me. I was cast adrift, deprived of the guidance I so sorely needed.

Last week's teachers' strike angered me: instead of throwing their toys out of the pram for the sake of their gold-plated pensions they should reflect on why they chose a career in education. In these times when university is no longer such an accessible option, it's now more important than ever that teachers make known the many different vocational routes available: apprenticeships, diplomas and a huge array of different qualifications.

In desperation after leaving school, I sent my CV to local businesses and the town's supermarket was the only one to reply. Deflated and embarrassed, I was at first apprehensive about such employment but fast-forward three years and, as a result of my own initiative and determination, I've just been accepted on a diploma course for journalism. …