News archive

We produce regular newsletters, updates and briefings about what's happening here at Careersoft and in the wider world of CEIAG. The most recent of these can be found in the news section of our website.

Older newsletters, such as the one below, contain interesting stories, however some of the information contained within them may be out of date. Please check any information carefully before making a decision based on it.

Spring 2015

A-levels and the new old way of teaching and assessment

If you wait long enough, everything comes around again. Particularly, it seems, in education. So modular A-levels are being phased out and linear A-levels are back.

students in examsWith modular A-levels, you learn a topic and get examined on it at the end of that module. You can ‘bank’ that mark, or have another go and see if you can improve on it. You add all your best module marks to get your final grade.

With linear courses the exams are summertime only, at the end of the whole course, covering the whole subject specification. AS exams will still be offered, but the marks from them won’t count towards your A-level grade like they do now.

In England, linear exams are mandated for some A-level subjects for the 2017 exam season, and all subjects by 2018. So the September 2015 A-level cohort will be the first to start on the new linear courses.

pile of exams to markImplications for schools and colleges are still being worked out. Some intend to drop AS levels from their offer and concentrate on three A-levels for the full two years. Others will continue to offer the AS, even though AS results won’t count for the final A-level grade.

Fans of the new system say that fewer exams means more time for in-depth teaching and learning. But careers advisers are cautioning that where students no longer have the ‘choose four subjects and drop one’ AS/A2 option, scope for experimenting in subject choices is more limited.

Helping students choose the right A-level courses remains as important as ever. Careersoft’s Higher Ideas helps students make the right A-level and degree choices; it’s their one shot at some of the most important decisions they will make. Contact Careersoft to try Higher Ideas for free.

Self-employment continues to boost UK jobs figures

graph illustrationFigures from the end of last year show that Britain’s employment rate is back to pre-recession levels. 73% of working-age people are now officially in work. That takes the size of the UK workforce to an all-time high of nearly 31 million.

Within those figures is a significant surge in the number of people working for themselves. Over 40% of the UK’s job growth since 2010 is due to self-employment. Some analysts suggest this is a symptom of less secure patterns of employment, with people who can’t find a job being forced into making one. Others claim it as a sign of Britain’s burgeoning entrepreneurial culture.

The truth is a mix of the two, and for those who choose self-employment rather than have it thrust upon them, it can be a satisfying career route. Over 60% of self-employed workers say they would enjoy doing their job even if they didn’t need the money, compared to just 45% of employed workers. Factors cited include greater freedoms, less commuting, and more scope for creativity.

Whether by choice or force of circumstance, self-employment is set to continue as a significant factor in the UK’s employment landscape. For more on how you can help your students get ready for entrepreneurship and self-employment, ask Careersoft for a free trial of businessmaker+

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Last updated 27 May, 2017