A-level results 2022: What should my next steps be?

It's A-level results day across the country (File picture)

It's A-level results day across the country, and universities and employers in Hertfordshire are encouraging year 13 leavers to consider all their options (File picture) - Credit: Brian Lawless/PA

Thousands of A-level and BTEC Nationals students throughout the country have collected their results.

For many students, A-level results day today (Thursday, August 18) marks the end of their school careers.

Universities and employers are reminding students that whatever the outcome from their exams and coursework, they can still make choices about what they do with their future.

Dr Mairi Watson, pro-vice chancellor of education and student experience at the University of Hertfordshire, based in Hatfield, urged students to consider Clearing if they are considering starting their career in higher education.

Clearing might be an option for students who want to apply to the University of Hertfordshire on or after A-level results day

Clearing might be an option for students who want to apply to the University of Hertfordshire on or after A-level results day - Credit: University of Hertfordshire

Dr Watson said: "Access to higher education is truly life changing.

"After the first public exams in two years, it is really good news to see an increase in the number of students achieving their first choice of university, and there are of course places available on a wide variety of courses through Clearing today for those that have not.

"In particular, it is pleasing to see a growth in students from disadvantaged backgrounds achieving their firm and insurance choices this morning.

"At the University of Hertfordshire, we have a strong record in terms of access and participation, which is evident in our student population and the proportion of students from underrepresented backgrounds.

"There is a tangible concern in the sector that over the next ten years participation rates amongst students from non-traditional or disadvantaged backgrounds will decrease, not increase.

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"It is important higher education institutions work together to ensure that it is ultimately always a student’s grades which determine their entry to a higher education institution, not their socio-economic background."

She added: "This year’s intake have dealt with lots of challenges and disruption to their education, and will enter a world of work that has changed significantly in two years.

"We are joining our students on this journey and are listening to ensure we provide the support they want and need."

At the Royal Veterinary College, which has a campus at Hawkshead, Hatfield, a spokesperson also said students can apply for some of their courses through Clearing.

This can happen if students were unsuccessful in securing the grades for their first or insurance university choices, or if they performed better than expected.

Year 13 leavers considering a career with animals could consider the Royal Veterinary College (RVC)

Year 13 leavers considering a career with animals could consider the Royal Veterinary College (RVC), which has a campus in Hatfield (File picture) - Credit: Jacob King/PA

An RVC spokesperson said: "We would like to extend our warmest congratulations to all students who have received their results today and wish them every success in their future studies.

"We also look forward to welcoming our new cohort of students, including those from Hertfordshire, to the Royal Veterinary College in September.

"In the cases where students sadly don’t get the results they were expecting, we recommend carefully considering all available options before making a final decision.

"For those students applying to the RVC, particularly for Veterinary Medicine, students may be able to resit exams and reapply next year, or can consider researching alternative courses that may be of interest."

Employers have joined universities in encouraging Year 13 finishers to consider all their options.

Hertfordshire-based businesses offer apprenticeships to help leavers develop their careers alongside industry leaders and experts.

Airbus has run a defence and space centre in Stevenage for more than six decades.

Engineers work on the ExoMars rover at Airbus in Stevenage in 2019

Engineers work on the ExoMars rover at Airbus in Stevenage in 2019. Airbus offers apprenticeships for school leavers and graduates - Credit: Aaron Chown/PA

An Airbus spokesperson said: "We’d like to wish all students the best of luck for this year’s exam results and hope they will look at career opportunities in the booming British space industry.

"Airbus in Stevenage offers apprenticeships for students from 16 years all the way through to graduate schemes.

"The technical apprenticeships on offer provide qualification as Space Engineering Technicians.

"Apprentices split their time between college and working on site – including hands on experience of building satellites."

Retail giant Tesco has its headquarters in Welwyn Garden City.

A spokesperson for the firm said just under 1,000 apprentices are on its retail careers programme.

They said: "At Tesco, everyone is welcome and we have a range of apprenticeship opportunities for school leavers or new joiners to our business, to help them learn new skills and get their careers started.

"Our apprenticeship programmes are offered at different levels - including a Finance Apprenticeship and a Business Management Degree Apprenticeship for school leavers."

Tesco offers a range of retail, business and finance apprenticeships for leavers

Tesco - which has its headquarters in Welwyn Garden City - offers a range of retail, business and finance apprenticeships for leavers (File picture) - Credit: Andrew Milligan/PA

UCAS Clearing: https://www.ucas.com/clearing-launch

University of Hertfordshire Clearing: https://www.herts.ac.uk/clearing

RVC Clearing: https://www.rvc.ac.uk/study/undergraduate/clearing

Gov.uk find an apprenticeship: https://www.gov.uk/apply-apprenticeship

Airbus apprenticeships: Recruitment is due to go live on September 26, a spokesperson confirmed (https://www.airbus.com/)

Tesco apprenticeships: Tesco has a dedicated "programmes" website (https://www.tesco-programmes.com/) with a fresh batch of applications launching in September