Information for Parents

Parents: What to Expect

FAQs for Parents: What to expect from the STEM educational experience.

Whether you’re a student, or a parent of a student, a new educational venture can feel daunting. We want to help make the process simple. So we’ve brought together the region’s Colleges and Universities, who have collected some impartial resources to help you with your son or daughter’s transition to the course, training or apprenticeship of their choosing.

Frequently Asked Questions for Parents

Vocational Education

Not necessarily! Many of our Colleges offer full-time courses and apprenticeships, which translate into UCAS points, so a learner can specialise in their chosen subject before going to University.

Studying in this way actually offers an advantage, as it allows your son or daughter to focus specifically on their chosen subject, deepening their understanding.

Our partner Colleges provide both vocational and academic courses in a wide range of subjects, so whichever route a learner chooses to go down, we have a course to suit their needs.

This definitely isn’t true! Not only does the vocational route mean your son or daughter is more likely to be work-ready, but it can also lead to very well-paid careers.

Today’s vocational courses span across all kinds of subjects and job roles. So study options are limitless. The majority of the world’s most highly paid roles are in engineering, medicine and IT, which are all sectors a learner can break into through the vocational route. And they are more likely to find work quickly.

In 2018, the Higher Education Funding Council for England (HEFCE) reported that students who had chosen ‘highly vocational’ or ‘fairly vocational’ courses had the best chance of finding a well-paid job, using their news skills, within six months of graduation.

There are many specialist vocational courses available for students who want to learn more about a specific role, but Technical Education isn’t limited to a specific job role.
Not only do vocational courses give the opportunity to study a chosen subject, but also focuses on personal development, entrepreneurship and active citizenship, all skills that can be taken to any number of job roles.


Apprenticeships are for everyone, no matter what grades they have, as it provides on the job training to those from all walks of life.

If your son or daughter is focused on learning whilst they earn, or is hoping to get their foot in the door with an employer, an apprenticeship is a great way to do it. Apprenticeships provide training from entry level through to postgraduate study.

Those on an apprenticeship scheme are guaranteed a stable income through the Government’s minimum wage, though in some cases, employers will pay more.

Apprentices are also paid when they are studying, as well as working and according to the National Apprenticeship Service’s data, can expect to earn £150,000 more over their lifetime than those on level 3 vocational training.

We have some more material on the subject here. Or feel free to get in touch!

Engineering Courses

Not at all. Engineering graduates now earn £5000, or 22%, a year more than other UK graduates. An engineer can earn up to £32,699 a year, whilst a senior engineer can expect £41,800. In contrast, the national average pay in the UK is £27,607.

To find out more, click here.

The technology being built by skilled engineers is the future! The West Midlands region has one of the highest proportions of manufacturing employment in the country (1 in 8 jobs). There are a great deal of opportunities for highly skilled workers in the fields of automation, robotics and artificial intelligence.

The nature of the work engineering graduates can expect means that two days will rarely be the same. And the skills required are far-ranging, with manufacturers seeking out candidates who are able to demonstrate people management skills, leadership skills, technical skills and IT and software skills.