Whether you are set on going down the traditional university route, starting an apprenticeship or you’re undecided, it may be worth taking a little time to consider taking a gap year.
If you are unsure about what you want to do with your life don’t worry – you’re not alone! Emily Dujon talks to Moving On about taking a gap year.
Why take a gap year?
The number of people taking gap years has risen steadily since 2011. An obvious cause may be the increase in university fees but it appears that young people and employers alike are seeing the benefits of time well spent learning life skills and building the foundations for a worthwhile career.
Gap years in the UK
It’s a myth that gap years are only worthwhile if you are able to go abroad and many choose not to. According to one survey, 80 per cent of gappers had worked in the UK at some point during their gap year. You can gain work experience in the UK by doing an internship or a traineeship, both of which could result in you gaining some new qualifications as well as improving your CV and giving potential employers another reason to employ you.
Gap years abroad
Gap years abroad introduce you to different cultures, languages and people, which are all brilliant life and CV enhancing experiences. However, be under no illusion—a working gap year is not a holiday and you won’t be spending it chilling out on the beach, sipping a drink and topping up your tan – you will be working hard.
The costs of taking a gap year
A gap year costs around £3,000-£4,000 on average. That’s not cheap so you’ll need to work out a clear plan of action and keep to a strict budget if you’re going to be able to pay for your year out. You may want to find some part time work to boost your income.
The upside of taking a gap year
One student who travelled South America during her gap year gushed that it was a very fulfilling experience which boosted her confidence in her ability to read certain social and professional situations. She came away with a best friend, a newly acquired language and a scuba dive master qualification saying, “I would recommend it. All the hard work and planning beforehand made me appreciate it so much more!”
Taking a gap year can really help with personal growth and gaining new skills, so make it count.