If the gap year is compulsory then the university should help their students who are struggling to find placements. This often includes the interview training that Pixy suggests and 121 help until the student finds something suitable.
Frankly students have to be very driven to find placements in this market. Your son needs to target organisations that have clear and public commitments on employing young people. BskyB and 02 for example have made public commitments to support young people get employability skills. These are good companies to approach there will be more, do a search on the Internet around employment and young people.
I would be very tempted in your shoes to step back and let your son raise his own finance. What I mean by that is I would encourage him to apply to a high street bank for finance with his business plan. Part of the important development for him for a placement year will be convincing others and being able to sell his plan and his ideas.
The idea of the gap year is for students to acquire key skills. If he has set up his own business as a way of increasing employability skills and he goes for a job in the future, that prospective employer will ask him how he raised his money for the business. I got a handout from Mum is not a great answer and actually will be defeating the whole object of a placement year.
He should be able to either get a job or raise his own finance for his gap year. If its such a great idea, he will find a way through a high street bank or more likely through organisations such business link who help small businesses.
The business I work for has a well established graduate scheme and one
one of my responsibilities is to sign off the assessment centre process for these graduates so I am very familiar with what businesses look for. Believe me you will not be doing your son any favours by providing a handout and risk the business fail. Because he may be explaining his actions in an interview one day and you could inadvertently by trying to make his life easier today cause him a bigger problem for the future.
My recommendation is that he pursues two options. He tries to raise the finances independently of you, let''s face it, even if he manages to raise half then it shows some drive and intiative. He should still look for a job whilst he is trying to secure finances although I''m guessing that September 2012 is the commencement of his placement year.
If you cant afford to lose 20k then you need to really think about how your relationship with your son may be affected if he loses the money. He will need a relationship with a bank anyway to secure cash flow which is often the biggest reason small businesses fail.
Finally, if it''s all a bit late for this year, can your son do his final year first, then do his placement afterwards. A couple of students at my university did things this way round. If the placement is not compulsory then I''d question whether he should be doing it at all, focus on his studies perhaps if there is not a reason currently apart from this unvalidated business idea to step out of education.
Hopefully that gives you something to go on. Good luck!
thank you so much that was a good insight l have spoken to him in the last few hours and it seems he has a difficult take on this issue if l withdraw my funding which l am more likely to do as he says he does not want to go to university now coz its late l find it disturbing but l want to wish him the best in life and initially l thought this was the way to do it. but l guess all suggestions on here cant be all wrong l think he lacks experience and confidence but he says he will do anything to push his idea as you rightly say he needs the bank to buy his idea and funding should be available for him if the if the idea is wright and skills are right.
Absolutely right. Usually business involves selling something a product or a service. Raising the finance is a really important stepping stone because if he can''t sell the idea, he may struggle to pursuade potential customers to part with their cash.
I have known placements and graduate jobs not work out in the first few weeks and the students go back to uni to finish their degree or start a masters or whatever in the first few weeks of term. It''s far from unusual and your son would catch up if term had already started.
Many people start businesses at university. Whilst his final year is far from an ideal time to pursue a business idea, he could constructively use his limited spare time to do some research and get some important business link contacts.
Just be careful he doesn''t fall in the trap of spending the next year not doing much....... Particularly if the placement is not an assessed part of the degree programme. Charging him rent and all that will be an important consideration as others have mentioned.
The stand out applicants for graduate programmes tend to be those who have had to graft and struggle to get to where they want to be. Employees are looking for resilience, drive, initiative, focus and determination. Those who have had things made easy for them struggle to demonstrate those qualities sometimes.
If he really believes in his business idea, he will make it happen without your help and learn a lot on the way. Whilst it is not the easiest path for him, he will be infinitely more employable as a result of overcoming the inevitable knock backs he will get along the way.
You can always invest later and become a shareholder once the business is established and you have a better idea of investment returns.
People of think of those who have made it big time Mr Branson started flogging records and using a public telephone, guys like him are one in a million probably more.
For most to make it you have to be a sadist, work more hours than anyone else take less money, often none in the early days, a huge number of new businesses fail in the first three years with often high losses.
I have always thought it best never to work with family or friends and never borrow money from the same.
What does he know about tax NI PAYE pensions insurance VAT, advertising?.
Having an idea is the easy part its all that comes with it, does he like long days?, has he ever had a job, is he good at solving unforeseen problems? is he good with stress and disappointment, the idea of working for yourself is often appealing, but bear in mind there is no holiday pay no sick pay no company pension unless you buy one, how well does he work with people?, can he manage people?.
Maybe persuade him to go to a clearing bank and put forward his idea, if the bank say no do you want to stump the money up?.
Amazing thoughts and ideas hope this will give me courage to confront the truth he is not a tested you g man he has an 18 yr old sister in full time education they clssh big time on anything no respect with each other he is very short tempered n can b Opinionated 1 yr in Uni could do the trick I just went thru divorce recently n it did not go well with everyone mayb that''s why I felt I could assist in this way he has dislexia I don''t know if this is important to my boy
Lots of people are dyslexic, i am, the best advice you can give him is to finish his studies, chances are he wont get chance again, if he does want to work for himself he needs his feet firmly on the ground and he absolutely must be able to commit.
If you run your own business its like being married to it, you take your mobile to bed, things happen you can`t predict, and before he even thinks about borrowing money he must understand the true value of money, how hard you have to work to get it.
Before you even think of parting with 20k get it in cash first, take it out of the bank and pile it up on the table, most people have never seen 20k in cash, trust me its a big pile of of £20 notes, sit and look at it for a while, and then take it back to the bank.
Giving 20k to a 21 year old with no life experience or even experience of work is insane, ill bet my house the are a ton of things he has not even considered, as shoegirl said most businesses sell a product or service, so he may think well i can make this much but has he considered Mr tax man national insurance liability insurance the VAT man advertising plus a host of other costs, take the big building firms they have a huge turn over they work on big profits, and the profit margin?, its around 5%, does he know that its standard to invoice but not get payed for a while, if you get a contract with say a local council you wait three months for payment?.