We can all agree that English and maths skills are some of the most important that you can have, if not the most important.
These are the skills that play really important roles in your everyday life; getting a job, a pay rise, a promotion. Making sure they’re the best they can be can have a huge effect on your quality of life, making a difference in being able to communicate better with friends, family and colleagues, problem solving and earning a bit more money.
But unfortunately these are the very skills that employers are concerned about. The standard has been getting worse which has made them realise just how important they are.
Studies show that 46% of employers are more concerned about employees English skills in the work place than maths, 26% of employers are concerned about them both equally, 17% are more concerned about maths and only 11% said they had no concerns. Pretty concerning.
Employers are choosing not to hire because of this. A lack of qualifications in English and maths will see you struggle to get a job, a promotion or a pay rise with 25% of adults with no GCSEs of grade C or equivalent still looking for paid work. You could be missing out.
But it’s not about knowing Pythagoras and algebra inside out, nor is it about being a walking dictionary. It’s about being able to apply those skills to the job, about being able to communicate in a respected way and solving problems. When you think about it, they are essentially life skills.
Businesses are looking for people to show to them that they can apply English to communications at work:
- Sending emails
- Speaking to new customers
- Report writing
And use maths for:
- Data analysis
- Problem Solving
It increases your pay and puts you in the position for promotion. With their such a gap and such a need, never has there been a better time to improve your English and maths skills to help you progress at work.
But it’s not all about employers. It’s about you. Improving the quality of your career, pay and, ultimately, your life through daily interactions.
Here’s a little overview of how:
As a general rule, the more qualified you are, the more money you are likely to earn through your career. Sounds simple enough, right? The figures tend to agree. If you don’t have your GCSEs there’s likely to be a 7% pay gap with those that do equating to over £2,000 extra in your bank a year. Improving your qualifications will also improve your finances!
63% of men and 75% of women with very low English skills have never received a promotion. If you can’t properly fill out an application form, how can you ever apply for a promotion; let alone impress on a daily basis.
From getting to grips with discounts offered in shop, calculating your earnings so that you’re not paying too much tax right through to reading bus timetables and keeping yourself healthy, a higher level of English and maths skills will improve your quality of life.
Applying for university
As mentioned above, you’re probably going to earn more if you’re qualified to a higher level. Universities require a minimum of a GCSE grade C in English and maths (grade 4/5 on the new system) to just get on to a course. It’s all worth it, though!
Helping with homework
Some of you may have homework and may dread your youngster asking for help with homework, be it English or maths. You’re not alone though. The top 5 out of 10 of the worst subjects parents struggle to help their children with are all maths related. Data shows children in the top 15% in maths ability at the age of 10 earn more, so your help could be crucial.
During your time as a student, you’re probably not going to have as much money as you’d like – but then, when do we ever? Things are going to be tight. There’ll always be a couple of quid kicking about for a pint, mind you, but the luxury of eating out and frivolous clothes purchases will have to fall by the wayside.
It’s time to make the discounts count. Discounts are aplenty when you’re a student and not just the standard 10% off at Topshop or free cheeseburger from McDonald’s at the end of a night out. We’re talking a wealth of discounts that come with an NUS Extra card.
What is an NUS Extra card?
An NUS Extra card is the bridge between student life and your social life. A way of living an affordable student life without having to scrimp on the finer things in life. Produced by the NUS (National Union of Students), who have over 7 million members, the card represents the reality of student living. The reality being, why don’t you deserve nice things?!
For £12 a year or £32 for 3, you can use the card online or in shops with 200+ discounts nationally and 42,000+ internationally.
You can view all the discounts here: https://www.nus.org.uk/en/nus-extra/discounts/
Top 6 NUS Extra Discounts
That’s a lot of discounts, at home and abroad. A lot to sift through, to find your vices. So, being helpful and what have you, here are our top 6:
- Up to 50% off at 5000 restaurants with Gourmet Society Bolt on
For just £3.99 you’re opening up a world of 50% off, 2-for-1 meals or 25% off your total bill. You can use your card at any of the associated restaurants, be it your favourite chain, independent café or pub, and use it as often as you like.
- 50% off NOW TV Sky Entertainment/Cinema month pass
If you’re feeling the pinch, we’d recommend getting stuck into some serious tele. The £4.99 Cinema Pass gives you access to over 1,000 movies, including new premiere every day, whilst the £3.59 Entertainment pass for the month gives you 11 additional channels (including Sky Atlantic) and over 250 box sets. Remember to cancel at the end of the month though!
- 50% of Spotify Premium for up to 12 months
What’s not to love? Cheap subscription for the best music streaming service. Everyone’s a winner.
- 12% off 16-25 railcard
No doubt you’ll be back and forth whilst at university with trains paramount to getting from A to B. A saving on a card which makes you a saving makes all the sense. Right?
- 10% off at the Co-op
Fans of yellow reduced tickets, get on this. By showing your NUS Extra card at the till you can get 10% discount off your shop. Whether that’s the big shop, the nipping in for a few bits shop or stocking up on beer shop, reduced items are at your beck and call!
- 10% off ASOS
You probably use ASOS to absolute death already, so why wouldn’t you want a 10% discount on everything, all of the time?
Make sure you use it!
It’s time to get over the snobbery of asking for discounts. These specific discounts are here to help you live your life as a student, in reality. You’ve paid for the card, the NUS have sorted the discounts, just use it!
Always worth an ask
Some places choose not to advertise their discounts, whether that’s online or offline. It is always worth asking. Always. You’re entitled to these discounts so why pay more?
Don’t forget to sort your Amazon Prime
Ok, so to activate this one it just requires your email address we provided you with upon enrolment for a 6 month free trial. Same day delivery, Prime Video and even access to Amazon’s Pantry, just forget to cancel after 6 months, don’t get too addicted to the ease!
To buy your NUS Card please click here or speak to your Students’ Union when you start your time at the college. It’s definitely worth it!
Studying for a degree isn’t about continuous study. You’re going to need to take some time for yourself. Get out into the city and hit up some of the finest independent eateries in town. Recuperate, rest and replenish. Sheffield’s a top place to do just that with cuisine clusters dotted all over, from Mexico to New Zealand via a pit-stop in Vietnam.
The list is interchangeable, depending on what you facny, but there to be completed!
The Street Food Chef
Sheffield’s original Mexican cantina. Fast food done healthy, The Street Food Chef is archetypically Mexican to its core yet retains that Sheffield independent magic we so love. Burritos, tacos and quesadillas, your choice of salsa and a El Bastardo Man vs Food challenge; a Sheffield favourite.
Twisted Burger Company
The edgiest burger joint in town, Twisted Burger Company has been serving out of the eclectic Harley for years. The burgers push boundaries, the fries are adventurous (get on the jalapeno business fries) and there are always plenty of vegan specials. A new restaurant has just opened up in Broomhill but you can grab a feed at The Harley until 1am for when you’ve been trapped in the library putting the hours in!
Bungalows and Bears
Let’s start with the chicken. Oh, the chicken. The chicken is to die for. Succulent and gravy coated. Fried, winged or spatchcocked. So, so good. The rest of the menu is in equal measure. Comprised of some mighty fine, yet oh so simple burgers, wild sides and shakes. Tuesday’s are 2-4-1, every Tuesday. Worth it.
The Great Gatsby
Doing alright with the Mexican delicacies, here; Shy Boy Cantina resides in The Great Gatsby on Division Street. But it’s not just another Mexican. Shy Boy has fused pan-Asian and Mexican to delicious effect. Kimchi and katsu are prevalent throughout the menu in tacos and topped fries. Laid back food befitting of its environment ideal for lining the stomach .
Blue Moon Café
For all you veggies and vegans out there, Blue Moon Café is probably going to become a regular acquaintance of yours. With the vibe of a Mediterranean-fused tea room in the backdrop of the cathedral, Blue Moon change their menu daily. Expect soups, quiche, homity pies and a fresh salad bar with cake if you can manage it. It’s all homemade and feels quite artsy. Worth a visit even if you’re of the carnivorous persuasion.
If you’ve never been to Tamper for coffee, or breakfast, then you’ll definitely know somebody who will tell you that your foolish for not doing so. Working to a cool New Zealand cafe culture, the coffee takes presidency but the kiwi-inspired brunch menu (especially the Eggs Benedict and Mince on Toast) is reason alone to pay it a visit.
When plumping for a far-Eastern takeaway, most hit up their favourite Chinese. This little Vietnamese cafe will break you from the mould. The food is traditional, plentiful and, for the quality, pretty damn cheap. Eat in or takeaway, we think you just might fall in love with this place.
Picture House Social
There can’t be a ‘top eats’ list that doesn’t contain some sort of pizza. Everyone loves pizza but everyone loves pizza and beer that little bit more. Throw in a couple of table tennis tables and Italian street-food nibbles alongside traditional Neapolitan-style bases, and Picture House Social have absolutely got this down.
Thankfully for all, Lucky Fox are getting a new restaurant. Another restaurant on Ecclesall Road to handle the demand for some of the finest fried chicken and waffles this side of the pond. The restaurant itself has the very essence of an American food bar serving up craft beer and the food has that hint of homemade mother’s cooking to it.
Here’s to Sheffield’s finest chip shop. A good chippy is the linchpin of every city, town and village, and Sheffield is no different. Located on Sharrow Vale Road, there’s no thrills to Two Steps and nothing you wouldn’t expect from a chippy, except from the fact they do it better than the majority. Just ask the queues down the road, they’ll tell you!
Want to know a bit more about what makes Sheffield great? Take a look here! http://www.sheffcol.ac.uk/college-life/sheffield-the-city
If you look up the definition of ‘hobby’ you’ll get an activity that is done regularly in one’s leisure time for pleasure. Pleasure being the operative. Something you enjoy; an aside from the stresses and tribulations of working.
This stretches to all. Everyone needs a little downtime. A bit of time for yourself, doing something you really enjoy. Adele, a woman of many talents, recently announced a “new secret hobby” at one of her epic Wembley Stadium gigs. It turns out that the star has been making pom poms – and what’s more, her fluffy accessories are so successful that she’s been selling them on Etsy.
The vision of superstar Adele getting crafty of an evening got the BBC thinking about what other unexpected but awesome pastimes celebrities might be keeping on the down low. Check out these celebrity hobbies who might just inspire you to take up one of our hobby courses!
1. Katy Perry and crochet
Turns out Katy Perry isn’t just “chained to the rhythm,” but she’s totally “hooked” (get it?) on crochet, too.
“I do a bit of crocheting now; I know, I’m the biggest nana on the block,” she revealed, in a 2013 episode of Alan Carr’s Chatty Man.
“I was at Liberty yesterday and they have this big crocheting aisle – everyone else that’s cool was in the designer clothes area and I was just like ‘ooh look at all these yarns, I love it’. I thought maybe it’d be better for my subconscious and my dreaming just to like, do a bit of crocheting before I go to bed.”
2. Rita Ora and fishing
Call us prejudiced, but when someone says “fishing” we tend to think, less “glamorous pop star” and more…worms and waders. (Those last ones are like giant waterproof dungarees attached to your wellies…kind of amazing really.)
Nevertheless, people have long raved about the meditative magic of a good day’s fishing, and it turns out that Rita Ora is a fan, too.
“‘I fish. It’s a random thing for me to do but I like it,’ she told BBC Breakfast recently. “I mean you just sit there and wait for the fish to take the bait. I just wait and see what happens.”
3. Miley Cyrus and crafting
A few years ago, Miley Cyrus starting revealing she was doing a bit of crafting. And when we say “a bit of crafting,” we mean she seemed to float happily in a technicolour felt, loom band, gem stone and glue gun populated universe for a good long while.
We loved looking at her ravey rainbow creations on social media, and we’re hoping we might just have the right amount of imagination to create the kind of wild and wonderful things she came up with ourselves.
4. Lorde and inorganics
While we were initially left a little flummoxed by Lorde’s secret hobby, we’re now SO here for it.
“I’m boring because my favourite thing to do is trawl the inorganics,” she told the Telegraph back in 2014. Um…sounds impressive. But what does it actually mean? Turns out, she’s talking going through inorganic waste bins…
“It stays on the street for a few days and then it’s collected and put into a landfill somewhere. But people drive around and go through other people’s household rubbish. And honestly, I’ve gotten amazing furniture, shoes, hats, jackets. I did this three weeks ago! Recognised every single time … so embarrassing.”
Environmentally friendly? Check. Ahead of the curve? Check. We’d say Lorde’s fav pastime is most definitely NOT rubbish. Although obviously, we’re not suggesting you spent your weekend stealing things from your neighbours’ dustbins..’
5. Justin Bieber and Rubik’s Cubes
From ice hockey to football to skate boarding, Justin Bieber has a lot of talents and hobbies. But the Canadian star has shown in various interviews that he’s more than just a good singer with great hair – he’s a bit of a secret, Rubiks Cube solving genius.
We can fiddle with the classic “toy” (more like frustration device) for hours without really getting anywhere, but during his Carpool Kareoke segment with James Corden the Biebs solved one in under two minutes flat. Phew!
6. Taylor Swift and snowglobes
Now we all know that Taylor Swift is a thoughtful pal to those in her squad, and that she loves the homier things in life. Her social media feeds are full of home baked items and, well, her cats.
But it turns out that Ms Swift has a peculiar penchant for making cute, glittery snowglobes, and even crafted a big load of them as Christmas presents for all her friends. We hope we find one in our stocking this year…