Evening all, I could do with some advice with regard to my eldest son and how much to advise him with regard to his next steps career wise! A bit of background, my eldest is a really good kid. He's polite, well mannered, hard working and good at communicating with adults. He's never going to set the world on fire academically, but through hard work has already gained 4 GCSEs at Grade C, including maths. He's currently awaiting the results of the GCSEs he's taken this year. He's forecasted Cs, but I'm not sure if he'll get it in English. He is absolutely mad about trains and railways. His ultimate ambition is to be a Train Driver, (since a young age he's been able to advise you on the route you need to take if you need to get from one place to another by train. He's too young to apply for an apprenticeship with the Railways, so has secured a place at the local college to do Mechanical Engineering at Lv3. Which he plans to complete and then look for an apprenticeship for anything to do with the Railway (he'd do anything). So, here's where I'm struggling. My brother works in a large factory and they have an apprenticeship for a mechanical tool maker on advert at the moment. My brother says its a job for life, earning about 20K when fully qualified. He also says that he could make sure my son got the job, as long as there is no-one senior to my brother also wanting to find something for their relative! I've had some initial discussions with my eldest about the job, but at present have not influneced him either way. Pros (as I see it) It's a job (and there are so few of those around, especially for those without great qualifications) The end salary is ok (better than my husbands) He's achieved Grade c's because I've been on top of him and sweated blood through his revision. I won't be able to do that once he's on the course, so the course might be above him anyway! It's a job!!! Cons (as I see it) Would he be better doing the Lv3 course which then might lead to a better skilled/paid job The travelling would be hard initially (90 mins each way), until he learnt to drive Would the apprenticeship give him skills that he could use in following his dream Would he be better just following is dream? (The last thing I want is in 10 years he turns round and says he wished he'd not listened to me and done the course.) So, what advice would you give, or would you stand back and let him make a decision by himself? Do you know, it was much easier when the biggest decision to be made was whether to wear the Bob the Builder or Thomas the Tank jumper. I'm sure parenting gets harder as they get older!