Young People

Your choices at 16

If you’re in Year 11, it’s time to start thinking about what you want to do after you leave school. You need to stay in some form of education or training for at least two years until you are 18 years of age. Let’s have a look at some of the things you can do next. 

Your choices are often dependent on what kind of grades you’re likely to get, what you’re interested in studying, what kind of environment you want to learn in, and the best route to the level of qualifications you want.

The types of full time courses you can study can include:

A Levels are subject based, usually over 2 years. Most students choose 3 subjects to study but you can take more or fewer 

T Levels teach what a real career is like while studying. They include an industry placement which will last for at least 45 days. T Levels involve more classroom study than apprenticeships.

BTECs aim to provide more options for practical learning. Less classroom-based than A-levels to encourage more young people to continue studying. They are ideal for those who are aiming to work in a specific and specialist industry.

International Baccalaureate is an internationally recognised course, leading to the IB Diploma. Well respected by universities. An advantage for young people hoping to study overseas. Taken by students all around the world, but not widely available in the UK.

You can see what the different qualification levels mean on GOV.UK

ES Careers images - Levels

Search for full-time courses

T Levels are nationally-recognised qualifications for 16 to 19-year-olds that take 2 years to complete. Leading businesses and employers helped design T Levels to give you the knowledge and skills you need. They're equal to 3 A levels.  

All about T Levels

Do you want to start your career and earn some money at the same time? An apprenticeship might be what you are looking for.

An apprenticeship will give you a recognised qualification and work experience.
There are six different levels of apprenticeships. They can last from one year to five years depending on the level.

Apprenticeships can start at any time of year – you don't have to wait until September. 

Search for apprenticeships

If you're aged 16-24 and keen to get a job or apprenticeship, a Traineeship could be for you.
It will provide you with the skills and experience employers expect.
With training and work placements a lasting up to 5 months, with a guaranteed interview at the end.

Find a traineeship

Full-time work or volunteering combined with part-time accredited education or training.
“Full-time” means working for 20 or more hours each week. “Accredited” training can be work-based or at college for about a day each week.

Finding Employment

If you need to learn work skills before you start looking for work, these programmes may be right for you. When you are ready, you can move on to a Supported Apprenticeship or Supported Internship, or go straight into work. 

Supported Employment programmes

Find Supported Employment

Are looking for advice about finding a job that is right for you, or about how to change or move forward in your career?

Support information

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