You need to think about what is right for you and be sure that the option you choose now will get you into the career you want. During Year 11, you can talk to your careers adviser who will help you with your decision. 

If you are thinking about doing a full-time course, then you could stay at your school if it has a sixth form, go to another sixth form or go to a college or a sixth form college. Training providers also offer courses. You need to think about what you want to study and find out where you can study it.

If you are thinking about doing an apprenticeship, which involves working and studying at the same time, you need to think about what type of apprenticeship you want and find out if there are opportunities locally. If you want to do an apprenticeship, but need more work experience, you could consider doing a traineeship.

If you are thinking about a full-time job (including working for yourself) or voluntary work, you will also need to do part-time education or training. You must study for a minimum of 280 planned learning hours a year, this could be in your own time or whilst you are at work, if your employer allows this.

You should apply for more than one option. This is in case you don’t get the grades you need for the course you want to do or can’t find an employer with vacancies for an apprenticeship.

What you need to think about and research now:

  • The grades you are going to get and the grades you need for the different options
  • What you like doing - at school and in your spare time 
  • How you prefer to learn - by doing a job (look at an apprenticeship), by doing coursework (look at vocational qualifications) or by doing exams (look at academic qualifications)
  • Your career ideas 
  • Which schools, colleges or training providers offer the course you want to do and how you will get there 
  • If there are apprenticeship vacancies in the skill area you are interested in 
  • The future - are there lots of jobs related to the course or apprenticeship you are doing? 
  • If you need to take specific qualifications and subjects to go to university.

Useful websites

Look at individual school and college websites for course information. It is also useful to attend school and college open evenings and other careers events - these maybe online or face-to-face.
For apprenticeship vacancies.
For traineeship vacancies.
For general information about setting up your own business.
For volunteering opportunities.