You have lots of options open to you so let’s explore some of them…
Would you like to study full time?
You could think about a full time course at school or college.
Some courses will be classroom based, but others can be more practical and include stuff like work experience and projects that take place outside of the classroom.
Some colleges and training providers offer part-time courses which may suit you if you only want to spend a bit of your week studying.
Many of the courses offered by schools, sixth forms and colleges are aimed at preparing you to progress into higher education or an apprenticeship.
Each course will have its own entry requirements so it’s important to check out what these are. The school or college can help you with this or you can check out their websites, as this information is often available on there.
Would you like to learn at work?
If full time study’s not for you, then you could learn whilst at work by doing an Apprenticeship, where you can get both work experience and a qualification. It’s a real job, with real training, meaning you can earn while you learn and gain a nationally recognised qualification.
To get your career started you usually need a combination of experience and qualifications. An Apprenticeship gives you both by combining on the job training with study (usually one day a week) meaning you can earn while you learn. With some Apprenticeships you can now study at Degree Level too, meaning you can get a degree, whilst earning and not racking up debt via tuition fees.
If you don’t feel ready to start an Apprenticeship straight away then you could go on to a Traineeship. This may only be for a few months but will offer you the chance to improve things like your Maths and English, get some work experience, and build up your confidence ready to move forward to an Apprenticeship.
But what if I don’t feel ready for any of these options?
Many young people feel they need help to build their confidence before they start work, an Apprenticeship, or a college course; so don’t worry you’re not alone and there is help out there for you.
Personal Development Courses, Voluntary Work, and Employability courses can give you the boost and support you need to get ready for your next step, especially if you are not quite ready to ‘jump straight in’, and only take a few weeks to complete.
Lots of different organisations offer these short courses and they’re often much less formal than being at school or college.
You can find out more about them from some of the websites that are listed on the local area pages through the links above.
What if I want to get a University level qualification?
If you want to gain higher level qualifications, you could consider attending a University course or undertake one of the new Higher Apprenticeships or Degree Apprenticeships in the future.
There are literally thousands of different courses available at Universities across the UK to choose from.
All these courses are different, some will provide you with a qualification that enables you to focus on entering a particular career (e.g. a nursing degree) whilst others are more general in content. It’s really important you think about your choices carefully and consider what your aims are after University.
Making the right options for you?
Having so many choices to make about your future can be very exciting but it can also be a little confusing or overwhelming, so getting some advice and information to help you to make the right choice is a great idea.
So where can I look for this advice and information?
There are lots of websites that offer great information about your options. You’ll find some of the main ones listed in the ‘Useful Links’ section.
It is really important that you learn as much as you can about any course or Apprenticeship before you apply for it. Get some advice from your careers adviser, teacher or tutor. Careers advisers can discuss all of the options with you and help you make a decision that feels right for you.
It’s often a good idea to talk through your plans and ideas with your parents or guardians, an extra opinion can help you make decisions.
Planning ahead is essential! Give yourself lots of time to think about your options and to make the right decisions. Never leave these important things until the last minute.
You might find it useful to draw up an action plan so that you can write down what you need to do and by when.
The futures bright, but it does need a bit of planning!