Post 16+ For Parents/Carers
Young people have to stay in education or training until they are 18 years old and there are a variety of options open to them once they complete Year 11.
This can be:
- Full-time education (Sixth Form College/School, Further Education College or University Technical College).
- An Apprenticeship or Traineeship.
- Part-time education or training combined with one of the following:
- Employment or self-employment for 20 hours or more a week.
- Volunteering for 20 hours or more a week.
Education and training in the UK are free for young people until they turn 19. In addition, there is a 16 - 19 Bursary Fund to help students from low income families pay for things like transport, food and stationery, which can be accessed at any post 16+ provider. Find out more about the Bursary Fund here https://www.gov.uk/1619-bursary-fund
Full Time Education - A levels /BTEC Nationals Level 3 Diplomas
- A levels are academic courses that follow GCSEs and are studied over 2 years. Students usually study 3 full A’ level subjects, although some students may study 4 subjects. A levels are offered at Colleges of Further Education, Sixth Form Colleges and school sixth forms (where schools have them).
- Typical subjects include Maths, English, History, Biology/Chemistry/Physics and Art. Assessment is mainly focused on examinations, with exams now taking place at the end of the 2nd year of study.
- By studying 3 (or in some cases 4) separate subjects, options for the future can be kept open. However, certain progression routes at university, or for some Apprenticeships, may require or prefer specific subjects to be studied at A level, such as Medicine or Veterinary Science degrees. It’s very important to ask for careers advice and guidance when choosing subject combinations.
- Entry requirements vary depending on the college, but students will generally need at least 5 GCSE’s passes at Grade 4 or above (usually including English and maths) to start a programme of A’ levels. Colleges may ask for higher grades in some subjects in order to study them at A’ level. For example, you will often need at least a GCSE grade 6 in Mathematics and/or relevant Sciences to take these subjects at A level.
- Students use A levels to gain entry to university courses, all levels of Apprenticeships or to apply for work and training.
- Students may choose to study AS levels in Year 12 but the marks attained do not count towards the final A level grade as happened previously. They can be studied as stand-alone qualifications and will count towards university applications alongside A levels.
- BTEC National Level 3 Diplomas can be taken alongside A Levels and are usually made up of a number of separate modules and includes practical assessments and coursework.
- Entry requirements to study a BTEC National vary depending on the school or college and the particular BTEC course you are interested in. You may need up to five GCSEs at grade 9 to 4.
- Some BTEC National qualifications are recognised as technical certificates and form part of the apprenticeship framework. They can attract UCAS points but if your child is thinking of going to university or higher education, it is important to check whether the universities offering the courses you want to apply to accept BTEC Nationals. Find out more here https://www.ucas.com/further-education/post-16-qualifications/qualifications-you-can-take/btec-diplomas
- Courses are usually linked to specific or broad career areas and last 1 or 2 years dependent on the level studied.
- Students can study at either level 1, 2 or 3 depending on their GCSE grades.
- Most vocational courses offer practical experience which include work placements.
- Assessment is mainly focussed on coursework and practical projects.
- Entry requirements vary due to the variety of course levels available. As a general guide the minimum entry criteria for the different levels are:
- Level 3 courses = 4/5 x grade 4 in GCSEs (often including English and/or Maths)
- Level 2 courses = 4 x grade 3 in GCSEs
- Level 1 = 4 x grade 2 in GCSEs
- Generally these courses are more suited to those who have some idea about their future career direction, although it may be possible to change direction if you decide the course is not for you. Some courses are relatively broad (e.g. Business Studies) whereas others are very specific (e.g. Hairdressing). Do ask for advice and guidance before choosing a course.
- If your child does not have the qualifications needed to go onto a Level 1 course, there are pre-entry level courses available. Talk to our Christ's College Careers Advisor.
- Students who successfully complete lower level courses can move onto higher level college courses or opportunities such as Supported Internships, Traineeships or Apprenticeships.
- Students who successfully complete a suitable level 3 course (e.g. BTEC Level 3 Extended Diploma) may be able to progress onto university/higher level education or an Advanced/Higher Apprenticeship/Degree apprenticeship.
- In the future there will be new qualifications called T Levels which will be based around occupational routes into different jobs. These will be Level 3 and equivalent to A levels.
- T Levels are new courses which follow GCSEs, which launched in September 2020, which will follow GCSEs and will be equivalent to 3 A Levels.
- These 2-year courses have been developed in collaboration with employers and businesses so that the content meets the needs of industry and prepares students for work further training or study.
- T Levels will offer students a mixture of classroom learning and ‘on-the-job’ experience during an industry placement of at least 315 hours (approximately 45 days). They will provide the knowledge and experience needed to open the door into skilled employment, further study or a higher apprenticeship.
- T Level courses include the following compulsory elements:
- A technical qualification, which includes:
- core theory, concepts and skills for an industry area.
- specialist skills and knowledge for an occupation or career.
- An industry placement with an employer
- Students will also be required to work towards the attainment of Maths and English if they have not already achieved grade 4 at GCSE, as they do on other 16 to 19 programmes.
- A technical qualification, which includes:
- Find out more about T Levels, courses and providers here https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/introduction-of-t-levels/introduction-of-t-levels
- Apprenticeships are jobs with training that can lead to nationally recognised qualifications in a specific trade or skill. They can be accessed after school or after college level study. They are around different ‘standards’ which are designed by experts from industry and business.
- Apprenticeships are offered at different levels and vary in the length of time taken to complete; an Intermediate Level 2 Apprenticeship usually takes around 12 to 18 months, an Advanced Level 3 Apprenticeship around 24 months and a higher level apprenticeship can last up to be 5 years. Degree Level Apprenticeships are now an option for some career pathways.
- An Apprenticeship may include time away from the workplace to do some training at a college or training centre, but most training and assessment is done on the job.
- Earn while you learn! Apprentices must be paid at least the minimum rate and they start at a minimum of £4.30 per hour (Age 16 - 18).
- There are a wide range of apprenticeships available, sign up here to find out about apprenticeships in our area https://www.findapprenticeship.service.gov.uk/apprenticeshipsearch
- After completing an Intermediate Level Apprenticeship, young people can continue with their education or training through a Higher, Advanced or Degree Level Apprenticeship (which are currently being delivered by universities) or continue onto a related vocational qualification. Alternatively, some young people may go on to a college or university level course, or take a professional qualification that may lead to a specific job role.
- Apprenticeships give valuable industry experience which is an advantage when looking at progressing in a career.
- A traineeship is a course with work experience that gets you ready for work or an apprenticeship. It can last from 6 weeks up to 1 year, though most traineeships last for less than 6 months.
- Traineeships can be used as a stepping stone to an Apprenticeship. If your child is motivated to get an Apprenticeship but lacks either the experience or the skills that employers are looking for, then Traineeships can help.
- Traineeships are an opportunity to gain real work experience, job skills and improve their English and Maths, if needed.
- Although Traineeships are unpaid, they will build up the young person’s confidence and skills and help them to find an Apprenticeship or a job with training.
- Traineeships are advertised regularly at www.gov.uk/find-traineeship
- Supported Internships are a structured study programme based primarily at an employer. They enable young people aged 16-24 with a statement of SEN, or an Education, Health and Care plan to achieve sustainable paid employment by equipping them with the skills they need for work, through learning in the workplace and with support. Supported internships are unpaid, and last for a minimum of six months. Wherever possible, they support the young person to move into paid employment at the end of the programme. Alongside their time at the employer, young people complete a personalised study programme which includes the chance to study for relevant substantial qualifications, if appropriate, and English and Maths. Often, a young person will have completed a course first, perhaps at school or college, which provides a preparation for employment, so that they are more fully ready to take on the time with an employer.
- Find out more here https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/supported-internships-for-young-people-with-learning-difficulties/supported-internships
How to help your child make career plans
With so many different career paths, it can be difficult for them to make a decision that best suits them. But as a parent/carer you know them best and probably the best person to advise them. If they follow a career path that is based on what they are good or passionate about it will be a great deal easier for them to attain their dreams and have success. Help them to think about the following:
- What do you want to do - do you have a specific career in mind?
- What do you care about?
- What subjects do you enjoy?
- What do you like to do with your time?
- What type of person are you? (Well organised, creative, sociable, technical)
- What do you enjoy doing?
- What are you good at?
Help them find basic information
- Encourage them to research colleges and apprenticeships
- What basic skills and qualifications will they need.
- Research salaries for their chosen careers. Find out more on our Careerometer here https://www.christscollege.surrey.sch.uk/1602/labour-market-information
- Ensure they see the Careers Advisor at CCG
- Attend open days at local colleges and training provider events
- Take a look a at the National Careers Service website https://nationalcareers.service.gov.uk/
Give practical help
- Help them fill in application forms accurately
- Help them prepare for any interviews by discussing the types of questions they may be asked and how to answer them.