Post 16 Options | Routes into Work
If you are under 18 years old, it is compulsory that you remain in either full-time employment, training, or further education after you complete your GCSE’s.
After finishing Year 11, you may decide that going into full-time further education is not for you, there are other options available regardless of whether you have SEN or EHC plan. If you are given the right support and opportunities, it is highly likely that you will be able to move into employment after completing your education.
Choosing to go into employment is exciting and will allow you to earn your own wage, meet new colleagues and friends, learn new skills, and gain confidence in a working environment. It is really important to have conversations with your parents, carers, teachers, and tutors about what you might like to do so they can support you and help you prepare.
There are a few routes into work, they are:
- An Apprenticeship
- A Traineeship
- An Internship
- A Supported Internship
- A School Leaver Programme
- Or by applying for a job
You will need to have an up-to-date CV and cover letter, but there are plenty of organisations that can help you write these. There are also schemes that can help you whilst applying for jobs and attending interviews.
Apprenticeships allow you to earn a salary, whilst studying for a qualification at the same time. Usually, apprenticeships fall within one of the four types, each one will allow you to gain different levels of qualifications.
The types of apprenticeships in England, are:
- Intermediate level apprenticeship, this is considered to be the same as five GCSE passes.
- Advanced level apprenticeship, this is considered to be the same as two A level passes.
- Higher apprenticeship, this can lead to you gaining an NVQ Level 4 and above, or a foundation degree.
Degree apprenticeships, this is a new type of apprenticeship that is offered by some universities. The degree apprenticeship combines working with studying part-time at a university for a full bachelor’s or master’s degree.
Is an apprenticeship for me?
- To apply for an apprenticeship, you must be over 16 years old
- You may need up to five GCSEs at a grade 9 to 4 (A* to C) including English and Maths, however entry requirements may vary.
- You will need to show you have the skills required to complete the qualification, the requirements vary from training providers, employers and job titles.
The job and my future
- Your employer provides all on-the-job training and pays your wages.
- Your role will involve working at least 30 hours a week, with experienced colleagues who will help you gain job-specific skills and knowledge.
- You will receive the national minimum wage, paid holidays, and bank holidays.
- Your training could take place in a classroom setting or within the workplace.
An internship is work experience that is offered by an organisation, they can last from a week or 12 months. Internships are unpaid and are often undertaken by young people, students or graduates who are looking to gain skills relevant to a career path or gain insight into a potential career path.
Supported Internships provide opportunities for young people aged 16 to 24, who have a special educational need or disability to gain skills and work experience to help you in securing a job or gain an insight into a possible career path. To be eligible, you must have a Statement of Special Educational Needs and Disabilities, a Learning Difficulty Assessment or an Education Health and Care Plan (EHCP).
How do they work?
A study programme is put together to give you the training, support and work skills required to help you secure a job. The employer will provide you with work experience, train you in the role so that you can gain the skills needed in the role.
All supported internships are unpaid and will last for a minimum of six months, with the aim to help you secure a paid role at the end of the programme.
Colleges, sixth forms and independent specialist providers can offer supported internships. They will work with local employers and you to plan your study programme, you will have a tutor and a coach to work with you during the internship.
A traineeship is a course that provides you with real work experience that will help prepare you for starting a job or an apprenticeship.
It is a great stepping stone to full-time work if you do not have any qualifications or work experience. As a trainee, you will receive excellent and flexible training that will allow you to build your confidence and skillset, so if you are a little unsure of your skills then a traineeship could be perfect for you.
Is a Traineeship for me?
To apply for a traineeship, you must be:
- Eligible to work in England
- Keen to work and learn
- Unemployed and have little or no work experience
- Aged 16 to 24 and qualified below Level 3
If you have already had some work experience, you might be ready to apply for an apprenticeship.
What are the benefits of a Traineeship?
If you complete a traineeship, you will receive:
- A work experience placement
- Maths and English support, helping you to develop the skills you need for the workplace and improve your job prospects, potential career progression, and earning potential.
- You won’t receive payment, but you may be given expenses for things like travel and meals.
- Work preparation training, helping you build the skills and confidence needed at the beginning of your career.
- Help to write your CV, cover letters and application forms, and interview training.
- You may be able to gain a Level 1 Award in Employability Skills alongside completing your traineeship, this is dependent on the employer and training provider.
School leaver programmes are apprenticeships typically aimed at Year 13 students who have completed their A-levels, some programmes also cater for Year 11’s who have finished their GCSEs.
The GCSE level is an intermediate or advanced apprenticeship and the A level is a higher apprenticeship equivalent.
These opportunities allow you to combine higher education and either part-time or full-time employment, by offering a healthy balance between earning an income and studying. Your qualification will be fully or partially sponsored by your employer, allowing you to study towards qualifications that are relevant to your role.