In year 11 (or year 12, if you’re doing a one year course) you have to make some big decisions about your future. The information below outlines your options and tells you where you can get help to make the best decision.
Raising the Participation Age – what it means for you.
All young people in year 11 need to continue ‘education and training ‘until the academic year in which they turn 18.
This means that you will still have lots of options and you will be able to continue at school or go to college or leave full-time education and get an apprenticeship, a job with training, voluntary work with training or even start your own business.
Here are your options
Further Education (FE)
Further full-time education could be in school, sixth form college or a college of further education. You can study for qualifications such as A levels, International or AQA Baccalaureate, BTECs, and vocational courses.
Employment, Apprenticeships and Work-based Learning
You can train full-time or work and train at the same time. You can work towards an apprenticeship which will offer you the opportunity to gain further work-based qualifications or do a traineeship which will teach you skills that will help you get work with training. Some apprenticeships (higher or degree apprenticeships) lead to university-level study so can be an alternative to higher education. A good example of this is the Higher Apprenticeship in legal services which provides an alternative way to qualify in law.
A job with training or apprenticeship will give you the opportunity to earn money and learn new skills. It is important to check the type of training that you will get.
Making your choice
To make your choice you need to find out about yourself, what you are good at, what you enjoy (your subjects in school and your interests) and you should look at your current career ideas. You then need to find out about the opportunities out there, the different routes you can take to achieve your objective and how and when to apply.
Who can help?
Your adviser can provide up-to-date information on different options. They are impartial, which means they won’t try to push you in a particular direction – they simply help you decide what is right for you. You can also discuss your choice with your teachers, your family and others who know you well.
If you are unsure about what you want to do, you might have access to online career programs that help you to examine your interests and suggests careers or courses that could be appropriate. Examples include Kudos, Fast Tomato and JED. It’s best if you use one of these programs with help from an adviser.
There is a free career interest quiz which could help with your ideas.