You can leave school on the last Friday in June if you'll be 16 by the end of the summer holidays. You must then do one of the following:
You must then do one of the following:
stay in full-time education, for example at school, sixth form college or further education college
start an apprenticeship or traineeship
spend 20 hours or more a week working or volunteering while also doing part-time education or training
Your local authority has a duty to make sure you are offered a suitable place by the end of September. This is known as the September Guarantee. Contact your local authority for information on who can help find you a suitable offer.
You may be eligible for the 16 to 19 Bursary Fund, which can help with things like books, travel or equipment if you will struggle with education or training costs.
You could take a range of subjects that lead to qualifications that keep your options open, like GCSE or A levels. Courses like T Levels or BTEC allow you to focus on a chosen career area like construction, healthcare science or digital careers. Some careers may ask for specific qualifications, so always do some research into where the course you are interested in might lead.
Combine work and study
Gain practical skills, get work experience and a qualification that employers need.
Stay in full-time education
Description: Choose subjects you took at GCSE to study in more depth or pick subjects you may not have done before economics, law or psychology. You could take 3 very different subjects you are interested in to keep your career
options open or choose more closely related subjects if you you need them for a specific career.
Description: Designed in partnership with employers to give you the skills and knowledge to get on in the workplace. You'll combine classroom learning with real work placements. 1 T Level is the equivalent of 3 A levels.
Duration: 2 years
Assessment: Exams, projects and practical assignments
Description: These courses teach you the practical skills and knowledge for a particular area of employment. They can prepare you for a broad employment sector, like engineering or travel and tourism, or for a specific job like a chef or a hairdresser. ualifications which teach you how to do tasks specifically related to the industry and role you want to be involved in.
Duration: 1 or more years
Assessment: Can include coursework, skills tests and exams
Work experience: You'll learn in real situations in college, for example in a college restaurant or a salon that is open to the public. You may also have the chance to go out on a work placement with an employer.
Leads to: Apprenticeship, work, college or university
Find out more: Speak to your local college or training provider or talk to an adviser
Description: Qualifications that give you a broad overview of working in a specific sector, like business, media, engineering, leisure or science and technology. A mix of classroom-based learning
with the chance to get some practical skills.
Duration: Course dependent
Assessment: Course dependent (coursework and exams)
Leads to: Higher level or degree apprenticeship, further education, higher education, work
Find out more: Speak to your school or college careers leader or careers adviser or our careers advisers
Combine work and study
Description: A course that includes a work placement that will get you ready for an apprenticeship or a job. You’ll get work experience and some help to apply for your next steps. You
can also improve your maths and English skills. You’ll get work experience and some help to apply for whatever you do next.
Location: You’ll spend a minimum of 70 hours in a work placement with the rest of your time in college or a training centre
speak to your social worker or a transition worker
speak to your Jobcentre Plus adviser
Description: Intermediate, advanced higher and degree apprenticeships combine practical on-the-job skills training with off-the-job learning. You'll get training that is relevant to your job
and be paid a salary. Start at a level to suit you, with support if you have special needs or a disability.
Location: You’ll spend 80% of your time in the workplace and 20% off-the-job with some study in a college, training centre or Institute of Technology (IoT)
Duration: A minimum of 1 year
Entry requirements: Will be dependent on the industry, job role and apprenticeship level
Qualifications: apprenticeship certificate, diploma, degree and masters depending on level
Leads to: Work, next level of apprenticeship, further education, higher education
Description: A chance to learn and train with a large company while earning a wage. Offered in sectors like accountancy, engineering, finance, IT, law, leisure and retail. Similar to graduate
employment schemes run over a longer period of time.
Location: You'll often rotate between different locations with the same company to get experience and it can include distance learning or time in college or university
Duration: 3 to 7 years
Entry requirements: Usually high grade A levels or equivalent and a keen interest in the sector you want to work in
Qualifications: A university degree and/or professional qualification