Support your child with Post 16 options

The important thing to know at this time is, apart from you, your child will be supported by other teams at school such as the Careers Adviser, SEND, Mentors, Senior Leaders, Teachers and Tutors, to make that decision making all that much easier. 

The Careers Adviser will meet with your child to coach, guide, provide information and challenge some aspects of their ideas to ensure they are choosing the right pathway. 

We look at your child's ability, successes and learning styles in order to provide information on careers sectors of interest and the education, training and employment with training available after year 11. 

For students that may need that extra support, an action plan is in place to provide the steps needed to stay on track when exploring careers and courses. Their progress will be reviewed to ensure they are completing their tasks and preparing for Post 16. 

There will be a phone call home to parents and carers if the student requires extra support from home.  

For the independent students, they will create their own action plan during their careers one to one. Doing this motivates and empowers them to take ownership of their own plan of action and see it through to the end. 

 

 

A good starting point is to know what is on offer in terms of education and training, and what the Government requirements are. 

There have been many changes to the educational landscape with an increase in offers of apprenticeships in many different sectors and the introduction of T LEVELS, which will eventually replace most BTECS. 

 

Post 16: What’s on offer? 

Traineeships 

A traineeship is a skills development programme that includes a work placement. Traineeships help 16 to 24 year olds – or 25 year olds with an education, health and care (EHC) plan to get ready for an apprenticeship or job if they don’t yet have the skills or experience needed. Traineeships can help you to get real work experience, job skills and improve your English and Maths skills, giving your career prospects a real jump-start. 

It can last from 6 weeks up to 1 year (although most will last for less than 6 months). 

T Levels

T Levels are new courses that first started in Sept 2020 with a roll out of new courses each year after, which will follow GCSEs and will be equivalent to 3 A Levels. These two-year courses offer a mix of classroom learning and an industry placement. The first courses will include: teaching; digital production, design and development; surveying and planning. Keep an eye out for developments! T levels are studies at your local colleges.  

For more information follow: T Level subjects | T Levels 

A levels

A Levels Qualification level: 3 - Assessment methods: exams What is it? A Levels are two-year courses with little coursework or practical assessments followed by an exam. It’s for you if... A Levels are a popular way to get the qualifications required for university, although you can just take them on their own without progressing to university. They’re for you if you get on well with both classroom learning and independent study, and if you enjoy a more academic style of learning. A levels are studied at 6th form, some colleges and online but charges apply. 

Apprenticeships

Apprenticeships Qualification level: 2-5 - Assessment methods: at the end of your training. 

 What is it? It’s helpful to think of an apprenticeship as a job, rather than a study programme. You get hired by an employer for a particular role – like hairdresser, veterinary nurse or accountant – and you study while you get paid to do the job.  

The various levels of apprenticeship are equivalent to GCSE's (Level 2), A levels (Level 3) and foundation degree (Level 4). It’s for you if... You know what you want to do for a living, you want to work, and you want to get nationally recognised qualifications while you’re at it. Apprentices learn by doing the job, so if you prefer a hands-on approach, it could be ideal for you. The training provider may be your local college or independent training provider. One day a week would be spent with the training provider to learn the theory or skills for the job. 

BTECS

Vocational BTEC qualifications Qualification level: 1-5 - Assessment methods: written or activity-based assignments  

What is it? BTECs are work-focused qualifications that look at the areas of knowledge and skills you might need for a particular sector or industry. You can take them on their own, or alongside other qualifications like A Levels. You would study BTECs at 6th form, college or as part of your apprenticeship dependant on provider and level 3 BTECs are equivalent to 1, 2 or 3 A levels. 

 

Higher Education: What is available? 

BTEC Higher National Certificates or Diplomas - sometimes called HNCs or HNDs - which are the equivalent of the first and second years of a degree respectively. These can then be topped up to a full degree with additional study.  

 It’s for you if... You know what sector you would like to work in and you learn better in a hands-on, vocational environment. Or perhaps you’d like a course that gives you some of the academic theory while also preparing you for the workplace. BTECs are increasingly popular for getting into uni. One in four students takes the BTEC route.

 

Higher/ Degree Apprenticeships Qualification level: 4+ - Assessment methods: on-the-job and written/exam  

What is it? These programmes are developed by employers and universities. Degree apprenticeships can be taken once you have completed a Level 3 qualification. You need to show your prior learning achievements and also an ability to study at a higher level. 

 It’s for you if... You want a degree without the cost (no student loan), or simply want to get on with your career but still want degree-level training.  

 

National Vocational Qualifications (NVQs) Qualification level: 1-7 - Assessment methods: in the workplace What is it? NVQs are usually taken alongside work. They’re designed to show that you’re competent in the various skills needed to do a particular job and are assessed on the practical work you do. It’s for you if... You want a qualification that ties in with a job, that enhances your career prospects and that you can follow as you gain more skills – once you complete one level, you can progress to the next one. 

 

Traditional Degrees Qualification level: 4+ - Assessment methods: exam/coursework / performance What is it? Traditional degrees last three or four years (full time). They are more theory-based and academically challenging – students learn to think critically, structure arguments and gain an in-depth understanding of their subject. 

 It’s for you if... You get on well with academic learning and want to totally immerse yourself in a subject. The university experience is unique, offering students the chance to develop and grow both personally and professionally before entering the world of work. 

 

What are the Government requirements? 

It is a requirement to participate in some sort of education or training between the ages of 16- 18, and there are different ways to achieve this, depending on the young person. 

  • stay in full-time education, for example at a college or 6th form 

  • start an apprenticeship or traineeship 

  • spend 20 hours or more a week working or volunteering, while in part-time education or training 

 

Next Steps  

A few pointers on where to start. 

  1. Careers aspirations and ideas 

  1. What are your child’s interests and the skills they enjoy using? 

  1. Goals, abilities, learning style and predicted grades. 

 

 

Careers Aspirations and Ideas 

 

Does your child have any careers ideas in mind? What are the pathways to those careers and are they realistic in line with their abilities, learning style and predicted grades?  Do they know all aspects of the job such as the working hours, job responsibilities and career progression?  

 

Labour Market Information can give you all the information you’ll need regarding the working hours, salary details, the percentage of jobs available and in what regions of the UK. This can help you plan a career to ensure you are entering an industry where there will be jobs on completion of training. Some sectors are in demand, bear that in mind. 

 

Example of Labour Market Information (LMI( Careerpilot : Job sectors : Medical : Job profiles : Nurse 

 

To explore careers in the current labour market and the training into those roles follow the following links. 

 

 

Careers Pilot- Take a careers quiz, explore careers linked to the school subjects of interest or the different job sectors such as healthcare, business finance or Engineering 

Careerpilot : Jobs 

 

Prospects Job Profiles- For those students who are thinking of going to university and would like to explore careers in detail or what else they can do with their degree. 

Job profiles | Prospects.ac.uk 

What can I do with my degree? | Prospects.ac.uk 

 

Icould and BBC Bitesize Careers- Hard to imagine what a job may be like? Perhaps careers videos may help. Follow the links to hear what others have to say about their roles and how they got there. 

Articles Archive - icould 

Careers A to Z: Find your perfect job - BBC Bitesize 

 

UCAS.com- Have an idea of what  to study at university but would like to know what degrees are available and what the Post 16 entry requirements are. 

UCAS | At the heart of connecting people to higher education 

 

Apprenticeship Guide- Perhaps your child doesn’t want to go to college, 6th form or university. Then explore what apprenticeships are currently available in the UK. 

The Apprenticeship Guide 

 

What are your child’s interests and the skills they enjoy using?

 

When we are exploring your child's interests we are not just thinking of school subjects and clubs and hobbies, we also think outside the box and look at what they enjoy doing in their personal time. For example, speaking to many students who were actually entrepreneurs in the own time, whether that is buying and selling photographic images, building websites for businesses or selling clothes and trainers. It’s amazing what our young people can do, the skills they’ re applying and the opportunities they are grasping! 

Other students like social media, may want to venture into digital marketing, social media management or website content management, design or app development. 

Some enjoy watching TV shows such as Interior design, crime and punishment, grand designs and believe it or not this is what is influencing and inspiring our young people into these careers......so do consider! 

 

Now we look at everything and determine a direction........... 

 

  • What school subjects do they enjoy and is there a particular area they enjoyed the most? For example, some enjoy history but don’t want to work in museums, they enjoyed learning about the cold war...  history can prepare us for working in law, law enforcement, government public bodies such as policy, social research, international relations and development to name a few. 

  • Is there a particular skill they enjoy using in their lessons or clubs, such as problem solving, leadership, being strategic, creativity and design, or building. All these wonderful skills and talents can be linked to particular jobs and careers sectors, perhaps a careers quiz can help? Values are just as important for example being kind or honest having integrity. They can be linked to a career, examples such as forensic accountancy, teaching and childcare, midwifery, community carers, politics and law.  

  • Hobbies and Interests are also important when exploring our future. Of course, it is important to enjoy our work as we wouldn’t study or work to the best of our ability. So, what do our young people enjoy doing? Clothes making, caring for family members, babysitting, travelling, building and fixing bikes, motors and computers. Whatever it is it’s part of the course and could lead them to fulfilling and rewarding careers. 

 

“I can't change the direction of the wind, but I can adjust my sails to always reach my destination.” -- Jimmy Dean 

 

Look at your child’s goals, abilities, learning style and predicted grades to ascertain the type of study best suited to them. 

 

Goals 

Do they want to go to university............? Then BTECS, T LEVELS and A levels can get them there, but it’s important to know their preferred style of learning. 

 

The A level route is not for everyone and if they would prefer less exams and more coursework then BTECS are ideal. If they would prefer a mixture of classroom study, practical learning and work experience, perhaps the T level may be a good choice. Or if your child wants to gain a up to a degree level qualification, but in the workplace instead of university, while getting paid and no students loans, consider the apprenticeship route.

 

Abilities, learning style and predicted grades. 

It is important to be realistic when choosing study. Is academic study really for them? Some students may have just made the grade boundaries but later discover the advanced level may be too much. Perhaps consider mixture of A levels and BTECS, or vocational offers at college. 

Some really want to do particular A level subject but haven’t yet achieved the entry requirements, then some 6th form provisions offer resits in maths and English alongside A levels or access to level 3 whereby they retake certain GCSEs alongside other level 2 BTEC study then progress to A levels the following year.  

Some young people learn better by doing opposed to sitting in the classroom. Whatever their style, consider all the pros and cons and really research into the courses, the content, how they are assessed, and what is required from the student in terms of written and study skills before making the decision. 

 

Where to start looking? 

6th forms 

At this point you and your child may have some ideas and want to explore what education is available, but before you start, I would like to give you a few things to think a about. 

When choosing 6th form it’s important to know what is on offer. Ralph Allen has a fantastic 6th form, however, there may also be other options most suited to your child's interests and personal development.  

Some provisions offer tailored programmes around medicine and teaching, some offer different courses such as classic civilisation, economics, design engineering, alternative business courses, child and health and social care. 

All provisions offer extra and super curricular activities that may really help develop and nurture your child, for example arts awards, naval cadets, Duke of Edinburgh award, digital skills, sports academies, residential living with a programme of activities.

Whatever your your child wants, there will be something to fit, so be sure to look around, and most definitely apply for more than one, and have back up plans in place.

College/ Further Education

We are lucky to have a good number of colleges in the Bath and Bristol and extended areas, but why would you need to consider other colleges outside of Bath? 

Like the 6th forms, they all offer different opportunities such as, different types of courses, T LEVELS and apprenticeships. Some will specialise in agriculture and horticulture, equestrian studies, aquatics, scaffolding and roofing, sports. They will have a programme of extra-curricular activities in which young people can try their hand at other subjects or areas of interest. 

All colleges offer generic courses plus specialise in certain areas. 

Here is a list of colleges in the area. 

  • Bath College 

  • Wiltshire College (Agriculture and horticulture) 

  • City of Bristol College 

  • SGS (South Glos and Stroud) College (A levels, Engineering and sports academy) 

  • Harpbury College and University (horse and animal, sports and agriculture, A levels, residential) 

  • Weston College (Roofing and scaffolding) 

  • Sparsholt Hampshire (fish and game) 

 

 Not sure on a particular course, attend one of the colleges open events and have a campus tour and talk to the course teachers.  

Still not sure? apply for everything your child has an interest in. The college will either invite your child in for an interview to discuss their suitability and an opportunity to discuss more about the course or an introduction event where your child can try out the course subjects to get a feel for what they may study. 

What happens if It your child doesn’t like the course they’re studying? If have decided that course or training is not for them, they have until the first half term to talk to enrolment and Careers Advisers to explore the opportunity of studying another course instead. 

I have provided a couple of links to documents with all the education providers in Bath and Bristol. This will of course save you time searching the internet. 

Bath Pathways- finalpathways_booklet_21-22_v2.pdf (bathnes.gov.uk) 

Bristol Post 16 Directory- Post 16 Directory 2022 (bristol.gov.uk) 

 

Apprenticeships..... how and where? 

I’m going to offer you some general information and advice on the how and where to apply for apprenticeships. 

An apprenticeship is like a job with training. 80% (4 days) of time is with an employer training and working while getting paid, and the other 20% (1 day) is at college, independent training provider or university (depending on the level) 

You can study up to a master's degree level, and there is no tuition or courses fees to pay for as it is all funded, so no student loans. 

For more information on apprenticeships, go to: Becoming an apprentice (apprenticeships.gov.uk) 

Firstly, if applying for an apprenticeship, apply for a full-time course as well as a back-up, whether that is in post 16 or higher education, the same applies. No one is guaranteed a job nor an apprenticeship, so it is always good to have a back-up plan. 

If you’re applying for an apprenticeship through a college, you’re expected to find a placement who is the learning provider/ employer. You could approach businesses or have a family member or friend who will offer a placement. 

Small and medium-sized business get funding for apprentices, so this is helpful to know should they want to consider employing your child.

For guidance on employing an apprentice and funding please follow: Employing an apprentice: Overview - GOV.UK (www.gov.uk) 

You can also apply for apprenticeships through independent training providers (ITP), such as JTL, QA Apprenticeships, Babington, Professional apprenticeships. who are not colleges.

Where can I find an apprenticeship.....? 

You can find apprenticeships in the following places: 

  • College websites- Employers advertise apprenticeship vacancies that YP can apply for 

  • Employers' websites 

  • Western Training Provider Network 

  • Apprenticeship.gov 

  • Not Going To Uni website 

  • Get My First Job Website 

  • Rate My Apprenticeship Website 

  • Careers Pilot- Search for Apprenticeships 

  • NHS Jobs 

  • Civil Service Jobs 

  • Recruitment agencies such as Reed, Jobsite or Indeed 

Applying for an Apprenticeship 

A large majority of apprenticeships can be applied for all year round, but colleges intake tends to be once or twice a year only. 

It’s important to be work ready in the way of being able write a CV, cover letter, complete an application form, and have good interview skills to wow that employer and get that job! 

I can provide websites which can help support your child’s development in employability.  

Barclays Liferskills- Employability Skills | Young People Job Skills| Life Skills (barclayslifeskills.com) 

For a CV builder, Cover letters, interview skills and much more. 

National Careers Service-  Careers advice | National Careers Service 

Information on how to get a job, CVs, and much more. 

 

Preparing for University....... 

For all information on undergraduate study, how to apply, gap years, student loans, fees and bursaries and clearing, head over the Ucas/ undergraduate to learn more. UCAS | At the heart of connecting people to higher education 

What is an internship? Internships | Prospects.ac.uk 

Postgraduate- What is a graduate scheme-Graduate schemes 2022 | Prospects.ac.uk 

Alternatives to University- Alternatives to university | Prospects.ac.uk 

 

I hope you have found the guidance useful and do get in contact if you require further information or guidance Carees Adviser- e.taylor@palladianacademytrust.com 

 

 

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