Options at 16 and beyond

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The choices you make at 16 will affect the university courses or type of job you can apply for later, so it's important that you think now about your future career. You need to stay in learning or training until you're 18 but you don't need to stay in school. The important thing is that you continue to learn. This is known as raising the participation age (RPA).

Your options are:

  • studying full-time in a school, college or with a training provider
  • working or volunteering, combined with part time education or training
  • taking up an apprenticeship or traineeship.

If you are 18 or over, the options below are still relevant to you but you may need to seek advice regarding funding for further education.

Explore your options below:

  • Apprenticeships

    Apprenticeships are a fantastic way of getting work-based training. You'll do real jobs for real employers, training on the job and earning while you learn. Find out more about apprenticeships.

  • Training

    Some work-based learning providers who offer apprenticeships also offer Study Learning Programmes for young people aged 16 to 19. These include vocational courses such as catering, construction, hairdressing, pre-apprenticeships and, for those not yet certain which vocational area they want to follow, personal and social development.  To find out more use the apprenticeships Training Finder on the Kent Association of Training Organisations (KATO) website.

  • Volunteering

    Volunteering is a great way to get valuable work experience, helps you become more employable and boosts the impact of your CV.  Make sure you include it on any applications you make.

    You could apply for internships, work experience or contribute to your local area by being a community based volunteer.

    Find volunteering opportunities.