Choices after 16

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If you are in year 10 or 11 at school you will need to think about what you'd like to do next. You have some important choices to make and there are lots of options available to you. The choices you make now will affect the university courses or types of jobs you can apply for later.

It's important to make a decision that's right for you so:

  • choose courses relevant to the types of careers you are interested in
  • if you don't know what career you want, choose a range of subjects and qualifications to keep your options open
  • if you choose a course you think will be enjoyable, you will have a greater chance of success
  • go to open days at the schools and colleges you are interested in studying at
  • speak to people like parents, teachers, friends and family who can help you make your choice
  • don't choose a course just because your friends are doing it.
  • 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.

  • Sixth form

    You can apply to the sixth form at your current school or at a different school if they are offering the course you are interested in.

    If you are thinking of changing school make sure you look on the school’s website to find out when their open days are so you can look around, meet the teachers, and see the facilities to help you decide. Find sixth forms in your area.

    Continuing to study will:

    • widen your choice of careers
    • give you a better chance to earn money
    • show employers and universities the knowledge and skills you have.

    Sixth forms vary a lot in what they offer. This can range from vocational courses and BTEC/OCR to AS/A level and the International Baccalaureate.
     
    You can search for courses by subject or by school.

  • College

    Kent has excellent colleges offering of a range of academic and vocational courses, including agriculture, plumbing, electrical installation, office skills, beauty therapy, catering and tourism.

    Continuing to study will:

    • widen your choice of careers
    • give you a better chance to earn money
    • show employers and universities the knowledge and skills you have.

    If you are thinking of going to college make sure you look on their website to find out when their open days are so you can look around, meet the staff, and see the facilities to help you decide. Find out open days and application deadlines for colleges in your area.

    All colleges in Kent

    You can search for courses by subject or by college.

You now need to stay in learning or training until you are 18 but you don’t need to stay in school. The important thing is that you continue to learn. There are many different types of qualifications you can get.

When you have an idea of what you want to do you can search and apply for courses.

Find out about the 16 to 19 Bursary Fund on Gov.uk which can help to pay for essential education-related costs for some people aged 16 to 19 at the start of the academic year and in further education or training.