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Post-16 Options: What Next?
Education and training are vital to your future success
The number of jobs for poorly qualified, unskilled people is shrinking quickly. You need knowledge, skills and qualifications if you want to get on in life. And that means continuing your education or training.
To help you make a choice, take this opportunity to work through the action points below and see what will suit you. We will guide you through questions about how you learn best, what kind of person you are, what you are good at, interested in and what exam results you are likely to get.
If you don't know the answers to these questions, don't worry we’ve got some ideas to start you thinking and suggestins about talking to the people that know you. Don't forget that you must now stay in training or learning until at least your 18th birthday.
Your options are:
  • Full-time learning in a school 6th form, 6th form college, FE (further education) college or UTC (university technical college) – you can search for courses in UCAS Progress and look at general information on qualifications

  • Employment such as an apprenticeship, training leading to an apprenticeship (traineeship) or a job with training

  • Part-time education or training whilst running your own business, working part-time for at least 20 hours or volunteering.

Hot Tip: Focusing on industries which are strong in this geographic area will increase your chances of finding a job and progressing in a career. Our rapidly growing sectors, where these are likely to be an increased number of jobs include:
  • Information, Communication and Technology

  • Creative Industries; particularly in publishing, digital media and architecture

  • Advanced Engineering and Electronics

  • Low Carbon Technologies

There are also a range of opportunities in our existing large employment sectors, which cover:
  • Tourism, leisure, arts & culture

  • Health & Wellbeing

  • Financial & Professional Business Services

  • Retail

The Council’s Economic Strategy has more information about the number of jobs available and forecast in each of these sectors.
What are the options in Bath & North East Somerset?

There are a variety of full time education and training, employment with training and volunteering opportunities available in Bath & North East Somerset which includes schools with 6th forms, Bath College and private apprenticeships providers.

Bath College

Bath College’s two distinctly different campuses focus on different sectors regionally to suit students and business partner’s needs. The City Centre Campus, home to the Media, Music and Performing Arts courses, allows students to gain work experience within the World Heritage City of Bath and the Care Academy is also based in the city, enabling the College to work closely with B&NES Council, St John’s Foundation, Virgin Care and Curo. The Somer Valley campus is in the Norton Radstock/Westfield area is best placed for Animal Care courses, as well as arboriculture and horticulture. Linking with the region’s mining history, it is a perfect place for disciplines such as construction and engineering.

Bath College also offers excellent opportunities for young people to earn and learn on the job, as they are the largest provider of apprenticeships in Bath & North East Somerset. The College currently offers apprenticeships in a wide variety of vocational and technical areas including, (but not limited to), Accountancy, Business Administration, Catering, Customer Service, Hospitality and a range of Manufacturing Technology, Engineering (Plumbing, Electrotechnical, Refrigeration, Manufacture), Building and Construction. The College also delivers more specialist provision such as, Horticulture, Stonemasonry and Veterinary Nursing.

Are you feeling like you might have left it too late?
Bath & North East Somerset Council’s Youth Connect Service can provide additional support for those who may need help getting into training, education or employment. This is provided by qualified Personal Advisers who can help with information about next steps to colleges, other training providers, apprenticeships and jobs.  This work is carried out in schools, colleges and drop-in sessions at the Council One Stop Shops.
Support for those with special educational needs and disabilities (SEND)
The Rainbow Resource section on preparing for adulthood offers a range of information on next steps for young people with Special Educational Needs and Disabilities looking for employment and training opportunities. There is also information about targeted apprenticeship opportunities on Bath College’s website.
Useful information
Make the most of the help on offer – in careers lessons, from careers advisers, your careers teacher, family, friends, tutor, subject teachers and through the National Careers Service at: 
  •   UCAS Progress  allows young people between 13 and 17 years old to search for courses across England and Wales

  •   The National Careers Service provides careers advice and information on a wide range of jobs, training course resources and funding

  •   Career pilot which helps your study & work

What type of route will you choose? What if you won't get a qualification?
 There are two main ways forward post 16: academic and vocational. Most people focus on one of these but some study both. When thinking about which qualifications to take, ask yourself if the ones that you are considering will:
  •    Help you to meet the entry requirements for the jobs, careers and higher education courses that interest you

  •    Help you to keep your options open if you are not sure what you want to do later on

  •    Suit your preferred learning styles

  •    Use assessment methods that suit you

How will you decide?
Knowing yourself will help you to understand what success looks like for you. Take a few minutes to write down answers to these questions:
  • Describe three things that you like?

  • Describe three things that you are good at?

  • Describe three things which you do not like?

  • What are the assessment methods that suit you?

  • How do you learn best?

  • What are your core values?

  • What are your personal qualities?

  • What are your career dreams and goals?

So what kind of opportunities should you be looking for? What inspires and energises you? What interests and motivates you in learning and in life?
Using the answers you gave above, which option or options interests you the most?
  • Staying in full time education

  • Training for a specific career through an apprenticeship

  • Getting ready for work through a traineeship

  • Getting a job and studying part-time

  • Working for yourself and studying part time

  • Volunteering and studying part time

Reflect on your choice. Write down:
  • Why did you choose that option(s)?

  • What further research do you need to do now?

  • Where will you find the answers that you need?

Research Tips
Research is essential – think about what you will need to know from practicalities like how to get there, to what the outcomes will be and whether it meets your goals. Check out the links below to find out more about options in Bath & North East Somerset. Make the most of all of the resources available to help you make your final decision.
Top tip: make sure you check your sources, especially when using the internet and social media to do your research. Is the information trustworthy, accurate and up-to-date?
Focus on Apprenticeships
An Apprenticeship is a great way to learn on the job, building up knowledge and skills, gaining qualifications and earning money at the same time. You will spend most of your time in the workplace gaining job-specific skills, but you will also be supported by a specialist learning provider to build up your knowledge and qualifications.
Apprenticeship training can take between one and four years to complete and the length of your Apprenticeship will depend on its level, the industry you’re training in and the skills you already have.
You must be 16 or over to start an Apprenticeship and there are three levels you can study at:
  • Apprenticeship (Level 2)

  • Advanced Apprenticeship (Level 3)

  • Higher Apprenticeship (Level 4 and above)

Who are they for?
Apprenticeships are open to anyone aged above 16 years-old - whether you are leaving school, have finished college or sixth form or are already in work. They can lead into full-time work or if you find you enjoy working and studying, you can carry on taking more qualifications and even progress to a degree.
There are no set entry requirements as this depends on the Apprenticeship, however, competition for Apprenticeships can be fierce, so good qualifications are important, as well as being motivated and committed. Research by the BBC found that a record 11 applications are being made for each Apprenticeship vacancy in the UK. Some Apprenticeships are more competitive with 17 applications per place, for example in the arts, media and ICT.
Don’t be put off - the highest number of Apprenticeship vacancies ever has recently been recorded, which means there are plenty of opportunities.
More information about apprenticeships:

For apprenticeships available in the area, visit the West of England Apprenticeship Hub which has a map of current vacancies. Bath College is the largest local provider of apprenticeships; more information is available on their website.

Explore jobs and job sectors to find one for you
Careerpilot has information on 20 job sectors, in 'Types of Jobs' you will find 100s of job profiles explaining what is involved, what you will earn, routes into the job, etc.
Explore to find a job/career of interest to you and start planning your route.


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