6th formers start planning your next steps now!
Use the next 1-2 years wisely!
Consider all your options and ensure you will be sought after by employers or universities
Your Options At a Glance:
Hands on experience in the workplace – in a wide range of industries finance, Law, media, computing, business, construction, engineering, Health and Social Care, pharmaceuticals, Animal Care,
A salary – minimum wage £3.50 ph but many employers pay more – up to £500 per week for a Higher or Degree Apprenticeship.
Qualifications – level 2 Intermediate apprenticeship (equivalent to GCSE’s), level 3 Advanced apprenticeship (equivalent to A levels), level 4/5 Higher apprenticeship (equivalent to foundation degree), level 6/7 Degree apprenticeships (a full undergraduate degree).
Some things to consider:
Some apprenticeships are better than others –– check the qualification they are giving you, will it qualify you for the career you want?
b) School leaver programs
For more information:
www.ratemyapprenticeship.co.uk young people rate their apprenticeship with 100’s of companies and much more
www.allaboutschoolleavers.co.uk (some of the above information taken from this site) www.getingofar.gov.uk for all apprenticeship vacancies – search now for higher and degree apprenticeships so that you can see what they are looking for in their candidates early and start preparing! https://www.notgoingtouni.co.uk/inspirations set up by a 6th form student who did not want to go to university but felt there was no independent useful advice out there about his alternatives – he is now a multi millionaire!
http://www.unisnotforme.com/ also founded by a 17 year old a community of ambitious young people exploring alternatives to university
http://purepotential.org/events/ info about large organisations offering excellent apprenticeship programs etc.
c) Trainee position
d) University at home or abroad:
An undergraduate degree and access into professions which require a degree – Medicine (including nursing, midwifery, dentistry), Vet, Barrister/Lawyer, Teaching, Engineering and Science
A rite of passage into adulthood! – many people find going to university a fun and supportive way to learn how to live independently
Some really important transferable skills for lots of careers – research and articulate writing skills, presentation skills, time management and working to deadlines, work or project experience for some degrees, team and independent working, confidence, new experiences etc.
Some things to consider:
Of course the biggy – huge debt – on average £40K and interest rates are set to rise this September. There are many articles and websites to help you understand how the student loan works and the implications of taking out a student loan.
https://university.which.co.uk loads of useful info about going to university and higher education explained, and a section for parents – click here
Click here for an article about student loans
More and more students are going abroad to do their degree it can be cheaper and can enrich your studies further – by learning another language (although lessons are in English!), learning about another culture and their people, generally broadening your horizons, opening up different job opportunities. https://www.prospects.ac.uk/postgraduate-study/study-abroad
Some things to consider:
We don’t yet know what the impact of Brexit if any will be, the adjustment to being away from home and family may be greater, it may be harder and more expensive to travel home, not everyone will speak English!
e) Gap Year:
The opportunity to travel – there are many organisations offering a range of organised gap opportunities (it doesn’t have to be a year) all over the world. You can plan your own trip by buying a round the world ticket which allows you to tailor a trip to include the countries you want to visit
Gain new skills – there are opportunities to do a wide range of volunteering including teaching, sports coaching, helping to build housing/schools etc., providing holiday activities for children, working on animal or environmental projects. Whatever your interests you can find something to suit and learn a whole raft of new skills.
Experience new cultures/people and work places – working in close proximity to people from very different cultures can teach us a great deal about ourselves and our own lives/passions/interests; which in turn can often help us make a decision about our own future career and what is important to us
Time to think about what you really want to do with your future – if you still have no idea what sort of career you want taking time away from all that is known and familiar to you can really give you some good thinking time and experiences to help in your decision making
Learn valuable life skills – independence, resilience, cooking, organisational skills, communication
Give something back – volunteering can be immensely rewarding and help us appreciate what we have! Have loads of fun and create great memories! – I don’t know anyone that has taken time to travel and work/volunteer who hasn’t done this!
Some things to consider:
When should you take your gap year? Before or after university? in some sectors it is inadvisable to take time away after your degree i.e. when things are changing rapidly and your knowledge may become outdated relatively quickly (IT). How will you pay for it? For some volunteering gap years you could raise the money via fundraising events but you need to start early! It may be more worth while to ensure you get some work experience related to the career you are considering.
Useful websites and articles:
top 5 gap year companies, grouped into subjects of interest, summarises costs/activity/destination/price
article about paid work experience (note 2009 so some links to websites may no longer exist)
STA Travel sell round the world flights and have advisers who are well travelled to help you plan your trip
lots of independent advice on taking a gap year – the good and the not so good!
So what can you do now to make yourself an attractive prospect to any future employer or university?
Volunteer/Work Experience/ Internships:
This is an excellent way to spend the school holidays for the next year or two. You could gain valuable new skills, experience and contacts, you could get offered a job/apprenticeship for when you leave 6th form, it will increase your confidence, you can make new friends and have fun! It will give you things to put on your CV and personal statement for university and give you something to talk about at an interview.
How can I get work experience or find volunteering opportunities?
1. Put together a CV and covering letter, see here for help with this https://nationalcareersservice.direct.gov.uk/get-a-job/cv-tips
2. search for local companies you would like to work for and send your CV and covering letter asking for WE, or visit them and try and talk to someone and hand your CV in
3. Search for volunteering opportunities near you here www.do-it.org
4. Email firstname.lastname@example.org or call 01234 354366 to tell him what type of volunteering you want to do
In particular industries large companies offer work experience programs e.g. for medical related opportunities locally go to:
The Royal Voluntary Service operates in most hospitals
These sites provide loads of info and offer work experience in a number of different industries:
https://www.gothinkbig.co.uk http://www.studentladder.co.uk http://www.biyp.org
Other ideas to develop your experience and skills:
A great article about how to use the school holidays whilst in 6th form to try out different careers/university life/develop your skills and experience and provide impressive content for your personal statement or CV
Duke of Edinburgh Award
challenge yourself by working towards bronze/silver/gold awards
University Summer Schools
The Sutton Trust provide these free of charge all food accommodation etc. is paid there are criteria you need to check at the website and they are over subscribed so apply early! For example, they are particularly interested in candidates who would be the first in their family to go to university, who are looked after or in care or have a high level of
socio- economic deprivation but you don’t have to fall into one of these categories!
http://www.uca.ac.uk/outreach/summer-schools/ also offers free courses in the creative industries https://www.cambridgeimmerse.com/
https://www.thehaguepeacejusticesecuritycourses.com/courses https://www.ucas.com/events/exploring-university/learn-about-uni-taster-course University taster events – 1 day/weekend/week
institute of economic affairs, internships for 6th formers and free lectures and events
great blog from a teacher giving contacts and schemes to get internships in science or engineering in the summer holidays.
Need any more help? Request a careers interview n your school with a 4YP Careers Adviser – http://www.4ypuk.com