Hello Year 11 Students
At this time of year many of you will have a firm idea, or some ideas, about what you plan to do after Year 11, and many of you have applied for and been made conditional offers at: schools with sixth forms, companies who provide apprenticeships or traineeships, and colleges who offer a range of full time courses at all levels (including A levels, National Diploma’s and BTEC’s). It is always good to have a backup plan, just in case your first choice does not happen e.g. 1st choice: apprenticeship in carpentry, Backup plan: full time carpentry course at a college.
It can be good “not to put all your eggs in one basket” meaning that if you have applied for, say, a ‘Hair and Beauty level 2’ course at a college, and you seem on course to gain the GCSE grades you need to be unconditionally accepted in August, then you might still have a look in prospectuses or attend Open Days of other colleges, to see what courses are offered, or look regularly at the apprenticeship website to see if there are vacancies for school leavers that you might also apply for.
The most important thing is that whatever you go on to immediately after Year 11 is a good informed choice, and sets you off on the right path for you. When you choose what your next steps are for after Year 11, things that people often think about are: How will this fit in with my personal qualities, develop the skills that I already have, take account of subjects I enjoy and am good at in school, and take account of the hobbies and interests I have outside of school. Another important question is “If I have a long term goal, how will the steps I take after Year 11 fit in with this i.e. Science and/or Maths A levels for Medicine.
If you are student who is unsure or has no real ideas about what to do after Year 11, the careers adviser is one of the people who can talk through your options and write up your career plan with you to make your next steps clearer. You can contact him on firstname.lastname@example.org. You do not need to panic, but it is important to spend some time now thinking about what you can do and making suitable applications.
A reminder of the Main options after Year 11:
Studying A levels –These are academic level 3 courses often requiring 5 A*-C grades at GCSE. Sometimes higher grades are needed for some courses/ Sixth forms/ colleges. A levels are 2 year courses and AS levels are a standalone 1-year course. A levels can lead to university or advanced level apprenticeships/ jobs.
Vocational courses – These are available at many different levels from entry level upwards. BTECs are one of the most common vocational qualification where you tend to focus on one area. Entry requirements for BTEC Diplomas at Level 2 are usually 4 GCSEs at D grade. The BTEC Extended Diploma at Level 3, which is equivalent to 3 A levels, requires 5 GCSE’s at C or above. Colleges and some 6th forms offer these qualifications.
Apprenticeships/traineeships – Apprenticeships are where you combine work with learning and get paid as well! Some require at least 2 grade C GCSE’s, others may not require formal qualifications, although you may need to sit an English and Maths assessment. Traineeships last around six months and offer you the opportunity to undertake a work placement and provide support to improve your English and Maths. You can find out more about apprenticeships/ traineeships and search for vacancies on www.apprenticeships.gov.uk.
Employment with training – If you choose to find employment and work for 20 hours or more when you finish year 11 you are required to also continue with approved learning. This can be through your work place or in your own time and can include paid or voluntary work.
Armed Forces – Royal Air Force, Army, Royal Navy, Royal Marines
Self-employment – Rare, but occasionally an option for people at 16.
Students from last years’ Year 11 went on to, for example: apprenticeships for companies such as Messier Dowty, M Tech Engineering, Bulwark Bus and Coach Company, Spirax Sarco. Colleges such as: Hartpury, Gloucester College, South Gloucester and Stroud, City of Bristol, school 6th forms such as: Sir Thomas Riches, Ribston Hall, Hollyfield, Chepstow Comprehensive and Denmark Road (among others), and traineeships at Gloucester College and Prospects.
A reminder that there are loads of great resources on the school website careers section.
- Use careers websites such as eclips-online.co.uk (LOG IN GL15 5DZ) and https://nationalcareersservice.direct.gov.uk/ to help you continue your research into future career ideas/courses that interest you. Contact John Cousins if you need any assistance with applying or finding out more about specific vacancies.
- Apply for any courses or apprenticeships that interest you and fit in with your skills, qualities and ambitions (if you have not already done so).
- https://www.ucas.com/ucas/after-gcses/find-career-ideas/explore-jobs –
an excellent resource for discovering careers that may be suitable for you
- WAYS OF FINDING MORE ABOUT ‘WHAT’S OUT THERE’.
The skills health check on the national careers service website may be of help as it brings up careers suggestions as well as helping you to identify your skills, qualities, interests etc. The Buzz test on www.icould.com and the ‘careers wizard’ on eclips are ways of helping you find out what sort of careers may be suitable. You might also look at the SACU questionnaire and have a go at this on the school website (under careers on the homepage). This is an excellent way of bringing out some possible ideas.
- http://icould.com/watch-career-videos/ – You can watch videos of real people talking about what it is like to work in a particular job or for a particular company. A useful way of getting to know a bit more about what a job might be like
- http://university.which.co.uk/advice/a-level-choices/six-things-you-need-to-know-before-making-your-a-level-choices – for those considering A level subject choice
- The careers library is well resourced and has a lot of information to help you make informed decisions. John is available on Thursdays in the careers room if you have any specific information.
- Attend any further Open Days or taster sessions so that you get a good overview of what is available.
- Continue to work well so that you gain as good as GCSE results as possible, which will help broaden your immediate options for after Year 11.
USEFUL: Keep a notebook/journal of your career planning activities to help you keep up to date with what you have done, apprenticeships applied for, courses applied for, etc. and the outcomes e.g. have interview/ offered a full time course/offered an apprenticeship.
Although you do not have to plan the rest of your life now, and you have a lot of other things going on with exams and course work etc. finding the time to research next steps that are right for you, and getting help from people like Teachers, parents, careers advisers and people who work in jobs you are interested in, can help you to make good decisions for YOU. And get your fledgling career off to a fine start!
A reminder that the gov.uk apprenticeship website is updated daily with new vacancies and, between now and August, there will be more and more vacancies that are specifically aimed at school leavers
http://uk.businessinsider.com/the-21-best-jobs-of-the-future-2015-12?r=US&IR=T/#12-market-research-analysts-and-marketing-specialists-10 – THIS LINK GIVES SOME THOUGHTS ON WHAT ARE GOOD JOBS IN THE FUTURE…