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In 2013 the government introduced RPA (Raising the Participation Age) requiring all young people to continue in education or training until they are 18.  

RPA was introduced to encourage young people to get skills and keep learning after school making it compulsory that all young people are still getting qualifications until they turn 18.

Young people have a choice about how they continue in education or training post-16, which could be through:

  • full-time study in a school, college or with a training provider
  • full-time work or volunteering (20 hours or more) combined with regulated part-time education or training (about one day per week)
  • an apprenticeship or traineeship

What are my options after School?

After year 11, there are a range of options for you to choose from:

  • Stay in full-time education at a Sixth Form College, a Further Education College, Specialist College or Training Provider
  • An apprenticeship
  • A traineeship
  • Employment with part time study, but this has to meet RPA

It’s important to think about the type of career that you might like, as this can help you to decide which options is best for you.  You may want to consider how you learn best, do you prefer academic study or would you prefer to gain work experience?  It’s also important to research careers and to check if they require specific qualifications for example A Levels or a university degree.

What are my options at 18?

At 18, you may want to consider some of these options:

  • Studying for a higher education qualification.  To search for courses visit the University and Colleges Admissions Service website 
  • Further study at a College of Further Education or Training Provider
  • An apprenticeship, including higher and degree level apprenticeships
  • Finding a job, many employers offer additional on-the-job training
  • Self-employment, starting your own business
  • Taking a gap year
  • Work Experience
  • Volunteering
  • Internships

Depending on the type of career you would like to do, will depend on which option is best for you.  Some careers require a higher education qualification, so you may need to study at university. 

You can also gain higher education qualifications at local colleges, through distance learning or as part of a higher or degree level apprenticeship.    If you are keen to gain work experience you could also consider an apprenticeship or apply for jobs or voluntary work.

If you would like advice about different options, just get in touch, our Advisers are always happy to help.

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Careers Centre,
One Time Square,

01925 442211