Get hands on with your career

Let us help get you on the right path

When looking on this site or talking to us you might hear the word RPA.  This stands for raising the participation age, and it’s important for you to know.

RPA was introduced in 2013 to encourage young people to get skills and keep learning after school it makes it compulsory that all young people are still getting qualifications until they turn 18.

This doesn’t mean you have to stay at the same place.  If you’re at college and decide you want to do an apprenticeship instead then you can do that, you just have to be studying in some way.

Do I have to stay at school or college?

RPA can sound like it means you have to stay in school until you’re 18, but this isn’t true.  You do have to do be doing some kind of training, but this can be in work.  An apprenticeship is often a very good way to get a job and a qualification at the same time.  You can also get a regular job if it has accredited training.

What’s accredited training?

Almost any job will have training so that you know what you’re doing.  You’ll need to be shown how to get in and out of the building, how to do your job properly, who your manager is, and lots of other things.  These would be called non-accredited training, which means you don’t get a qualification for doing them.  Work with non-accredited training doesn’t count as RPA.

Let’s say you’re working in a café.  If you were just shown how to cook food and stay safe then this wouldn’t be RPA.  If you learnt how to do this and get an NVQ in catering or food hygiene then you’re good for RPA!

Does this mean I can’t have a job if it doesn’t have training?

If you want to make some extra money you can still get a regular job, but you still have to be in education, an apprenticeship, or accredited training.

What happens if I’m not in RPA?

When you leave school in September we will contact your college or apprenticeship that you chose to go to and make sure that everything is going well.  If you decide to leave your course we will get in touch to help you find something better for you.


EU logo



Careers Centre,
One Time Square,

01925 442211