Skip Ribbon Commands
Skip to main content
Student Area​​
Post 16 - Apprenticeships and the World of Work

Leaving school can be very daunting and full of uncertainty.   However, we are here to help you turn uncertainty into opportunity.

In England, the law states that you must do one of the following until you are 18:

• Stay in full-time education, e.g. college or 6th Form.

• Start an apprenticeship or traineeship.

• Spend 20 hours or more a week working or volunteering, while in part-time education or training.

Below are some useful links to help you make an informed decision as to where you would like your future to go.

6th Form

These are typically attached to a secondary school, and offer A Levels and possibly BTECs.  Due to their size, they possibly do not offer such a wide range of subjects as a college, but if you prefer a smaller learning environment, then this could be for you.


Colleges can offer A Levels, BTECs, Apprenticeships, GCSEs and Foundation Learning across a wide range of subjects.  For those who have aspirations to go on to university, they can be a good stepping stone – a sort of halfway house between school and university – but they are by no means the only option.  Some colleges also offer vocational courses as well as academic ones.

Apprenticeships and Traineeships

Apprenticeships are available to anyone over the age of 16.  There are different entry requirements depending on the sector and job.  They are real jobs with real training, meaning that you can earn while you learn and gain a nationally recognised qualification.  Traineeships are courses with work experience which get you ready for work or an apprenticeship, and usually last up to 6 months.

Part-time Education whilst working or volunteering

If by 16 you’ve had enough of full-time education – this could be for you.  It combines part-time education or training with working or volunteering for a minimum of 20 hours per week.

Access to Higher Education

Whilst the decision will be solely yours – be sure to ask as many questions of as many people as possible – parents, teachers, tutors, friends, family.  They will all have been in your shoes and will have a wealth of knowledge and experience to help you to start planning the future you want.


A personal message from Edward Timpson  (the Children's Minister) on what we mean by "Working Together to Safeguard Children". Know your rights and how to seek support.​

For more information on this, please visit:​



The LHSG have commissioned a short film on youth homelessness called 'Choices' launched in May 2015.  The aim of it is to prevent young people becoming homeless and the main message of the film is to encourage people to seek help at an earlier stage.  The film guides young people to help and support if they do become homeless. 


​​​​​​​Link to the website:

Feel free to share widely!