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What to do after school?

10th August 2016 by Keeley Smith

Leaving school can be a difficult time; there are just so many options for your next step.

Joint Learning to the rescue! In this news article, we will break all of your options down to help you figure out the best route for you!


Apprenticeships are earn while you learn qualifications. This means you get paid to work and gain a nationally recognised qualification. These qualifications give you knowledge and enable you to gain real-life experience within the career of your choice. Apprenticeships are available in a variety of sectors ranging from hairdressing to Marketing. Apprenticeships are usually NVQ’s which are graded in levels.

Most popular NVQ’s are level two and level three however there are fantastic progression routes. Apprenticeships can range up to Level 7, which is equivalent to a master’s degree.

Apprenticeships have a set minimum wage of £3.30; however, your employer can choose what they pay you, as long as it complies with the Apprenticeship minimum wage.

We have a range of apprenticeship vacancies here


  • Earning money whilst still in education
  • Real life experience
  • Can start at 16
  • Another way of working towards qualifications if classrooms aren’t for you

College/sixth form:

Since students have to stay in education until they are 19, the most common choices of further education are probably college and sixth form. This is because they are both easily accessible and many schools have sixth forms built in. Colleges and sixth forms help you work towards qualifications such as A Levels, AS Levels, NVQ’s and BTEC’s. Schools and sixth forms need full time commitment because you will be working towards multiple qualifications. You will learn in a classroom environment and have end of year tests.


  • Can undertake multiple qualifications at one time
  • Easily accessible
  • Large well-funded centres


Traineeships are new government funded initiative. Traineeships are work placements whilst learning core skills. Traineeships are a fantastic new way of getting an apprenticeship. This gives people more chance to gain experience for the workplace, with the possibility of gaining some smaller qualifications. Traineeships are usually unpaid, but similar to apprenticeships, it is up to the employer’s discretion. Traineeships are a brilliant way to get on the path to employment as all they require is commitment and ambition.


  • Do not require work experience
  • Give you valuable work experience
  • Learn small qualifications


University is a progression route, usually after college or sixth form. To be able to go to university you need sufficient grades. Grades are equivalent to a number of credits, usually referred to as UCAS points, and the majority of university courses require a certain number of points before you are accepted on the course. This is to make sure that students are able to cope with the demands of university. Degrees can be taken in all sorts of subjects, and these degrees can help you secure the career that you want. If a standard degree isn’t good enough for you, you can work towards more advanced degrees, from PHD’s to Masters. A lot of job roles require degrees, so going to university will give you this advantage. University is paid education, this means you either have to pay for your course up front or you need to take out a student loan Depending on the degree you have chosen, placements within real life work environments are available, so you will also be able to get some experience within your chosen career path.


  • Allows you to further your career
  • Gives you in depth understanding into your chosen sector
  • You will have a Professor who is an expert in the industry

For more information, please contact us or give us a call on 0845 301 3099

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Apprenticeship Levy

The new apprenticeship levy on employers will be introduced in April 2017 and will help fund employer apprenticeship schemes and reach the target of delivering three million apprenticeships by 2020.

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