Young People 16+
Looking to the future...
Maybe you are considering A levels, AS levels, Highers, Advanced Highers, NVQs, GCSEs or retakes - there are many learning choices open to you... or you may just want to look for a job or apprenticeship, join up with one of the Armed Services or perhaps you just want to chill for a while. Don't be hurried. Take some time to look at all of your options (you won't be short of advice), and give yourself a good start to 'after school' life.
YouthNet is the UK's first exclusively online charity. They guide and support young people, enabling them to make educated life choices, participate in society and achieve their ambitions. YouthNet has also launched a new online careers resource for young people on 'TheSite.org'.
Web Site: YouthNet
Web Site: TheSite
Get me away from this place! Talking about a Gap Year
At the moment many voices are whispering… "Go to college, go to university, get a job"… All these are well meaning. But are they giving you all your options? Many young people manage to climb the mountain of GCSEs or A-Levels only to find there's still more climbing to be done! NVQs, Further and Higher Education, and Apprenticeships.
Where do you fit into all this? Yes, you want a career, yes you want an education, yes, yes…WHATEVER! But you also want a life!
A Gap Year can improve your prospects… It's Official!
Taking a year out (known as a GAP year, usually overseas) offers the chance to experience a different way of life, take a break from studying, make new friends, see new places and have an adventure. A GAP year can be a time for fun allowing you to learn about yourself and the world.
What you really feel like doing is getting away from all that study to try something different, see something different, and meet new people. Is this possible? Yes. Is this expensive? Not necessarily. Is this a backward step? No, not at all.
Searching the Web
On the web finding reliable advice and employment can be a real trial. You are never fully sure who is out to take advantage of you. So it is essential that you do some homework on what you want to do, where you want to go and how you intend to do it. Thoroughly. Many organisations will take you on as a volunteer, feeding and housing you, but you must be aware of any hidden costs such as travel, medical treatment and insurance. The links shown here are just a few that provide good information and guidance for young people and their parents to plan a Gap year. So take a leap and choose the gap year or career break programme which best suits your needs and aspirations:
Web site: gapyear.com
Web site: GAP Activity Projects
Web site: YEAR OUT Group
Web site: GAP-YEAR.com
Web site: Youth Information - The National Youth Agency
"Know before you go!" Taking Government Advice
Government advice and guidance may seem heavy, but you know it's reasonably accurate. The Foreign & Commonwealth Office travel site provides the best and most up-to-date info so you can make your own decision about travel plans. Check this website to make sure where you are going is safe for British citizens. There's no great adventure in getting mugged.
Web site: Foreign & Commonwealth Office
Word of mouth! What fellow travellers say
Having checked out what the Foreign & Commonwealth Office are saying about travelling to a particular area, why not see what other travellers are saying too? For wealth of information about a whole range of travel related topics check out the sites below:
Web site: Lonely Planet
Web site: Rough Guides
Some Other Options. Sixth Form at school
Carrying on with school with people and places you know can be really helpful to studying. Therefore if your school has a sixth form, it's well worth considering and often you don't have to have been in a school's Year 11 in order to join the sixth form. You have the option to take AS subjects in your first year and then make a choice on the subjects you want to take at A level in your second. Many schools now offer a range of other courses such as GNVQs too, so you need to check out what's on offer.
Sixth Form College
A sixth form college certainly seems more relaxed than school! But it comes with a penalty. You have to make yourself do the work! Because they are usually larger than school sixth forms they are able to offer a wider range of options. You will be a student, not a pupil, so you are expected to manage your own time and deadlines, which can be tougher than you might think. But this will also give you the opportunity to learn skills needed at university or in the workplace - also, you'll make new friends as you're in a different establishment.
Further Education (FE) College
Further education colleges vary a lot, depending on what else is on offer locally. If most local schools have sixth forms, or there are local sixth form colleges, then the FE College may specialise in courses that closely link to the needs of commerce, industry and professional bodies - many of which can lead to university entry.
A Foundation Degree is a new, higher education vocational (work-based) qualification that helps you get the skills that employers are looking for. Foundation degrees will help you get both the practical skills and knowledge you need to progress. You can apply for a Foundation Degree even if you don't have traditional qualifications and as long as you have the desire and ability to succeed you will be considered.
Entry to Employment (e2e)
If you're not quite sure what you want to do and don't feel ready to get a job, you should think about Entry to Employment (e2e). e2e is a new option that will help you get where you want to be and it's all about you. If you don't need it, you don't do it. e2e looks at your needs and how you can move forward. So, if you want a job, need training or want to go to college, e2e will give you the skills and confidence to do it.
Web site: e2e
Web site: Learning & Skills Development Agency
Are you aged 13-19? If so, Connexions Direct (CXD) can help you with information and advice on learning, careers, health, relationships, money and lots more. You can search by topic, browse easy to read articles and get one-to-one support from a trained adviser via web chat. A welcome message is available in other languages.
Web site: Connexions
The Career Guide
The Career Guide is a portal to all the sites you may need to make your career choices. The site is divided into two sections covering consumer and corporate areas so as to provide a good sign posting service.
Web site: The Career Guide
The National Grid for Learning
The National Grid for Learning is a gateway to educational resources on the Internet. The NGfL provides a network of selected links to websites that offer high quality content and info. Whether you are learning, supporting, teaching or managing, there are resources on the NGfL for you.
Web site: The National Grid for Learning
All the information you need to get started on the road to University. The site has clear and concise answers to frequently asked questions together with a wealth of advice on subjects you might not necessarily consider. The site is not age specific and considers both the student and parental aspects too!
Web site: Aimhigher
Armed Services Careers