What are my options after Year 13?

There are so many education, training and job options now after year 13 that it’s easy to feel a bit confused and uncertain of the best path to take. In simple terms, the options are: continue full time studying; take vocational qualifications; do an apprenticeship; find a job or volunteer and study part-time. Here we’ve tried to simplify the range of options for you, and we’d be delighted to discuss things further with you if you have further questions or you’re feeling unsure. You can also access further information through our list of resources.

Go to university or higher education (HE) college

If you’re wanting to stay in education, you have several options to choose from – a degree, HND or foundation degree (ideal if you want to study while you work).

You also have a choice around where you study. As well as university, you can study higher education qualifications and access higher education courses at a local further education college. In Cumbria, there is Lakes College, Myerscough College and Furness College.

Choosing the right course is important and can be a tough decision but there is plenty of advice on hand to help and you can find a complete guide here on the UCAS website. What Uni is a helpful resource for comparing universities and finding the best courses.

Available routes:

  • Apply for an apprenticeship

An apprenticeship is a work-based training programme – you gain hands-on experience doing a specific job, get paid a salary and have the opportunity to gain qualifications while you work. You could even end up with a degree. Check out our Apprenticeship Guide 2022 for more info.

There are over 280 types of apprenticeships for over 1,500 job roles – anything from engineering to boat-building or veterinary nursing to accountancy.

Gen 2 recruits for engineering, business administration, customer service, teaching assistant apprenticeships, including Higher Level and Degree apprentices for some of the larger companies in Cumbria.

There are also lots of local apprenticeship opportunities in a wide range of sectors including cyber security, electrical installation, construction, beauty and hairdressing. Watch our video for details.

  • Traineeships

Traineeships are an ideal opportunity for young people aged 16 to 24, who are motivated to get a job but lack the skills and experience that employers are looking for. A traineeship will help get you work-ready and lasting between 6 weeks and 6 months, are tailored to your needs.

You’ll get the benefit of on-the-job training, learning new skills, support with Maths and English and an improved CV. A traineeship could help you move on to an apprenticeship.

  • Supported internship

Internships are for young people aged 16-24, with learning difficulties or learning disabilities, who want to get a job and need extra support. To be eligible you need a Statement of Special Educational Needs and Disabilities (SEND), a Learning Difficulty Assessment, or an Education Health and Care Plan.

Through a personal study programme, you’ll benefit from training, support and the work skills you need to help get a job.

  • School leaver programmes

A school-leaver programme gives you a direct route into work at 18. It’s best to be sure you have a clear idea of what job you want to do and be committed to it. These programmes are great options to gain skills on the job and you’ll have the opportunity to gain a qualification at the same time.

  • Find a job

Getting straight into work at 18 is right for some people and you need to weigh up the pros and cons for your situation and career aspirations.

Working can help you start developing essential skills and experience while increasing your employability. Having work experience and building your CV will make you more attractive to employers in the future and will open up more job opportunities. Have a browse through these job profiles for inspiration.

  • Take a gap year

A gap year is a unique opportunity to have a break from education, learn from new experiences and give time to reflect on your future. It’s also an opportunity to gain some work experience. A productive gap year can be valuable on your CV – many employers value the experiences young people gain if their time has been used wisely.


We’d be delighted to have a chat with you

If you’re still a little confused about the right career for you, please get in touch with our careers guidance team who are here to offer advice.

Why not check out our videos on our dedicated page for 18-24-year-olds. Click here to find out more.

Let us help you Be Bold, Be Resilient, and Be Relevant.

To book a free 1:1 appointment with one of our advisers - email, call us or use our form and we will arrange an online or phone appointment with you.

⮞ Call us on 0345 658 8647

⮞ Email us at info@inspira.org.uk

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