On this page you will find support and guidance for making decisions from choosing your option subjects to leaving school and deciding next steps to going to University. Each section includes links to excellent websites and resources that will help you with these important decisions.
Post 14 Options (Choosing your GCSEs)
Probably the first time you get to make decisions about your learning starts during Year 9 when you choose what optional subjects you would like to study alongside your core mandatory subjects. The school will give you the opportunity to explore different subject content, speak to teachers etc and parents/carers can also get involved at evening events.
For an independent source of advice and information about making these choices, Career Pilot provides a comprehensive set of resources which can be viewed here.
Post 16 Options
Decisions, decisions! It can seem a little daunting when having to decide what subjects to study next upon leaving Year 11; or maybe you have been thinking about applying for an apprenticeship? The good news is that whatever your ability or aspiration, there will most likely be a range of choices open to you to help you progress.
Whilst these choices are important, the world of work is evolving so rapidly, that many of our students might find themselves in 10 years time working in jobs that don’t exist today. If you already have a career or degree subject in mind, great, align your choices to that; but don’t worry if you don’t – focus on subject choices you will enjoy and find interesting.
Post 18 Options
Is University for you? Or would you rather enter the world of work, either direct or via an apprenticeship? Will a degree offer a better chance of a well-paid career? What about that ‘debt’? Did you know that degree apprenticeships are growing in number, offering both employment and a paid-for degree education?
To explore whether University could the right path for you, visit the UCAS website here.
For those of you wanting to explore other options, such as an advanced apprenticeship, a gap year, or direct entry to the job market, Not Going to Uni (NGTU) is an excellent one-stop site detailing your choices.
You can visit NGTU here.
Finding out about the World of Work
The world of work is changing. The impact of global markets, technology, and the emerging ‘green industrial revolution’ are forecast to generate many new types of jobs and skills. Artificial Intelligence (AI) and robotics are supplementing jobs, replacing them and creating demand for new ones. Nesta, a research body, in association with Pearson, produced a report called ‘The Future of Skills’ with the aim of equipping educators to help prepare young people for the world of work.
You can view a short introductory video about their findings below:
Most school leavers today are likely to have 5 or more different careers during their working lives. The key to navigating this changing work landscape will be a combination of lifelong learning and adaptability.
So how do you decide what career you want to start with? The National Careers Service contains details of over 750 different ‘job profiles’ – we don’t recommend you start at ‘A’ and work your way through each one!
You could start with a ‘Careers Quiz’ – an online tool which asks you questions about your preferences, skills, interests and motivation and then makes suggestions for careers, or job profiles, that match your combined attributes. There are several excellent versions on the web, and we have listed several below.
Hampshire Careers Partnership
(Designed to focus on career opportunities within Hampshire)
Alternatively, you could browse sectors you are interested in, such as ‘Business, Administration and Law’. Both of the websites above group their job profile data into sectors. As previously stated, the Hampshire Careers Partnership website focuses on local businesses for those students interested in remaining and working in the Hampshire area.
If you want to explore what it is like to work in a particular industry, Hampshire Futures own website has collated an extensive range of video content about careers which you can view below:
(scroll down the page and select the ‘Videos’ icon).
Another way to explore careers is to identify careers linked to GCSE subjects, for example if your favourite subject is Maths, why not check out careers which involve lots of calculations etc?
Hampshire Futures has compiled an extensive list of different curriculum subjects and the careers they relate to, which can be viewed here.
When employers consider your skills set, they are not just looking at your GCSE and other qualifications; they are also interested in your ‘employability’ skills, sometimes known as ‘soft skills’, because they are harder to measure – they aren’t tested by exams with grades. Employability skills cover things like ‘team working’, ‘flexibility’, ‘communication’ – they help an employer assess how well you will ‘fit in’ their work environment and interact with other employees, customers etc.
The Solent LEP, in partnership with other local agencies, has produced a poster detailing these skills and ways in which they can be demonstrated, especially for school leavers.
View the poster on the right or download a PDF here.
Apprenticeships are an excellent way of starting a new career, as you are both employed and given accredited training to support your work. They are offered at a range of levels, starting at Intermediate (the equivalent of GCSEs) all the way up to degree level and beyond.
This document will guide you through the process of finding an apprenticeships and provides you with useful websites for finding apprenticeship offers – Download (PDF)
The Apprenticeship Guide
is an excellent resource covering all the different types of apprenticeships and links to current vacancies.
Parents’ and Carers’ Pack Apprenticeship Information – Download (PDF)
When you are ready to look for that first job, again there are many excellent website resources which not only list the best websites to search on, but also provide supporting information such as how to prepare your CV/application, plan for interview etc.
Career Pilot is one such website, and it can be viewed here.
CV Writing Advice
Promoting one’s self doesn’t often come easy, whether it is your Personal Statement for a college or University application, your online job or apprenticeship application, or your first paper CV.
Fortunately there is plenty of sound advice to be had from reputable careers websites which can be found here.
Year 11 – What Next?!?
Your Future Booklet
The booklet found here will walk you through your options when you leave school and how to navigate through the process. It gives you opportunities to practice your application writing and top tips for interview – Download (PDF)
How to Write a Personal Statement
This document will help you with your application writing for colleges and apprenticeships – Download (PDF)
CV (Curriculum Vitae) Guide
This document will help you write a cv for when applying for jobs or apprenticeships – Download (PDF)
College Interview Questions
This document (add college interview questions from email) will help you prepare for interviews. Practice these with friends or family members to become comfortable with answering them – Download (PDF)
40 Questions To Ask When Visiting Colleges
When visiting Colleges, it is important you ask questions to ensure it is the right place for you. Thinking about asking some of the questions found here – Download (PDF)
Career Event Schedule
Open Evening Dates for Places offering Full Time Post 16 Courses 2021/2022 – Download (PDF)
For more information please visit:
Local College Information
For a list of the local colleges, their respective websites and related course and open evening information etc., please visit:
Parents Guide to T-Levels – Download (PDF)
(Scroll down to see the list of colleges and their website links etc).
General Careers Websites:
- https://nationalcareers.service.gov.uk – The National Careers Service is an online careers database containing information on hundreds of different jobs. It gives you all the essential information you need to know about the job and how to get into it.
- http://www.youthnetsouthampton.org.uk/cv_creator/index.php – This is a local website with a really good CV creator and job information including a weekly jobs bulletin
- icloud.com – Video site with job profiles to help explore career ideas
- careersbox.co.uk – An online library of careers related films, news and information. The case studies show real people doing real jobs, giving viewers insights into all different careers
- careerpilot.org.uk – Job descriptions, facts and articles plus a CV creator and job hunting advice on where to look for work in the South, getting experience and approaching employers.
- prospects.ac.uk/options_with_your_subject.htm – Although designed for Graduates, this has a good A-Z of career information and suggestion of what you can do with your subject.
- allaboutcareers.com – graduate career opportunities
- jobs.totalprofessions.com – links to over 300 careers. See Profession Finder tab on home page
- https://myurbanjungle.com/explore/blog/how-students-can-get-ahead-post-covid/ – advice from employers and entrepreneurs on the best ways to succeed in work and business after an unpredictable year
- screenskills.com – provide job profiles and general information for people looking for jobs in media, fashion, game design and other creative careers areas
- healthcareers.nhs.uk – Hundreds of career opportunities working in hospitals and health care
- http://lantra.co.uk/careers – Great for land-based careers, work with animals, conservation and the environment
- http://www.travelindustrycareers.org/career-paths-inthe-travel-industry – Travel & Tourism careers
- apprenticeships.gov.uk – Live site advertising apprenticeships available across the UK. Search by occupation and postcode.
- alphi.org.uk – Lists the apprenticeship training providers working in Hampshire
- guest.startprofile.com – Easy to use, well presented general careers advice website
- notgoingtouni.co.uk – ideas and job vacancies for careers after A levels.
- ucas.com – University may seem years away, but it is a good idea to look at the UCAS website, especially if there’s a particular subject you would like to study or a specific university you would like to attend. The website shows entry requirements, subject grades and course details
- discoveruni.gov.uk – Official data from university satisfaction scores in the National Student Survey. Includes jobs and salaries after study and other key information for prospective students.
- university.which.co.uk – Helps with what to study, where to go and how to get there…
For volunteering and work experience opportunities: