Leaving School For Employment

Hi everyone! I hope you're all well.

Today's post is on a topic I feel is not spoken about enough.

When leaving school, students are generally funnelled into the typical sixth-form or college route. Of course, some do leave for employment, but they are often left with little guidance or advice and can feel overlooked.

Although around 40% of apprenticeship starts last year were by under-19 year olds, it's still fairly uncommon for those aged 16 (school-leavers) to become an apprentice. My question is: why?

Employment in general is often extremely suitable for young people who don't favour classic academic education... sometimes more than sixth-form or college. It gets their career on the ground and builds up really valuable work experience.

Today, we're discussing leaving school for employment. If you find yourself uninterested in college, don't waste your time going anyway simply because it's the 'done thing'.

Although, you are legally required to do something at age 16, so why not consider the many options available to you?



I will always sing the praises of apprenticeships, because I think they're bloody amazing. Why?

  • You earn your own wage
  • You gain valuable work experience
  • You gain new qualifications

Seriously... what's not to love? They give so much leeway to climb the ladder and improve yourself every day, and they're great for those who aren't fans of sitting in a classroom all day. They're a great mixture of employment and education, too; with an apprenticeship, you do have 1 day a week spent in college working towards your new qualification, but 80% of the time is spent in the workplace.



Traineeships are slightly different to apprenticeships. A traineeship is also a training programme which includes real work experience, and is also aimed at young people aged 16 to 24 who want to get into the world of work, but lack the skills and experience that employers want.

Traineeships are designed for those who want to move into an apprenticeship or job. Unlike apprentices, trainees lack essential skills or qualifications, and the traineeship aims to provide these.

Traineeships can last up to six months, unlike apprenticeships, which can go on for a number of years, and they also may be unpaid, as it's the employers right to make that decision.


School Leaver Programme

School leaver programmes are perhaps a bit unheard of compared to other options. Essentially,  employers offer programmes that give people the chance to work towards a university degree or other professional qualification.

Most companies will sponsor or part-sponsor your education and, in return, you may work full-time or part-time for them. It's really similar to an apprenticeship in that you receive education and training while working for a company and earning your own wage.

The great thing about School Leaver Programmes is that they don’t expect you to be an expert in the industry already. Entry requirements will vary, but generally, they will be looking for bright young candidates who are enthusiastic to kick-start their career!


At the end of the day, A-Levels really aren't for everyone, despite students all being funnelled down one route. I think it's super important that people are given information on all the available opportunities to them, not just one, so that our youth can make their best informed decisions for themselves.

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Dayna SpearComment