When you leave secondary school the government says that you must go into either education or training. This means that you can either go to college, to a smaller training provider or onto an apprenticeship or traineeship. There are many routes into work and you will get chance to discuss these with Miss Carter in your careers interviews. You will receive a careers interview in year 8, year 10 and year 11. Alternatively, you can request an interview at any time by speaking to either Miss Carter or your House Leader.
If I choose to go to college, what can I study?
A Levels – A Levels are a level 3 qualification (a GCSE at grades 4 or above is a level 2 qualification). Students typically choose three A level subjects. This allows you to mix a variety of subjects and can be a good choice if you have several areas you think you may be interested in working in.
There are a wide range of A level subjects on offer at local colleges. These will include the subjects you study at school as well as new subjects such as Philosophy, Animation and Geology. The college web links below will allow you to see the full range of courses on offer at each college.
Colleges will ask for you to have achieved certain grades at GCSE for you to be able to study A Levels. For example, if you want to study A level Maths, many colleges will ask for you to have a grade 6 or above in GCSE Maths.
A levels are graded from U (unclassified) to A* (the highest pass mark).
BTEC – A BTEC is generally a vocational qualification (designed to prepare you for a particular job or field of work). Level 3 BTEC courses are typically equivalent to three A levels. A BTEC is a good choice if you know which field of work you want to go into. You will usually only study one BTEC as this will take up your whole timetable. Some colleges do offer a combination of one BTEC and one A level.
BTEC courses on offer at local colleges cover a range of career paths including Public Services, Graphic Design and Health and Social Care. Use the college web links below to see the range of BTEC courses available at each college.
Where could I study?
- Newcastle College – A large further education college situated in Knutton. This can be easily reached from Newcastle bus station. Offering a range of A levels, BTECs, vocational courses and apprenticeships.
- City of Stoke-on-Trent 6th Form – Situated near to Stoke-on-Trent train station. It is accessible via bus, train or nearby cycling routes. Offers BTEC and A level courses in a wide variety of subjects.
- Stoke-on-Trent College – Situated in Stoke and Burslem with access via bus and Cauldon campus within walking distance of Stoke-on-Trent train station. Offers A levels, BTECs, vocational courses and apprenticeships.
- Cheshire College South & West – This college is situated in Crewe but provides free transport from Audley. A range of A levels and vocational courses are on offer.
- Reaseheath College – This college specialises in agricultural, construction and animal management courses but also provides a range of other vocational and academic courses. Free transport is available from some areas.
- Equality Training – This provider has local sites in Newcastle and Hanley. Courses on offer include Childcare, Health and Social Care, Hairdressing, Barbering, Business Administration and Vocational Studies. Class sizes are a maximum of 12.
- Martec Training – This is a smaller provider in Newcastle under Lyme within easy walking distance of the bus station. Martec offer a range of apprenticeships, traineeships and study programmes. Subjects include Motor Vehicle, Hospitality and Catering, Business Administration and Warehousing.
- Crewe Engineering and Design UTC – CEDUTC offers A levels, BTEC Engineering courses and the Technical Baccalaureate which includes Maths and Engineering skills.
Following on from A levels or BTEC you could go to university. Some university courses will require you to have studied certain A level subjects. For example, if you want to go into medicine you will need to have studied Science subjects although some universities will accept subjects such as Maths and Psychology alongside a Science subject. It is worth checking this before making your A level choices if you are thinking of going to university.
Universities will require you to have achieved certain grades in your level 3 qualification (eg. A level or BTEC). This may be written in the form of UCAS points. UCAS is the Universities and Colleges Admissions Service. It will award you points for each qualification you achieve at level 3, depending upon the grade you get. The table below shows the points awarded for different grades.
What if I want to go straight into the work place?
If you want to get straight into the workplace you can take an apprenticeship. You will spend some of your time (often four days a week) at work and some time (often one day a week) at college studying. An apprenticeship means you will get real life experience and you will get paid. However, it will also mean that you may be at work while your friends have fun, it will also mean you will need to be able to behave in a professional manner at all times, organise yourself and work independently.
What if I’m not ready for an apprenticeship but don’t want to go to college?
If you want to take an apprenticeship but don’t feel you are quite ready you could take a Traineeship. This is course with work experience which is designed to get you ready for an apprenticeship. The course can last up to six months.
What if I don’t know what I want to do?
It’s quite normal not to know what you want to do when you enter the world of work, it can be easy to feel that everyone except you has a big dream they are following, but this is not the case. Many students are unsure what they want to do and many change their minds as they go through school.
One way of finding out what might suit you is to take a personality quiz. Follow the link below to take the Buzz Quiz and find out what your personality type is and which jobs might suit you:
If you know you want to work in construction but aren’t sure which roles would suit you why not try to Go Construct and find out which job has your name on it:
Think about what’s important to you. Asking yourself the following questions could help you decide which jobs might suit you:
Applying for jobs/apprenticeships
You might be thinking of applying for an apprenticeship, looking for a part-time job whilst at college or ready to apply for full time work once you’ve completed your studies. This process can be daunting but hopefully the information and resources below will help you.
Preparing to look for work
The first thing you’ll need to do is create a CV (Curriculum Vitae). This is a document which tells a potential employer about you, your qualifications and your previous experience of work. You should never lie on a CV but it is a good idea to tailor your CV to the job you’re applying for. For example, if you’re applying for a job which involves working as a part of a team be sure to point out any team sports you’ve played or group projects you’ve been part of. If you were applying for a job which involves working alone you might focus more on experiences you’ve had of completing a project on your own.
Tips for writing your CV can be found here:
A reference is a statement about your character, abilities and qualities. This could include comments about your time keeping, attendance and professional skills.
Generally, your CV should include the names and contact details of two people who will be prepared to give you a reference if asked. You could include your teacher, your sports coach, an employer you’ve done work experience with or your employer at a part time job.
Writing A Covering Letter
Ifyou are sending your CV via the post or handing it over by hand you should also include a covering letter. This should be a brief summary of why you are interested in applying for the position and why you think you are suitable.
Where to look for work
Your local Job Centre
Your local job centre has terminals you can use to search the Job Centre Plus nationwide database of vacancies. Staff can help you to search and apply for jobs and arrange help for you to access interviews if you have a disability. Local job centres are located at:
Newcastle under Lyme Hanley Kidsgrove
Paradise Street, 91, Upper Huntbach Street The Avenue,
Newcastle – under -Lyme, Stoke-on-Trent, Kidsgrove,
ST5 1RS ST1 2BX ST7 1AH
You can also use their website to search at: https://www.gov.uk/find-a-job
Or telephone on 0345 604 3719. Please check call costs before dialing, especially if someone else pays the bill.
Job searching websites
You could try the most popular job search websites; Monster, Reed.co.uk, Fish4Jobs, indeed, TotalJobs
The local paper
You will find some jobs advertised in The Sentinel
By calling on companies door to door
One way to look for work is to enquire at companies door to door. It is worth leaving a copy of your CV even if there are no current vacancies as they will keep this on file and may contact you in the future if a vacancy comes up.
If you are looking for an apprenticeship, colleges and providers may be able to help you find a vacancy.
Newcastle and Stoke-on-Trent colleges both offer apprenticeships and may be able to help you find an employer. Other local apprenticeship providers include:
Martec Training https://www.martectraining.co.uk/
Total People https://www.totalpeople.co.uk/
Juniper Training https://www.junipertraining.co.uk/
PM Training https://pmtraining.org.uk/
By uploading your CV onto LinkedIn
LinkedIn is a professional networking website which may lead some job offers or help with your research
Asking friends and family
By asking friends and family if they know of any vacancies at their work places you may get to hear about job opportunities that haven’t yet been advertised and be able to get your application in first.