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In the UK all young people should be in some form of education or training up until the age of 18, but that doesn’t mean you have to stay in school; there are many options available and this is the time of year you should be making decisions on which best suits you before the educational year begins in September. GCSE results day is on August 20th this year and if you have already made a plan, but your results are not what you are expecting, you may want to consider other avenues as a back-up plan.

So, what are the options available at this stage? Well we have done the hard work and researched the choices available, so you don’t have to - have a read here>>


Apprenticeships combine practical, on the job training, alongside studying for a relevant qualification; these are paid positions offering the opportunity to learn while bringing in a wage. You have the chance to work alongside experienced staff, as well as gaining skills unique to the workplace, over a period of one to four years. You can search for apprenticeship vacancies HERE. Some employers also advertise apprenticeship vacancies on their websites. Our website offers some helpful hints about applying for jobs and apprenticeships on the Young Person’s page, or find out what jobs might suit you by completing questionnaires like and

Sixth Form College:

You can move to further education and study vocational and academic courses in a wide range of subjects at sixth form college. There are options for practical learning which are less classroom-based to encourage more young people to continue studying, as well as traditional A-level subjects. Practical courses are ideal for those who are aiming to work in a specific and specialist industry, such as engineering, business and finance, graphic design, health care and management roles. If you are unsure about what careers are available, check the websites of local colleges and speak to relevant staff if available.

A-levels are also available at some colleges, and many colleges offer a wider variety of choices than school.

A-Levels in School

There are many benefits to staying at school for sixth form and A-Level choices. Rather than moving into a new environment with new faces, you can choose to build on established relationships and existing achievements, while finding new freedoms and new responsibilities in the Sixth Form of your own school. You can also apply to study A-Levels at another school that you haven’t studied your GCSE’s in.

If you are unsure about career ideas, and want to research more about different jobs and how to get into them, you can use

Still not sure what to do next?

Don’t panic if you still don’t know what to do, but it is best to try and plan now rather than leave it until the last minute. Our experts at Youth Connect can help you make decisions and find the right options for you, just use our Contact Form to get in touch. Also, keep checking the Youth Connect South West website for information on the support we are offering over the exam results period.

We can also advise on the needs of any young people in our area with special educational needs or disabilities, to aid in the educational, health and care plan that is in place for them, ensuring they have access to the educational options they choose.


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