Making your choices after year 11

You must now be in education or in some form of training until you are 18 years old.

Options after year 11 include:

  • Full-time education
  • Apprenticeships
  • Employment with training

Whichever route you choose to take, the higher your grades the more opportunities will be available to you.

Most students continue in full-time education at a college or sixth form, there are two types of courses you can study:

  • Academic (A levels) or
  • Vocational

A levels are a progression from GCSEs.

You will need to achieve 4 or 5 GCSEs at Grade 9 – 4

Some A level subjects may require you to achieve Grade 6 and above

A levels combine coursework with written examinations

Compared to GCSEs they are much more in depth

You will study fewer subjects but in more detail

A vocational course is linked to a specific career / work area

There are various levels to suit all abilities, from Entry level to Level 3

The level of course you can start on depends on the qualifications you achieve

Vocational courses are more practical and hands-on with assessments throughout the course

Apprenticeships are an excellent way of gaining qualifications and workplace experience. As an employee, you can earn as you learn and you gain practical skills from the workplace. There are over 200 job roles available ranging from Accountants to Hairdressers, Engineers to Veterinary Nurses, Bricklayer to Deep Sea Fisherman.

As an apprentice you will be in employment for most of your time as most training takes place on the job. The rest usually takes place at a local college or a specialist training organisation.

Visit to search for local Apprenticeship jobs through the Apprenticeship Vacancies system.

You can also find apprenticeships using the website

You can use the Apprentices vacancy system to:

  • Search for Apprenticeship vacancies and save your search results
  • Log your areas of interest (e.g. business administration)
  • Manage your applications

You’ll be able to see:

  • detailed information about the job
  • the employer
  • training
  • pay and the qualifications you will be working towards

Once you've found the job you want, applying is easy. The application form is simple, secure and reusable, so you can respond to as many vacancies as you like, and save your application forms. You can view the status of your applications and manage them online.


A traineeship is an education and training programme with work experience that unlocks the great potential of young people and prepares them for their future careers by helping them to become ‘work ready’.

Designed to help young people aged 16 to 24 who don’t yet have the appropriate skills or experience, traineeships provide the essential work preparation training, English, maths and work experience needed to secure an apprenticeship or employment. 

If you have a good business idea, being self-employed or starting a small business can be very rewarding but it can take a lot of hard work and dedication. 

Self-employment can offer:

  • An opportunity to do something you enjoy and are good at
  • A chance to be your own boss
  • Flexible working hours

How to get started?

  • Is there a gap in the market for your idea?
  • How much money will you need to set-up?
  • Where will this money come from?
  • What equipment will you need?
  • Where will you work from eg home or an office?
  • Will you need to employ anyone else?

There is plenty of free information, advice and practical support available to help you set up your own business.

Useful Contacts

Humber LEP Start-Up Your gateway to finding finance, advice and support for starting or growing your business in the Humber region.

The Princes Trust Enterprise Programme offers support to young people aged 18-30 to explore self employment. For free access to online tutorials and advice on how to start, including developing your business idea, tax, finance and marketing, visit 

Start up Britain is a national campaign set up by 8 entrepreneurs last year, with the support of the government. It offers links to many sources of information.

Business in You case studies of successful entrepreneurs and help to find a mentor.

John Cracknell Youth Enterprise Bank which is for young people aged up to and including 21 years old, and offers grants of up to £1,000 for individuals or groups of young people who need finance to help make their idea happen.