You can apply for an apprenticeship or traineeship after you finish year 11.
Applying for an apprenticeship is similar to applying for a job. If you're not ready for an apprenticeship you can apply for a traineeship instead.
Apprenticeships combine practical training in a job with study. As an apprentice you'll:
- work alongside experienced staff
- gain job-specific skills
- earn a wage and get holiday pay
- study towards a related qualification (usually one day a week).
You can apply for an apprenticeship if you're:
- aged 16 or over
- eligible to work in England
- not in full-time education.
Apprenticeships take one to four years to complete.
There are different levels of apprenticeships: intermediate, advanced and higher. Each apprenticeship has an equivalent education level:
- intermediate apprenticeship is equivalent to five GCSE passes
- advanced apprenticeship is equivalent to two A-level passes
- higher apprenticeship can lead to NVQ Level 4 and above, or a foundation degree.
A traineeship can provide the skills and work experience that employers are looking for.
Your traineeship will include all of the following:
- preparation for work
- English and maths, if you don't already have GCSE English and maths grades 9 to 4
- a work experience placement.
You can apply for a traineeship if you:
- are aged 16 to 18
- are unemployed (or you work less than 16 hours per week)
- have been unsuccessfully applying for apprenticeships.
You can find vocational courses at local skills centres.Your traineeship will last between six weeks and six months.