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The Government requires young people to continue in learning until they are 18 and this includes traineeships and apprenticeships options. This allows you to gain more qualifications and/or improve on your GCSE grades which in turn is going to put you in a better position when applying for employment later. Find out more here:

There is a lot of information out there to support young people with anxiety and well-being. In the first instance, speak to someone. Whether that’s a friend, family member or someone who specialises in this area. Click here to view different agencies offering support:

Kooth are an organisation offering free confidential well-being support to young people in Birmingham.   You can chat with a support worker at Kooth

Before you decide to leave, speak to your tutor about how you’re feeling. There may be something they can do to help. Or get in touch with Birmingham Careers Service and we can support you.

Chances are you’re not the only one feeling this way. If you do leave, it’s unlikely you’ll be credited for the work you’ve done.

Contact us at: – one of our Advisers will contact you. You can also call, text or email us – details are on our website

No this isn’t true.  Colleges and training providers are still open and recruiting for courses starting in September 2021.  If you left school/college last year there are opportunities available to start now with lots of training providers.  You are likely to do blended learning (i.e. a mixture of remote on-line learning and face to face) until restrictions are fully lifted.  Vist our website  to take a virtual tour of many local colleges and training providers.  You can also check out the individual college and training provider websites.  These will give you the option to apply NOW for courses.  

You can register on the National Apprenticeship website: – here you will be notified of new opportunities.

You can also check the websites of companies, colleges & job sites (e.g. Indeed) to see if they are advertising Apprenticeships.

Access our leaflet which is packed full of useful hints & tips about Apprenticeships:

Firstly, congratulations on your college place.  These are a selection of free websites that can offer you the chance to practice your English & maths: Lots of education and schooling information for parents.  Free selection of worksheets for all National Curriculum Key Stages and SATS is available to all users and more resources for those who subscribe.  and  all subjects according to the National Curriculum, for ages 5 to 16  Learn for free: English, maths, art, computer programming, economics, physics, chemistry, biology, history, and more.  For ages 5 to 16.  Student Support Centre provides home-based tuition in Maths, English and reading for children aged between 4 and 17 years.  Based on the National Curriculum.

Yes. Colleges have courses at many different levels, and they will help you to identify the right level for you. You will be able to learn English & maths alongside your college course. Again, whether this is Entry Level, Level 1 or a GCSE will depend on the level you are at now, but the college will be able to make sure you are studying at the right level.

If English isn’t your first language you can apply to do an ESOL course at college. Look at individual College websites for further information. ESOL courses at Colleges are available at different levels and they start at different times of the year.

You can download this app to your smart phone (the version with adverts is free) to learn languages (including English) – easy bitesize lessons.

No. Once you study beyond Level 3 qualifications (e.g. A levels or Level 3 Diploma) you will need to study for a degree in dentistry or medicine. You can be a Doctor or Dentist but not both at the same time.

Yes. If you have an EHCP and the college is offering you a place, this means they can meet your needs. If you don’t have an EHCP, the college can still support you; contact student services to check what support they can offer.

To go to Uni you will need a Level 3 qualification (e.g. A Levels or Level 3 Diploma).  You can study for these at College or 6th Form.  You can also gain a Level 3 qualification as part of an Advanced Apprenticeship.

An Access to Higher Education (Access to HE) course for older students aged 18+ is a flexible way of getting into university and suits those who are returning to education.

Both are great careers. Deciding which one to do comes down to your skills, interests and motivation in life. Remember to do your research so you fully understand what each career involves. For careers guidance, please speak to your school/college Careers Adviser of if you have left education contact us at:

Even if you are 16 you can not start post 16 education (e.g. college, 6th form or training) until after the statutory school leaving date (2021 = 30th June 2021).  

There is a starting point for everyone at college regardless of whether you were able to take any exams or not. At enrolment Colleges will place you on the right level course.    

The Government has said that grade 4 is a ‘standard pass’. Grade 5 is a ‘strong pass’ and equivalent to a high C and low B on the old grading system. Grade 4 remains the level that students must achieve without needing to re-sit English and maths post-16.

No they are both Level 3 courses.  They just differ in their learning styles.  A Levels are assessed by exams at the end of year 13 and BTEC Level 3 by a mixture of course work, assignments and some small exams.  

A Levels are academic exam-based qualifications.  They allow you to study 3 or 4 different subjects alongside each other.  BTEC Level 3 Diplomas are vocational qualifications linked to career areas.  They are assessed mainly by course work, assignments and some small exams. Higher Education courses accept both types of Level 3 qualifications. 

They’re all valuable! Don’t think about one A Level being more valuable than another.  You need to make your choices based on your own skills, abilities, interests and subjects needed for future career choices.

Choosing a college based on where your friends are going is not advisable. You’ll end up choosing something you may not enjoy & you may leave. Best advice is look at what YOU want to do and then decide what college offers the best course. You’ll make new friends and have new experiences.

No that is not correct. You should be applying for post-16 opportunities early in year 11.  Colleges and 6th Forms will give you a conditional offer.  This offer will tell you what grades you need to get onto that particular course. Most colleges are able to offer you an alternative course if you don’t get the required grades. If you’re in year 11 and haven’t already applied for any courses do so NOW!  

Not at all.  Every profession offers valuable skills and experience. We’re all different so it is important we choose the career to suit our own skills, qualities and interests. There are lots of progression opportunities within hair & beauty.  For example: management; sales; teaching; travel; self-employment and marketing.

I’m not sure but when you find out please share! If you’re considering a course based on how much money you can make, then chances are you haven’t been given good careers advice. For careers guidance contact your school/college Careers Adviser or if you have left education contact us via our website   Whatever course/career you choose it involves hard work, perseverance and commitment.  Often those with high monetary rewards are very stressful!

You might not get onto the course you originally applied for but most colleges will offer you an alternative course

If you pass your Entry Level 1 course you will be able to progress onto the next level course (i.e. Entry Level 2).  Entry Level 2 is not the same as a Level 2 course. You might eventually be able to progress onto a Level 2 course if you work hard and pass all the levels below.  If you already have a place to start with BMet they will make sure you start at the right level for you.

If you get a Level 3 qualification in Health & Social Care you can progress onto a University degree course.  If you wanted to be a Doctor you would need to do a Science Foundation year followed by a science degree (e.g. Biomedical), followed by medical degree.  This is a very long route.  You may wish to consider other rewarding health care professions, for example, Occupational Therapy, Nursing, Midwifery or Physiotherapy.

English & history are good choices as you’re writing essays and analysing text. A Level Law is not essential.

There is no right course.  The right course for YOU depends on YOUR interests, skills, abilities and future career ideas.  You might benefit from meeting with your school/college Careers Adviser of if you have left education contact us via our website

You can choose a maximum of five courses on your UCAS application. There’s lots of things you can doing to prepare for University. Planning ahead is the key: check course entry requirements and if you need any relevant work-experience or need to sit any additional tests (e.g. UCAT).  You can research Universities, degree courses and their entry requirements at

Equality is about ensuring everybody has an equal opportunity and is not treated differently or discriminated against because of their characteristics. All places of learning have an Equality & Diversity policy; ask to view a copy. It is against the law to discriminate against someone’s age, disability, gender reassignment, marriage and civil partnership, pregnancy and maternity, race, religion or belief, gender or sexual orientation. If you feel you’ve been a victim of discrimination speak to someone to get advice.

To do resits at college you will need to have achieved, at least, Grade 3

If you do a vocational course you will only be able to take English and maths GCSE or functional skills alongside your main course.

Our CV leaflet will help you put together your CV

Talk to your school/college Careers Adviser for more help or if you have left education contact us via our website

No. You will not be disadvantaged.  Your post 16 choices will be the same as for any school leaver. If you’re currently in year 11 Birmingham Careers Service is offering free careers guidance to all Elective Home Educated young people.  Please contact us for further information via our website


Further education is free to all young people aged 16-19. If you’re over 19, it depends on your circumstances. It’s best to always check with the college to see if you qualify for free education.

Yes you will have to pay tuition fees for all University courses.  There are no upfront costs as your tuition fees will be covered by the Government via a Student Loan.  You will not be required to start paying back your Loan until you earn £25,000 or more per year

If you do a Degree Apprenticeship your company will pay all your fees

The Barber Institute of Fine Arts, which is part of University of Birmingham are offering some free on-line Art workshops, click on:

Leaf Creative Arts is a  varied programme of creative arts & craft project ideas, Tel: 07886 546 639   

​You can also create your own work experiences by volunteering for neighbours or someone who needs some support during lockdown.

It’s also worth checking out YouTube to see if there are any free classes.

See Birmingham City Council webpage Elective Home Educated (EHE) for resources and advice

This year Birmingham Careers Service is offering free careers guidance & support to EHE young people who are currently in year 11. You should have received a letter from us, if not please contact us via our website

If you are quite certain about the type of job you wish to apply for you could consider the apprenticeship route, if not you may want to consider your options at college.  Please talk to your school/college Careers Adviser of if you have left education contact us via our website

Wow, that’s great! We always advise young people to have a back-up plan. Even if you sign up for a course or another form of learning, the skills and knowledge you have gained will help you as a Youtuber.

To become a psychiatrist you’ll need to complete: a five-year degree in medicine, recognised by the General Medical Council. Then a two-year foundation programme of general training. Followed by three years of core training in Psychiatry and then three years of training in a speciality. For further information visit:

Traditionally you can do either a Midwifery degree or a Nursing degree followed by a post-graduate Midwifery qualification.  There is also a Midwifery Pathway with the NHS for more information Pathways – HASO (     

Entry requirements for nursing degree courses vary because each university sets its own entry criteria.  You are likely to need at least two/three A-levels or a Level 3 (e.g. BTEC Diploma) equivalent qualification. You will also need GCSE English language, maths and a science. The NHS also offer an Apprenticeship pathway to becoming a Registered Nurse Pathways – HASO (

You will be able to study English and maths GCSE or Functional Skills alongside your Level 1 course. The college will assess whether it is best for you to study English and maths GCSEs or Functional Skills

Contact each college directly to see what incentives (e.g. bus pass) and support they are able to provide 

No, you can apply to any college that you feel offers the best course for you. However, you’re best to think about your travel time and costs

Most students study 3 or 4 A level subjects in their first year. University offers are normally based on three A level grades. Some people will drop down to 3 subjects in their second year, so the additional workload of studying 4 or 5 subjects doesn’t impact on their grades.

To find out all the latest open day information for colleges and 6th forms in the area visit our guide

For entry to all University courses you will need a Level 3 equivalent qualification (e.g. A Levels or a Level 3 Diploma).  Some courses also require relevant work-experience.  For example, Medicine, Social Work, Dentistry.  Visit

for more information

You can only study a maximum of 4 A Levels.  You should base your choices on your skills, abilities, interests, what you’re good at and your future career plans.


Most employers advertise on the following website: You can also look on company websites in their careers section. Also consider looking at surrounding areas, such as, Walsall and Solihull to widen your search and increase your chances.

If you want to work in IT don’t restrict your search to IT companies.  ALL companies need people with IT skills and abilities.

It is a good idea to consider applying for Traineeships as they can be a good route into an Apprenticeship.  You can look for current Traineeship opportunities on this website

​Birmingham Careers Service can help you with your applications and opportunity searches – contact us via our website

Some employers will accept candidates with no GCSES in English and maths. If you haven’t achieved Grade 4 or above you will be required to continue studying English and maths.

No. They both require full time commitment. 

You can start an apprenticeship as early as the 1st of July in the year you leave statutory school. School leaver vacancies are currently being advertised on the website below.

You can look for a part time job. However, if you are still in statutory education, you can only work limited hours during term time.  Please see our ‘Holiday Work’ leaflet for further information

You would really need to have an interest in working with and learning about computers & digital technology.  For information about how to research career ideas talk to your school/college Careers Adviser or if you have left school contact us via

Yes, your EHCP will be in place up until the age of 25 while you remain in learning.  For further information:

An apprenticeship is employment with the added benefit of gaining a qualification. All employees must pay national insurance and income tax but only if you earn above a certain amount.

Download the free QDOS Careers App onto your smartphone.  Take a range of interactive quizzes and assessments in the section ‘I don’t know what I want I want to do’.  These will give you an idea of the careers and job types that maybe suited to you!

If you’re at school/college contact your Careers Adviser or if you’ve left education contact us via our website