Raising the Participation Age (RPA)

and what it means for young people

Q) What happens after I’ve finished year 11?

All young people must now stay in some form of learning until they reach their 18th birthday.

Q) Do I have to stay at school ?

No – you can choose between :

Staying in a school 6th form

Going to an FE college / 6th form college

Doing an apprenticeship or study programme

Working or volunteering part-time as well as continuing with part-time learning

Q) Why do I have to do this?

The world of work is changing, with new jobs being created all the time.

Advances in technology mean that more and more jobs need people with better skills and qualifications. By continuing to learn until you are at least 18 you too can be part of this exciting new world and increase the range of jobs you can apply for and increase your earning capacity.

Better skills = Better jobs = Better pay

Q) What if I didn’t do well at school?

Don’t worry – the range of learning options cater for young people with no qualifications right through to those who are high achievers.

It’s now recognised that maths and English are essential to our learning so if you haven’t already achieved a grade 4 or above by the time you start your post 16 option, you will be able to continue with these subjects at whichever level is best for you.

Q) What about money?

All of your courses and qualifications are free and you might be paid as well!

If you do an apprenticeship, you will be earning a wage. For any other courses, you should check with your provider to see if they can offer any help with things like travel, other incentives or if you are eligible for the 16-19 bursary. ( If you are a young person in care, there may be additional financial support – so please share this information when you enrol on a course.)

Families can also continue to claim child benefit whilst you are on your course (not for apprenticeships.)

You can still carry on with any part-time or holiday jobs, provided this does not interfere with your course or training.

To find out more about the options above, why not take a look at our website careers library.

Need to speak with a careers adviser?

If you are still at school or college, the careers staff will be able to answer your questions and help you to explore your options.

If you have left school or college and need some help, contact us at Birmingham Careers Service and we can help you with all your questions.