Schools Out! What are your next steps after GCSEs?

Across the country Year 11 students are celebrating the milestone of finishing secondary school education and as they now wait for their GCSE results what options or next steps are available to them?

There are plenty of options to explore after completing your GCSE’s. Here at PTS, we recognise not everyone is suited to A-levels. More and more young people are choosing the route of apprenticeships after they leave school.

Over the past year, the government has invested over £1.6 billion to increase apprenticeship opportunities for young people. There are now thousands of schemes available in a variety of sectors, including Health and Social Care, Business Administration, Events and Education and Childcare.

What is an apprenticeship?

Apprenticeships are designed for 16–24-year-olds. They combine real life work with academic learning. Unlike A-levels, you will be working full-time earning an income whilst working towards a qualification! All apprentices will receive a salary, as well as the other perks and benefits of starting a real job.

Apprenticeships are available in a variety of levels. These include Level 2 (equivalent to 5 GCSE passes), Level 3 (equivalent to 2 A-level passes), Level 4/5 (equivalent to a foundation degree) and Level 6/7 (equivalent to a full BA(Hons) Degree).

Once you have completed your GCSEs, you will be eligible for both intermediate and advanced level apprenticeship.

Apprenticeships give you the opportunity to start a career immediately after finishing your GCSEs, to get on the career ladder and start earning an income at 16!

Apprenticeship benefits:         

  • Combination of practical, on-the-job learning and classroom learning
  • It’s a real job, meaning you’re starting a career at 16
  • Learning from experienced professionals
  • Earn while you learn
  • Progress your way up the apprenticeship ladder

How do I qualify for an apprenticeship?

  • You must be over 16 years old
  • Out of full-time education
  • Living in England

Why do an apprenticeship?

 Apprenticeships enable you to acquire the necessary skills and knowledge within a sector that interests you.  They offer the opportunity for invaluable and practical work experience that will enhance your CV and help with your future career choices.  You will be part of your employer’s team and be able to learn in a work environment, whilst developing the practical skills and understanding to excel in your role.

Pay and Work Benefits:

 The best part of an apprenticeship is you earn while you learn! Every apprentice is entitled to the minimum wage (or above), paid annual leave and bank holidays.

Each apprentice must complete 20% off-the-job training, this is calculated using the apprentice’s contracted employment hours across their whole apprenticeship. 20% off-the-job training provides time to focus and develop the required skills, knowledge and behaviours to achieve your apprenticeship, while the employer provides the practical experience to put those skills to the test.

How to apply?

Here at PTS, we offer a variety of apprenticeships in multiple sectors. To see our latest vacancies, visit our apprenticeship vacancy page, or get in touch with us!

Unsure as to whether apprenticeships are for you? Why not look into a traineeship?

A traineeship is a skills development programme that includes a work placement. This government funded programme aims to provide young people aged 19-24 with a variety of experiences, knowledge, practical skills and recognised sector qualifications, along with a crucial work placement.

To find out more about traineeships, visit our traineeship vacancy page.