Ensuring your young person is set up for a successful career, future financial security and a good quality of life is a pressing challenge for every parent. As parents, your children will look to you for advice and guidance even if they don’t like to admit it!
Parents will be a big influence and have a key role in supporting their children’s career choices. We know that the choices which are open to your child today may be very different from when you were in their position, and you may feel as if you’re unsure about what advice to offer. We want to try and make it as easy as possible for you to talk to your child about their career options confidently; knowing that the information you have is as accurate and as up-to-date as possible. The most important thing you can offer is the knowledge of where to find the right information, so you can do the research into their options together.
In Terms of Career Choice, You Should…
Aid, but not dictate the decision-making process
- Support your child’s decisions
- Give your children freedom and time to discover their skills
- Provide the motivation to develop and achieve
- Provide encouragement to pursue interests and ambitions
- Try to instil a responsible attitude and mature outlook
- Instil an attitude of self-belief by being positive and never critical.
Studying A Levels
A Levels are subject-based qualifications for students aged 16 or above, they are usually studied over two years, leading to qualifications recognised for entrance to higher education institutes. Usually, young people take 3 or 4 A Levels to be studied at a Sixth Form or College.
Discuss with your child if they might want to go to University – if they do, we need to check the entry requirements for the courses they may wish to study as this may affect their A-Level choices. Attend Sixth Form & College open evenings, different providers will offer different ranges of subjects and different ways of working. Through visiting, you and your child will get a sense of the atmosphere and consider which environment would benefit your child the most.
An apprenticeship is a paid job with an employer where the young person learns and gains valuable hands-on experiences. Alongside on-the-job training, apprentices spend at least 20% of their working hours completing classroom-based learning with a college, university, or training provider which leads to a nationally recognised qualification.
When looking for apprenticeships it is important to be aware of the different levels…
Level 2 – Intermediate Apprenticeship
Young people can take an intermediate apprenticeship after Year 11, they are usually equivalent to 5 GCSE passes. As this is the lowest level of apprenticeship available, there are usually no eligibility criteria for application.
Level 3 – Advanced Apprenticeship
Young people can take an advanced apprenticeship after Year 11, they are usually equivalent to 2 A Level passes. Companies will be looking for someone who has already completed a level 2 apprenticeship or has 5 passes at GCSE from school.
Level 4 – Higher Apprenticeship
Young people can take a higher apprenticeship at 18 years old (after Sixth Form/College), which can lead to a degree in a relevant subject. Entry requirements are usually:
- Completed a level 3 advanced apprenticeship
- Hold a level 3 NVQ qualification
- Have a BTEC National qualification
- 2 passes at A Level
Traineeships are skills development programmes for 16-24-year-olds, they include an unpaid work placement and are designed to help young people get ready for an apprenticeship. They can last from 6 weeks up to 1 year, though most last for less than 6 months, they prepare you to then move into an apprenticeship.
In a Traineeship you will get:
- Training to prepare you for work, including CV writing and what to expect in the workplace.
- Support to improve your English, Maths and Digital skills.
- A high-quality work placement of at least 70 hours (unpaid).
Launched in 2020, T Levels are technical-based qualifications. They are 2-year courses, which are taken after GCSEs and are broadly equivalent in size to 3 A Levels. They have been developed in collaboration with employers and education providers so that the content meets the needs of industry and prepares students for entry into skilled employment, an apprenticeship or related technical study through further or higher education.
T Levels offer students practical and knowledge-based learning at a school or college, and on-the-job experience through an industry placement of at least 315 hours (approximately 45 days).
BTECs are practical-based, vocational qualifications which can be studied at a Sixth Form or College. They are a more viable alternative to the more theory-focused, classroom-based ways of learning such as A Levels.
BTEC Level 1 & 2 Equivalent to GCSEs
BTEC Level 3 Equivalent to A Levels
BTEC Level 4 & 5 Equivalent to 1st & 2nd Year Undergraduate Degree
The assessment structure of BTECs is different than say A Levels, you complete a series of units – some core others optional which are assessed. For each unit, you receive a Pass, Merit or Distinction. Level 3 BTECs carry UCAS points so are perfectly acceptable as a route to higher education at University.
At The Long Eaton School, we are always trying to improve provision and respond to parental feedback. If you have any queries regarding Careers or feel you can support the Careers Programme, please contact us using the details below.
Mr Ant Fox – Associate Assistant Principal & Careers Leader