Choices for your child after year 13

Year 13 marks the end of compulsory education for your child. They will now have to make a decision on what they want to do next.

Here are several option ideas that will help you and your son or daughter to make some plans.



If your child is considering employment it is important to start looking before they leave school. They may be tempted to take a job where no training is provided – particularly if the wage seems good - but training and qualifications are better for long term success. You should encourage your child to look for a job that includes training opportunities.

Your child can look for jobs in a number of places, these include:



An Apprenticeships give your son or daughter the opportunity to gain work skills whilst studying for a qualification. Anyone over the age of 16 and not in full time education can apply for an apprenticeship.

How do they work?

There are 3 Levels:

Intermediate:  Level 2      -  equivalent to GCSE Level                            

Advanced:        Level 3      -  equivalent to A Levels

Higher:              Level 4      - equivalent to Foundation Degree Level 

Each level includes 3 parts:

  • A Competence based element – to show you can perform job tasks effectively
  • A Technical element – to show technical skills and understanding of theory behind these
  • A Skills element (maths, English and ICT (if relevant to the role)

All apprentices will receive the appropriate national minimum wage (£2.68 for under 19 and first year apprentices, £5.03 for 19 and 20 year olds).

Where to find an Apprenticeship

Apprenticeship vacancies are advertised on the National Apprenticeships website:

Other ways to look for an apprenticeship


Other Websites for school leavers:

Many large companies such as Barclays, BAE, Kwik fit, Superdrug and John Lewis offer apprenticeship opportunities so check out their websites!


School Leaver Programmes

If your son or daughter wants to get into business but doesn’t want to go to university you may find a School Leaver Programme a good option.

School Leaver Programmes are usually well paid and run parallel to many graduate schemes. They have the attraction of being less competitive at A level entry.  These schemes are becoming increasingly popular with employers and school leavers.

Programmes last between 3 to 5 years and will enable you to obtain higher level qualifications whilst gaining valuable work skills.

There are a wide range of companies that offer these schemes however options within Medway might be limited.

Find out more information about school leaver programmes and how to apply.


Higher Education – University

In January 2013, 399,342 young people aged 18 & 19 applied to go to university despite the rise in tuition fees.

Choosing higher education has many benefits.

These include:

  • developing valuable skills to give your son or daughter wider opportunities
  • gain a qualification to help your son or daughter follow their chosen career
  • the opportunity to study a subject they are passionate about
  • higher earning potential
  • the real learning happens when they leave home


There are hundreds of courses available across the UK so it is very important for your son or daughter to do their research to help them make the right choices

Your son or daughter will get support from their school with regard to university applications and course options starting in year12. However you might find the following website useful to support them with the process.               


Gap Year

More and more young people are choosing the option of having a Gap year at the end of year 13 before going off to university. In fact last year approximately 230,000 young people decided to take a Gap Year!

Young people can travel work or volunteer in another country or in the UK. Your son or daughter will need to consider the cost implications and make valuable use of their time out by improving your skills and gaining valuable life experience.

Encourage your child to:

  • Do their research - speak to people who have been on a gap year and join online forums.
  • Take time to plan and prepare - it can take 9-12 months to plan and raise the funds.
  • Encourage your child to keep in mind how they will make the most of the skills and experiences gained to boost their CV.
  • Use the time to make contacts and develop networks that could help you in their future career.
  • Think about their existing skills and how they  could use them, e.g. mentoring, sport, first aid certificate, language skills, childcare skills


There are many websites that will help your child to consider their options and give them information and advice and we found these to be a good starting point.



Volunteering is a good way for your son or daughter to develop new skills, make new friends, get more experience to put on their CV and even achieve nationally recognised accreditation or qualifications.

There are short-term taster opportunities lasting as little as 8 hours. There are what are called part-time opportunities which might last 2-4 hours a week for a number weeks. Lastly there are full-time opportunities that is the same sort of hours as a full-time job; a great way to develop their workplace skills!

We offer voluntary opportunities within Medway Youth Trust please contact for further details.

For further information regarding voluntary placements follow the links below:



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