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. You will need to consider the cost implications and make valuable use of your time out by improving your skills and gaining valuable life experience.

  • Do your 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.
  • Keep in mind how you will make the most of the skills and experiences gained to boost your CV.
  • Use the time to make contacts and develop networks that could help you in your future career.
  • Think about your existing skills and how you could use them, e.g. mentoring, sport, first aid certificate, language skills, childcare skills


There are many websites that will help you to consider your options and give you information and advice. We found these to be a good starting point.



Volunteering is a good way for you to develop new skills, make new friends, get more experience to put on your 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 your workplace skills! For further information regarding voluntary placements follow the links below: