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Life after GCSES

Tuesday 19th July 2016

As if choosing which career path isn’t enough, they then have a choice to make about how they want to gain their qualification with many options available to them.  

As a parent supporting your son or daughter in choosing their next step, it can be just as mind-boggling. If your son or daughter is finishing school, how do you support them to make the best decision?

Tracey Forman, Group Director for Student Experience at South Leicestershire College, describes the choices ahead: “There are lots of options available but the next step can still be confusing. What is certain is that a school leaver does need to plan to undertake some sort of training – either full-time or alongside work or volunteering.”

Until the age of 18, a school leaver must stay in full-time education, for example at a school sixth form, a sixth form college or a further education college, start an Apprenticeship or Traineeship, or go into work while in part-time education.

Tracey added: “For those unsure about their next steps, there is plenty of careers advice available. Here at South Leicestershire College we have a team of highly qualified and impartial careers advisers who can offer your son or daughter free, face-to-face advice at any time of year. There are other great online tools available including the National Careers Service website and the ‘Plotr’ website, which are both great tools to help discover more about different industries and job profiles.

“For school leavers looking to pursue practical and technical qualifications or have a certain career in mind, the full-time study programmes and Apprenticeships available at South Leicestershire College are designed to fully prepare students who plan to go straight into employment or on to university. We cover a huge range of sector areas from Business and Administration to Engineering, Construction, Health & Care, Media plus many more – that are available at different levels to suit the individual.

“We also help all students gain relevant work experience, linked to their chosen industry, giving them practical knowledge of a real working environment to strengthen their employability. College is about much more than just your qualification – it’s about giving you the skills and experience you need to take the first steps on a successful career.”

Halema White, aged 18, studied the BTEC Extended Diploma in IT at South Leicestershire College: “I chose the course because I enjoy IT, and have really enjoyed the digital graphics element and the opportunity to work with hardware.

“I’ve enjoyed the experience so much I have applied to do the HNC/D course at SLC next year and I am on target to achieve the grades I need for that. I’ve really grown in confidence as I didn’t think I would be able to go to study at university level and now I will be.”

The Apprenticeship option…

Debbie Scotton, Business Development Manager also at the College, added: “Apprenticeships are another great option. Once considered the ‘poor relation’ to other types of learning, Apprenticeships are now a highly respected route to employment and university. Young people work towards a nationally recognised qualification whilst working as a paid employee, gaining the best of both worlds.”

Tom Richings, aged 20, completed a Commercial Apprenticeship with South Leicestershire College whilst working at Triumph:

“Choosing an Apprenticeship was 100% the right decision for me. It has helped massively, especially in terms of developing life skills. Here at Triumph you are given a lot of responsibility - what you do as part of your role affects the business on a massive scale. There is nothing more important than experience and an Apprenticeship really helps you to gain that.”

Tracey concluded: “No matter what your son or daughter’s chosen path, we are passionate about setting them on track to pursue a rewarding and successful career.”

To find out more about full-time and Apprenticeship programmes at South Leicestershire College, or to book a session with an appointment with an impartial careers adviser, call 0116 264 3535 or visit

To find out more about the different careers available, visit National Careers Service or


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