Knowing your options for school leavers

20 Mar 10:00 by


We get it, leaving school can be a daunting prospect! Not knowing what to do, or where to go after your exams, making sure to weigh up the pros and cons of everything.

When starting out in your future it is so important to know your options, so you can set yourself up for the best possible career ahead of you. Join us in a roundup of just a few of the many paths you can take.


Apprenticeships are the perfect way to gain experience and money, whilst still learning and working towards a recognised qualification. With hundreds of different opportunities in almost every field of work- from accounting to street lighting, it’s easily possible to find a role to suit you, as well as a qualification to suit you. This is a good pathway if you have a good idea of the career route you’d like to go down.

Apprenticeships vary from Level 2 (Intermediate) that you can jump into straight from GCSE’s all the way to Level 6/7. Level 6 and 7 apprenticeships allow you to gain a Bachelors or even a Masters Degree whilst working with a salary. The apprenticeship levy means that employers are receiving appropriate funding to ensure apprentices are gaining quality of learning alongside their practical work.

Over 90% of apprentices go into work or further training on completion of their qualification.

Gap Year

Want to travel before settling down into further education or a full- time job? This could be your chance. Gap years are ideal for those of you who aren’t sure what you’d like to do straight from school! It’s an opportunity for you to gain a year to travel, work, volunteer or just gain some experience before jumping straight into the next few years of your life. It was found that 80% of people thought that their gap year added to their employability. Gaining skills such as independence, planning and teamwork, as well as pushing yourself out of your comfort zone, A gap year could help you to showcase and find your best skills.

If you’re looking to travel, it is fundamental that you’re aware of the costs, as the average gap year abroad has a price of around £3000-4000. But fear not, some volunteering schemes allow you to qualify for free, and many offer a salary for your work.

College Courses

College courses allow students to continue education, whilst specialising in one or a few specific subjects. These often include more obscure programs such as fashion, hair and makeup as well as football and management.

This often is in a smaller classroom environment, as opposed to a busy sixth form. These courses combine practical work with learning and enable pupils to gain hands on experience as well as education.


The so- called ‘traditional’ school leaver route. University allows students to gain a taste of independence, whilst living away and gaining a degree in a subject they are passionate in. Whilst some people may choose to live at home during the completion of their degree, lectures allow students to get used to structure and turning up to places on time, as well as the importance of teamwork and on the contrary; self- reliance.

If you want to find out more about any of the paths mentioned, please visit

If you're a school leaver looking for a full time role, check out our latest job listings on CIM Jobs.