16 June 2023
Finishing Sixth Form is an exciting time in any young person’s life, as it marks the beginning of new possibilities and opportunities. Whether you’re considering university, finding a job, or exploring apprenticeship options, this blog aims to provide you with a helpful guide on what to do after completing these key two years. Let’s delve into the options available to you and help you make informed decisions about your future.
For many students, pursuing higher education at a university is a popular choice. Here are some key steps to consider:
a. Research: Explore different universities, courses, and entry requirements. Attend open days, speak to current students, and utilise online resources to gather all the information you need.
b. UCAS Application: The UCAS (Universities and Colleges Admissions Service) is the central application portal for UK universities. Familiarise yourself with the application process and deadlines.
c. Personal Statement: Create a compelling personal statement that highlights your achievements, interests, and passion for your chosen field. You may want to seek guidance from teachers or mentors to ensure it reflects your best qualities too.
d. Student Finance: Investigate tuition fees, maintenance loans, and scholarships available to support your studies. Where possible, the earlier you do this, the better, as it will help to ensure you have finances available when you start your first term in the autumn.
e. Accommodation: Research and apply for university accommodation or explore private renting options near your chosen institution. Again, the earlier you do this, the better, and you’ll often find there are more options available – it’s very much first come, first serve in most cases.
Finding a job
While the university route is a popular choice for many of our students, we understand that it’s not the right fit for everyone and isn’t the be-all and end-all. You might prefer to enter the workforce directly after Sixth Form, and if that’s the case, here’s a roadmap to help kick-start your career:
a. Time for reflection: Take some time to reflect on your skills, interests, and career aspirations before leaping into any job role. You might also want to consider seeking advice from career counsellors or taking career assessment tests to understand what roles are available to you, and what might best suit you.
b. CV and Cover Letter: Create a well-structured CV that showcases your education, relevant skills, and any work experience so you have it ready for when relevant opportunities do come up. But always make sure that you get someone to read this to check for any spelling errors or inconsistencies. You may also want to create a cover letter which can be personalised/ tailored for each job application.
c. Job Search: Utilise online job portals, networking platforms, and local job fairs to explore job opportunities. You can also engage with recruitment agencies that specialise in placing entry-level candidates.
d. Work Experience and Internships: Gain practical experience through internships, work placements, or part-time jobs. This can enhance your employability and provide valuable insights into your chosen field.
e. Interviews and Networking: Once you’ve done all the groundwork, it’s time for the interview process. You can prepare for any interview by researching the company, practising common interview questions, and showcasing your enthusiasm and passion. And remember to always back yourself when you go into any interview scenario – you’ve been invited there for a reason.
Apprenticeships offer a unique pathway to combine work-based training and education and you can find apprenticeships at a range of levels, including degree apprenticeships which combine university study and work placements at the same time. Before getting started, you may want to consider the following steps:
a. Research: Explore apprenticeship opportunities in your chosen industry/ field. Visit websites like the Welsh Government’s Apprenticeship Vacancy Service or UCAS apprenticeships. Or you might want to consider speaking to our career advisor who’ll be able to help you identify relevant opportunities.
b. Application: A well-crafted application will highlight your skills and motivation for the apprenticeship. Some employers may require interviews or assessments so just like those heading into an interview scenario, make sure you’re prepared and research the company beforehand.
c. Apprenticeship Agreement: If selected, you’ll sign an agreement outlining the terms, duration, and remuneration for your apprenticeship.
d. Learning and Work: Balance your time between on-the-job training and attending university or training sessions. Embrace the opportunity to learn and gain practical experience simultaneously.
e. Progression: Upon successful completion of your apprenticeship, you may have the option to continue working with your employer or explore further education opportunities. You can speak with your employer at this time to help choose to path that’s right for you and them.
As you approach the end of Sixth Form, remember that there are multiple options available to you, and you should always choose the one that best suits you. It’s easier said than done but try to avoid following the crowd. So, whether it’s pursuing higher education at university, finding a job, or embarking on an apprenticeship, consider your interests, aspirations, and long-term goals before deciding where you go next. Remember, you can always seek guidance from teachers and career advisors to help you make more well-informed decisions – we’re here to help and you don’t have to make all the decisions alone. But whatever you do, try to embrace this exciting phase of your life, and take positive steps towards a future that will allow you to reach your potential.