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Post 16 years of age

From September all students who were born after September 1997 must stay in some form of education or training until they are 18 years old. The options are:

  • full-time education at a school or college
  • an apprenticeship or traineeship
  • part-time education or training – as well as being employed, self-employed or volunteering for 20 hours or more a week

Once you reach and finish year 11 at 16 years of age, other options of education become available to you.  You may decide that they wish to stay in education by going on into further education within the school, or at a sixth form college.  By doing this you can gain further qualifications such as AS and A levels.  These are full time courses and usually cover a two year period, these qualifications focus mainly on academic subjects although there are some which are related to work subjects also.

BTEC’s qualifications are gained through a mixture of work experience, practical and theory work, these are normally work based and are usually accessed through schools or colleges.

Apprenticeships are a more practical qualification, learners are based in a work placement environment. Learners learn valuable practical hands on skills whilst at the same time gain experience and knowledge within in a specific field or profession whilst at the same time gaining qualifications.  Apprentices must be in paid employment.  Apprenticeships can be taken as a gap year or as an alternative to university. They are free to those who enrol before their 19th birthday.  After that your employer may need to pay a contribution.

Traineeships were introduced in 2013 and are being described as ‘pre-apprenticeships’. They are aimed at equipping young people with the workplace skills and experience that employers are looking for. They are flexible work preparation programmes, which last between six weeks and six months and they include work experience placements and they aim to provide a pathway to employment and apprenticeships for young people.  Want to know a bit more?  Click here for some information provided by Chichester College.

To find out about local apprenticeship providers visit or

Chichester College and Northbrook College are Strategic Partners of so if you sign up to our social media, e-letters and blogs, you’ll get regular updates from them about open days and fairs.

A number of local colleges and training providers advertise their Apprenticeship vacancies on – to view the current adverts click here.

Interested in a career in Engineering?  Click here for education routes into this sector.


Guide to Post-16 Funding for Learners with Special Educational Needs and Disabilities (SEND)


Stamp images: Carved Man by Lewis, Highdown by Joe, Worthing landscape Kevin, Arundel by Megan, Barn owl ©Darin SmithSussex Wildlife Trust.