How can I work and learn?
Your options for working and learning
There are many ways a young person can both work and learn. The advantage of doing this is that you can earn money as you learn and also develop real experience and work-based skills in a specific job sector.
At 16 you have a range of options - you might want to try and find an Apprenticeship or you might be able to find a job with training.
But, the law is changing and by 2013 everyone will have to be in some form of recognised education and training up to the age of 17. This rises to 18 by 2015. No-one will be forced to stay at school – there will be a range of opportunities, including training in the workplace and apprenticeships.
At 18, you have a few more options, you might want to try and find an Advanced or Higher Apprenticeship, you might look for a job that offers training or you might find a job but then want to develop your skills by studying and working, which could include doing a higher education level course – either full-time, part-time or by distance learning.
With many young people struggling to find employment it’s important to pick a job that you can combine with training leading to a nationally recognised qualification.
Increasingly, employers are looking for people with higher level skills and qualifications. So, if you want to start work, finding a job which you can combine with training will give you better long-term prospects. Many employers are supportive of training, so a good place to start is to discuss what you would like to do directly with them.
If you find your perfect job, and your employer doesn't offer training there are lots of ways which you can continue to develop your skills and gain qualifications. For example, you could study part time during evenings and weekends, or through distance learning.
You may be able to use the qualifications you gain through work-based training as a route into university or higher education. This can further improve your job prospects and potential earnings in the future.
Your work experience could also be really useful if you want to apply to do a Foundation Degree, a Higher National Certificate or Diploma. These qualifications all combine academic study with work-based learning and many are offered part-time so you can carry on working.
To find out more about these qualifications go to the Progression Planner and click on a link to view the details.
The section ‘How can I get a degree and work?’ offers more information about this route.
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