GCSE result in - what's next?

There is life after GCSEs…

Although A-levels remain the traditional educational route after GCSEs, they are not the only option. More and more students are turning towards apprenticeships and further education as real alternatives. 

Many of the young people picking up their results have already been in education for the best part of 12 years. But these days, teenagers up to the age of 18, are legally required to stay in education, training or get a job with accredited training - something the government calls ‘raising the age of participation’.

Being in further education or training doesn’t mean teenagers have to stay in the same school. There are lots of options. 

So, for those students who didn’t do so well in their GCSEs, or don’t find the prospect of another two years at school studying A-levels appealing, here are our top three options for life after GCSEs. 

1. Do an apprenticeship

Apprenticeships have had some mixed press.  The quality and rates of pay have been in the news, but there are lots of fabulous apprenticeship opportunities out there, and lots of organisations who can help and offer you the right information; check out UCAS’s website which explains all about apprenticeships. It’s full of accurate and up-to-date information and it can even help to dispel some of those apprenticeship myths.

We found a fabulous apprenticeship scheme with national company, EDF Energy– who offer the chance for you to be paid while gaining an apprenticeship with them. There are other companies doing similar, so do your homework. 

2. Do a traineeship

Not quite ready for an apprenticeship? Need to work on your skills? Don’t worry there are lots of opportunities for you to complete a traineeship – Have a look at the government's website to see what's on offer

3. Go to your local college

There are two types of college – 6th Form college and Further Education college.  6th Form Colleges are mostly geared up for students between 16 and 18-years-old, and tend to concentrate on academic education.

Further Education colleges are generally much bigger than 6th Form colleges and offer a wider range of subjects, including vocational education (BTECs and NVQs), and they’re not just for teenagers. Further Education colleges offer adult education and higher education too. 

The GOV.UK website can help you find more information about courses offered by schools and colleges in your area if you’re aged between 14-19.