With high tuition fees and continuing uncertainty in the employment market, we know that all students need to be aware of all of the options available to them, to ensure that they secure the best opportunities after they complete their chosen course of study.
Here at Ashton on Mersey School Sixth Form, students are given opportunities to develop skills that will enable them to make informed choices about their future.
Our dedicated Careers Adviser, Ms Haworth, offers individual careers guidance appointments to all students, supporting students to make the right choice for them. Pathways explored include, University, Apprenticeships, Employment, work experience and gap year opportunities. In addition to individual careers appointments, Ms Haworth holds weekly lunchtime drop-in sessions in the i-site, where students can call in to discuss any issues concerning their career aspirations and future plans without an appointment.
Support on offer to students includes:
Useful Careers Websites
www.unifrog.org (student log-in): Hundreds of careers profiles, tools to search for and compare university courses, apprenticeships, and further education courses, as well as tools to support with applications and CV writing.
www.eclips-online.co.uk (password: tioffi65): Accurate information on over 1400 jobs including live labour market information and a wealth of impartial advice on education and employment choices.
www.nationalcareers.service.gov.uk: Careers information, advice and guidance, helps students to make decisions on learning, training and work at all stages.
www.successatschool.org: Explore careers, research top employers, and search for the latest jobs and courses. Plenty of advice, including parent guides on a range of education and careers topics.
www.gmacs.co.uk Greater Manchester Apprenticeship and Careers Service, helps students to explore and design their next steps before leaving sixth form, including details of local labour market information, courses, jobs and apprenticeships across Greater Manchester.
www.studentladder.co.uk: Information on careers, choosing qualifications, school leaver programmes, work experience, internships and much more.
www.-sacu-student.com: Offers independent and impartial careers information, including a unique career quiz, to help students generate career ideas.
www.careersbox.co.uk: National online careers film and video library showing real people doing real jobs.
Students choose to go to university for various different reasons, to study their favourite subject in greater depth, gain a high-level qualification, improve their career prospects, work towards qualifications required for their chosen career, meet people from a diverse range of backgrounds, take advantage of extra-curricular opportunities, and the chance to undertake work placements alongside academic studies. University also provides the opportunity to become more independent, to move away from home for the first time, try out a new city and become more financially independent.
Higher Education (HE) is the next level of education offered at universities and some FE colleges. In addition to Bachelor’s and Master’s degrees, HE qualifications include Foundation degrees, HNCs, HNDs, Foundation Years and Higher Education Diplomas.
There are many websites which students can use to research universities and courses of interest, research entry requirements and analyse data to help them make the right choice.
Useful Higher Education Websites
www.prospects.ac.uk: Research career options linked to degree choices; job profiles, career planner tool, work experience, internship opportunities and much more.
www.thecompleteuniversityguide.co.uk : University league and subject tables in association with The Independent, plus information on bursaries, scholarships, and graduate prospects.
www.whatuni.com : Provides ideas for degree subjects to study based on the A levels/BTEC L3 Diploma being studied.
www.university.which.co.uk : Provides help with finding the best university and degree course for you.
www.discoveruni.gov.uk/: Information and guidance about the different options for studying, links to useful resources and the option to search for and compare undergraduate courses across the UK using data from the National Student Survey results.
https://unistats.com: Compare official course data from universities and colleges.
www.opendays.com : List all university opens days.
www.unitasterdays.com: Award-winning source of university taster events, workshops, residentials and open events. Register for event updates.
www.gov.uk/contact-student-finance-england: Information on how to apply for Student Finance, check payment dates, track an application, change details, reset password and find customer reference numbers.
www.moneysavingexpert.com/students/student-loans-tuition-fees-changes/: This guide is written to bust common myths about student loans.
Apprenticeship and Employment
Apprenticeships are becoming increasingly popular as a post 18 pathway. Apprenticeships are extremely competitive and students are encouraged to be flexible in regard to factors such as location, salary, and size of company. Whilst many students are keen to secure a Degree Level Apprenticeship (Level 6), they should not rule out Level 4 and Level 5 Higher Apprenticeships, as these can have great prospects too, are a pathway to a degree, and in many companies, can lead on to training for a full degree apprenticeship. Some companies start all college leaver apprentices on Advanced Level Apprenticeships (Level 3) and then build up their levels as they progress in the organisation. The less rigid students are in their thinking/requirements, the more opportunities they will be able to access.
Searching for an apprenticeship or job is a full-time job in itself and students should cast their nets far and wide, research and be prepared, particularly in this very tough economic climate.
Ashton on Mersey Sixth Form is often notified of vacancies from local companies, these are shared with students via form time and student briefings and are also displayed on the vacancy board in the Sixth Form Common Room. Students are encouraged to be proactive in any apprenticeship and job search by looking for vacancies on apprenticeship and job websites, as well as local job centres, and checking company websites in search of opportunities, as most companies will also advertise opportunities on their own websites.
Useful Apprenticeship Websites
Taking a gap year gives students the chance to take time out and consider the options ahead of them. For many, a gap year can be a great opportunity to try something new, travel, sample new cultures, and undertake high impact volunteer projects abroad, which broaden their skills and experience, helping to boost their CV and career prospects.
www.bunac.org/uk (British Universities North America Club) is an organisation that enables people to explore the world through work abroad and travel programmes.
www.yearoutgroup.org: Includes over 30 gap year organisations that provide opportunities at home and abroad.
www.etrust.org.uk/the-year-in-industry: UK’s leading student placement experts, provide high-quality, paid placements for students in their gap year.
www.gapforce.org: Bespoke gap year programs run by dedicated, veteran leaders. From volunteering to conservation, trekking to skilled internships.
www.yipiyap.co.uk: In-school tutoring gap year experience.
The following are just some of the many commercial jobs search websites. They carry vacancies for thousands of jobs in the UK and, sometimes, overseas. You can post your CV on many of these websites and register for vacancy alerts, to have jobs relevant to the sector you are interested in sent to you as vacancies appear.
The i-site contains information on a range of careers. This includes up-to-date books and magazines and guides offering support for Higher and Further Education choices and offer advice on UCAS applications.
Other books provide information on GAP year opportunities, student funding, apprenticeships and CV writing. There is information on how to apply for jobs, create CV’s, complete applications and prepare for interviews.
The Sixth Form Team
Mrs A Crowder, Assistant headteacher key stage 5
MR B KELLY, HEAD OF SIXTH FORM
MRS GILL FOX, SIXTH FORM MANAGER. GFOX@AOM.TRAFFORD.SCH.UK
Ms Haworth, Careers Adviser