My Future 16+

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Making the right decisions about subject choices and future careers plans for some young people can be quite complex and daunting. Whilst teachers at school will usually be able discuss your suitability to take individual subjects, there are also a number of professionals available to provide careers information, advice and guidance. Furthermore, you can get support with making applications, searching for opportunities, CV building and interview techniques.

Where can I get professional advice?

  • If you are in years 9, 10 or 11 at school or are in further education (either at school or college), ask to see the careers adviser working in your school/college. In addition Cassandra Haskey, from Connexions will be making contact with you in year 11 to explore post 16 options.
  • If you are unemployed, in work or on a training programme and are under 25 years of age, you can contact Career Connect on 0161 393 4500 or email  
  • Cassandra Haskey, Connexions Adviser, works within the Next Step Team one day per week. Please ask your social worker or aftercare worker to make a referral.
  • Next Step also has an Education, Employment & Training Adviser from Pure Insight, Rebekka Mitton, working alongside the team. Again, please ask your pathway advisor or aftercare worker to make a referral if you need her assistance.
  • If you are in higher education, each university has its own careers service which offers information, advice and guidance to their own students.
  • If you are 16+, you can also speak to the National Careers Service on 0800 900 100.
  • In addition Next Step’s Community Parenting Officer, Anne Harry is a qualified teacher and you can contact her on 0161 607 1888. Ask your pathway advisor or aftercare worker to make a referral.

What are my options at the end of year 11?

  • Staying on at school (if your school has a sixth form).
  • College - check out the range of academic and vocational courses at Salford City College and other colleges within reasonable travelling distance.
  • Apprenticeships - search for opportunities at Apprenticeship vacancies.
  • The Study Programme - The Study Programme replaces Foundation Learning and aims to prepare young people for progression into further learning and/or employment. It usually has three key elements:
    • Working towards functional skills in English and mathematics (if a learner has not already achieved GCSE grades 9 to 4 or A* to C in these subjects)
    • Work experience or other work-preparation programme (when the learner is ready for this)
    • A vocational qualification (such as an NVQ Level 1)
  • Traineeships - A traineeship is a structured support programme to help young people into work and is a pathway of the Study Programme at 16 to 19. It is also open to 19 to 24 year olds through Jobcentre Plus. It has four key elements:
    • Preparation for work - finding and retaining a job
    • Work experience – with a local employer (usually identified prior to starting the programme)
    • Working towards functional skills in English and mathematics (if a learner has not already achieved GCSE grades 9 to 4 or A* to C in these subjects)
    • Vocational preparation - this may be appropriate if the traineeship is being designed to link specifically to a sector, for example construction, engineering, hair and beauty, etc
  • Employment with training
  • Personal development (for example Prince's Trust, Fairbridge)
  • Voluntary work opportunities

What is raising the participation age (RPA)?

In 2013 the government raised the participation age for young people leaving year 11. This means that school leavers will be required to stay in some form of learning beyond completing their compulsory education.  All year 11 school leavers will need to stay in learning until their 18th birthday.

RPA is not about raising the school leaving age. Young people will have a range of options for how they can participate, which could be through:

  • Full-time education, such as school or college
  • An apprenticeship
  • Part-time education or training if they are employed, self-employed or volunteering for 20 hours or more a week

School-aged children working part-time (aged 16 and under)

Please note that if you are in compulsory education and working part-time, you will need to obtain a permit from the local authority in which you live. There are also some restrictions of the type of work and hours you can do. For more details and the bye-laws that apply to Salford please see our child employment page.

What support is available to me as a care leaver if I go to university?

If you meet the eligibility criteria, you could be entitled to the following:

  • A local authority bursary of £2,000
  • Help with accommodation costs*
  • A weekly allowance (equivalent to the Jobseekers Allowance rate plus £15, currently a total of £82.20)*
  • A computer and internet access (if you don't already have these)
  • A named social worker or aftercare worker to support you

Furthermore, we will try to negotiate access to a place in university halls of residence for you (including outside term time) and an individual package of support from the university itself.

Please note: * Financial support will vary according to other sources of income available.

National Network for the Education of Care Leavers (NNECL)

This is a national network of higher education institutions and national organisations in England whose mission is to transform the progression of young people in or leaving care, into and through further and higher education. Please see the NNECL website for more information and details of local events.

Need a CV (Curriculum Vitae)?

Many employers and learning providers will ask to see your CV to help them decide on your suitability for a job or training programme (for example apprenticeships, traineeships). There are many different CV templates available online but if you require help in preparing a CV please contact Chris on 0161 607 1888.

Useful websites

Downloadable documents

If you are unable to view documents of these types, our downloads page provides links to viewing software.

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