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Schools and education

School and college leavers

Leaving school or college and wondering what your next steps could be?

The good news is that there are many different opportunities in York to help you learn, grow and earn, and there are plenty of resources available to help you make your decision.

A Levels Level 3

A Levels are one of the main routes into higher education but are also useful if you want to go straight into a job.

There are over 80 different A Levels on offer locally. Check out local secondary school or York College websites for more information.

Locally, York College offer AS Levels. AS Levels are the first year of A Levels and are independent from those subjects you carry on with to the full A Level. With regards to UCAS points, they are equal to 40% of an A Level.

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Applied General and Tech Qualifications Level 2 and 3

Applied General and Tech Qualifications, including BTECS and other diplomas, are a great option if you want to gain qualifications through practical learning. You’ll get transferable knowledge and skills that will give you access to a range of higher education courses, paid work or an apprenticeship.

Tech level qualifications are ideal if you want to go into a technical occupation, such as becoming an electrician. They equip you with specialist knowledge and skills, helping you into paid work, an apprenticeship, or onto a higher education course.

For more information, visit sixth form and college websites to see which courses they offer.

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T Levels Level 3

T Levels are equal to 3 A Levels. They provide a mixture of classroom learning and an industry placement of approximately 315 hours as a route into work, further study or a higher apprenticeship.

Examples of local T Level courses include Agriculture, Animal/Equine Care and Management, Beauty & Barbering Leadership & Management, Building Services Engineering for construction (Electrical Installation), Building Services Engineering for Construction (Plumbing), Construction Design, Education & Early Years, Engineering & Manufacturing: Design & Development, Hair, Health, Surveying & Planning, and more. For more information, visit college websites to see which courses they offer.

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Apprenticeships Level 2 to 7

Apprenticeships are a great way to learn while you earn and provide a paid job with training, working alongside experienced staff and gaining job-specific skills.

You usually start on Level 2 or 3 (equivalent to GCSE or A Level) and could progress up to Level 6 or 7 (bachelor’s or master’s degree level).

You benefit from off-the-job training to improve your skills and knowledge to help you perform better in your role. You complete a portfolio, formal assessments, qualifications and examinations or projects. Apprenticeships often lead to progression in employment or to university.

See more information about apprenticeships in York.

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Higher Education Level 4 to 7

You can progress to Higher Education (HE) with a range of qualifications, including A Levels, BTECs, diplomas and apprenticeships.

York has 2 Further Education and Higher Education colleges

York has 2 universities:

These settings offer a wide range of HE courses, both academic and work-based, including degree-level apprenticeships and foundation degrees.

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Foundation Learning Entry Level - Level 1

If you’ve left Year 11 but aren’t quite ready to progress to a vocational course or apprenticeship, then Foundation Learning could be for you.

It’s an individual programme, so you can focus on your own needs, such as personal and social skills, confidence building or literacy and numeracy.

For more information, see pages 13 to 19 of the 2023 to 2024 Post 16 Pathways guide.

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Open days

To find out more about open days from local sixth forms, colleges and universities, please visit the following websites.

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Helping you decide

General support

You can find support in York from:

  • our 2023/2024 Post 16 Pathways guide provides young people, parents and carers with information on local options available after Year 11, including additional/specialist options for young people with Special Educational Needs and Disabilities
  • your school - teaching staff will be able to support you with your next steps
  • Careers Advisers employed by our schools
  • UCAS has resources and information on careers, apprenticeships and university including quizzes, so you can explore which one is right for you
  • Admissions teams at York College and Askham Bryan College
  • Barclays LifeSkills
  • York Mind can support anyone who is particularly worried about their results and next steps. You can contact them by email: or telephone: 01904 643364


York Apprenticeships help guide you through the benefits of doing an apprenticeship in York and the support which is available.


Careers advice and resources:

  • Career Map - up-to-date labour market information and career support on apprenticeships, courses and graduate programmes
  • National Careers Service can help with local employment and training opportunities
  • Success At School - a national careers website for students aged 11 to19, as well as teachers, careers advisors, parents and other influencers

Higher education

See advice and support for going into higher education:

T Levels

See government T Levels advice:


A number of organisations offer volunteering advice:

Raise York

Providing information and support to parents, carers, children and young people:

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Further support for care-experienced young people

If you're a care-experienced young person and you require support with your next steps, you can speak to your Specialist Learning and Employment Adviser, or your school careers lead.

The following resources are useful for care-experienced young people:

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Further support for young people with Special Educational Needs and Disabilities

Visit the York SEND Local Offer to find out more about:

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Also see

Skills Team

West Offices, Station Rise, York, YO1 6GA