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Schools and education

Next Steps for school and college leavers

Just left 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.

A Levels Level 3

A Levels Level 3 qualifications 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 3

Applied General and Tech Qualifications Level 3, 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 Level 3 qualifications are equal to 3 A Levels.

T Levels provide a mixture of classroom learning and an industry placement of approximately 45 days as a route into work, further study or a higher apprenticeship.

T Level courses in business, construction, digital technologies, early years and education, engineering, hair and beauty, and health and social care are available locally at York College, and Askham Bryan College is offering T Level courses in agriculture and animal/equine care and management.

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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’ll complete an online portfolio, formal assessments, qualifications and examinations or projects. You’ll benefit from off-the-job training to improve your skills and knowledge to help you perform better in your role. 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 2022-23 Post 16 Pathways guide.

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Helping you decide

There are a number of organisations who can help you to decide what your next steps will be.


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

Barclays LifeSkills

How to decide what to do after school.


Careers advice and resources:

  • Career Map - up-to-date labour market information and career support on apprenticeships, courses and graduate programmes
  • National Careers Service - careers information and advice
  • 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:

National Careers Service

Get the jump, explore your education and training choices.

T Levels

See government T Levels advice:


UCAS offer help with university, apprenticeships or finding a career.


A number of organisations offer volunteering advice:

York Family Information Service

York Family Information Service provides information and support.

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Further support for care-experienced young people

If you are 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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Also see

Education Support Services

West Offices, Station Rise, York, YO1 6GA

Telephone: 01904 551554