Whether you're already at college or thinking about applying to start next year, this page should help you make the right choices to get your career started.

Remember, to be successful in your choice of career you need to: research, plan ahead, keep an open mind and listen carefully to people who's opinions and advice you trust.



Raising the Participation Age

If you were born on or after 1st September 1997 you will be expected to stay in learning until your 18th birthday, or achieve a level 3 qualification, such as 2 A-levels, or similar. This is referred to as ‘Raising the Participation Age’.

Raising the Participation Age means that you can choose one of the following at 16:

  • Become an apprentice or take part in a traineeship
  • Remain in full time education, such as school or college
  • Be employed, self-employed, a volunteer (including caring) or in an internship for at least 20 hours a week for more than 8 weeks and attend part-time learning for the equivalent of one day per week

Doing this means that you will have better job prospects and increased earnings over your lifetime. The opportunities for unskilled work are shrinking drastically and your learning will help you compete and hold down work in the future.

If you are not on an apprenticeship or traineeship, to participate you will need to either:

  • train towards an accredited qualification as part of your job, or
  • enrol on an accredited part-time course for the equivalent of one day per week, off the job

Where and what to study?

A Levels, Vocational courses, Working with learning, Apprenticeships, Volunteering- What will it be? Click here to find out more about your options and plan your study journey.


Click here to find out more about where you can study in Wiltshire.



What is it worth?

Do you understand the qualifications system and know how it can help you in the future?

There are eight levels of qualifications - Entry level is the first and lowest level, while level eight is the highest.

Every level includes different types of qualifications (such as subject-based, work-related or job-related).

Click here to find out more and see how the qualifications link to some different careers.