Please find below information about further education.
What is a Sixth Form College?
Sixth Form Colleges generally offer A-Level courses. Students would normally choose 3-4 A-Level courses to be completed over a two year period.
Subjects offered at Sixth Form Colleges are much the same as those studied in school but are of a higher level. There is also the opportunity to study other subjects such as Law, Psychology and Sociology. Some Sixth Form Colleges do offer vocational courses as well as A-Level courses and this information is normally given in their prospectus and on their College website.
What is a Further Education (FE) College?
FE colleges generally offer vocational (work-related) and specialist qualifications. They tend to provide courses for 16-18 year olds as well as adult learners, and often have close links with the community.
Course subjects - FE colleges offer a wide range of courses at a variety of levels. Each college is different, so you will need to check with your chosen college what courses are available. As a guide, the type of subjects on offer include:
• Catering and Hospitality; Travel and Tourism; Hairdressing and Beauty Therapy;
• Childcare and Social Care;
• Fashion; Art and Design;
• Computing and Information Technology;
• Vehicle Mechanics; Construction; Painting and Decorating.
FE Colleges often offer courses such as English as a Foreign Language (EFL) and English for Speakers of Other Languages (ESOL) to help students develop their English Language skills.
Course and qualifications levels - Popular courses include NVQs, BTECs, Apprenticeships, Foundation Degrees, HNCs and HNDs. If you didn’t do well at school, Entry Level Courses generally offer another opportunity to gain qualifications and enable you to go on to study further college courses at a higher level
Traineeships are an ideal opportunity for young people, aged 16 to 24, who are motivated to get a job but lack the skills and experience that employers are looking for. Those who have been unsuccessful when applying for an apprenticeship or other job due to a lack of skills and experience are most likely be good candidates for a traineeship. Traineeship opportunities are advertised regularly on the government website
Apprenticeships combine practical training in a job with study.
As an apprentice you’ll:
• work alongside experienced staff
• gain job-specific skills
• earn a wage and get holiday pay
• get time for study related to your role (usually one day a week)
Apprenticeships take 1 to 5 years to complete depending on their level.
Levels of apprenticeship
Apprenticeships have equivalent educational levels.
Name Level Equivalent Education Level
Intermediate 3 GCSE
Advanced 3 A-Level
Higher 4,5,6 and 7 Foundation degree and above
Degree 6 and 7 Bachelor’s or master’s degree
Some apprenticeships may also give you an additional qualification, such as a diploma.
Who can apply?
You can apply for an apprenticeship while you’re still at school. To start one, you’ll need to be:
• 16 or over by the end of the summer holidays
• living in England
• not in full-time education
How to apply
There are 3 steps to applying for an apprenticeship.
1. Search for an apprenticeship
2. Sign in or create an account.
3. Complete and submit your application.
The National Careers Service has advice on writing applications and what to do at interviews.
If you’re unsuccessful
You can ask for feedback if you don’t get selected for an interview or for the apprenticeship.
You can complain if you think you weren’t successful because you were discriminated against, or your treatment in the interview or application process was unfair.
Apprenticeship helpline - Telephone: 0800 015 0400