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Your choices at 16 years old

So what are your choices at 16 years old?


Following GCSEs there are a lot of options to think about before making the right choice for you. You’re expected to stay in education or in some recognised form of employment with training until you’re 18 but this doesn’t have to be at school.


Find out more about all of your options by viewing the YouTube video and refer to the handy guide below.

What's your next move?

Click the guide to view a full-sized version

Youth Card - app for 11-25 year olds


Youth Card is a free mobile app that provides a one-stop shop for 11-25-year-olds for self-led discovery of educational, career and personal development opportunities in a safe environment.

Youth Card is uniquely placed to help your students by offering:

  • Free access to UK-wide work experience placements and workshops with leading employers, including: Spotify, Bentley Motors, bp, Google, NHS, Virgin Atlantic, The Financial Times, Santander and the BBC.
  • Free access to UK-wide financial and enterprise programmes.
  • Free access to a UK-wide network of 7,000 youth organisations.
  • Free access to inspiring podcasts, broadcasts and short films by heads of industry and high-profile speakers like:
- Nick Ross (TV broadcaster) - Rich Waterworth (GM of TikTok) - Shai Weiss (CEO of Virgin Atlantic Airways) - Gareth Southgate (England football manager – men's team) - Roger Federer (professional tennis player) - Dame Kelly Holmes (former Olympic athlete)
  • Free access to a wide range of youth-friendly discounted services in the UK and Europe.

Thinking ahead - advice for navigating your way to University or College

Post16 Bursaries available

What a bursary is for

A bursary is money that you, or your education or training provider, can use to pay for things like:

  • clothing, books and other equipment for your course

  • transport and lunch on days you study or train

If you’re aged 16 to 19

You could get a bursary to help with education-related costs if you:

  • study at a publicly funded school or college in England - not a university

  • are on a training course, including unpaid work experience

A publicly funded school is one that does not charge you for attending it.

What you'll get

There are 2 types of 16 to 19 bursary:

  • a bursary for students in vulnerable groups
  • a discretionary bursary

Bursary for students in vulnerable groups

You could get a bursary worth up to £1,200, depending on your circumstances and benefits.

Discretionary bursary

You could get a discretionary bursary if you need financial help but do not qualify for a bursary for students in vulnerable groups. Your education or training provider decides how much you get and what it’s used for

How can I find further details?

Colleges and schools can provide advice on the process to apply for funding.

Student guide to Post16 qualification results 2021

We understand how unsettling the last few months may have been for you, since schools, colleges and other providers were closed to many and exams were cancelled.

This guide should help you understand how results have been awarded this year and where to find more information.

Useful links to support choosing your next steps at 16 years old with Skills Launchpad Plymouth

Make sure you feel ready to get back out there – check out the support available if you are feeling anxious, confused, lost or overwhelmed Find out about Plymouth’s current employment picture and learn about our industry sectors which are growing fast creating new job opportunities Consider earning while you learn through an apprenticeship Consider gaining valuable work experience through a traineeship Consider becoming a volunteer to gain valuable new skills and experience Develop yourself through further study and training opportunities Too much choice out there? You can always learn more about your career options

Your Post 16 Choices and opportunities available in Plymouth

What's your next move here in Plymouth? Compare your options after GCSE. Click here or on the image below to view the guide in full.

Useful Parents' and Carers' Information Pack

It has been a challenging time for schools, students, you as parents and carers, and the school community, and we want to support you in helping your child to prepare for their next steps. View the Parents' and Carers' Information Pack here Help for parents and carers with apprenticeship here.

Skills Launchpad Plymouth: Apprenticeship Vacancy Bulletin - August 2021

We have collated the current apprenticeship opportunities available in Plymouth. Take a look at our Bulletin to find out more about the local employers recruiting, the training providers involved and how to apply for these exciting apprenticeships. View the Apprenticeship Bulletin* *Vacancies were live at the point of publication