Supporting students to choose their post 16 routes
Following on from October’s blog, ‘Supporting students to choose their higher education route’ below are some of the questions and resources we use when speaking to students. We recognise that lots of you will be advising students on their post 16 choices at the moment, so hopefully these will assist you.
Questions to ask students
- Do your ideas fit in with your career ambitions?
Help to answer this question: Career ideas can change at any age, however discussing broad career ideas and what students enjoy can help highlight sectors they may be interested in. Challenging stereotypes might be appropriate here, as well as emphasising the wide range of careers in all sectors (websites to signpost students to below) and referring the student to your school careers adviser.
- Why is this option right for you? What is it about that post 16 option that interests you?
A useful starting point, as they will likely be asked this in their interview.
- Do you understand everything in the course overview / apprenticeship description?
- Have you visited the sixth forms / colleges / apprenticeship providers you are interested in and had all of your questions answered?
- What are the advantages and disadvantages of each route you are considering?
- Have you spoken to your careers adviser?
Help to answer this question: Your school careers adviser can provide up to date labour market information and information on entry into different careers, as well as speak to students about their ideas and what they may be suited to. They will likely have resources students (and staff) can take away and use in their own time. They can also advise students who are unsure about what they want to do next. Year 11 students should get a careers interview, but if they want one sooner than they’ve been allocated, they can request one.
The National Careers Service lists hundreds of job profiles, with up to date detailed information about different routes into careers. It can be a useful place to start researching careers, and to the right of a job profile they can find ‘related careers’ which can be useful as part of this exploration.
Creative careers are not always fully represented on general careers websites, so the new Discover Creative Careers website lists hundreds of job profiles. Everything from Actor to Yoga Teacher, Bespoke Tailor to Website Developer is listed. It is ‘Creative Careers Week’ 18th – 22nd November, so Discover Creative Careers could be a good source of information to use with students to tie in with this. If you are interested in Creative Careers Week, you can download a pack from the Creative and Cultural Skills website here.
Discover Creative Careers is a useful tool to use alongside the National Careers Service or other similar websites like iCould, UCAS ‘Explore careers’, Prospects, Target Jobs (both aimed at higher education students, but relevant and understandable for younger years).
If any of your students are interested in apprenticeships, the guide downloadable on this page gives a thorough overview, and also includes short videos that can be used in tutor time to explain what a degree apprenticeship is.
Resources for staff
Advancing Access has lots of free resources including guidebooks for staff, plus information sheets, activities, videos and presentations that can be used with students. They have specific resources on ‘the right choices for post 16 study’ and many others. Resources are free but many require registering with the site.
Informed Choices This Russell Group website can be useful to use with students to research which subjects at A level are required (or useful) for specific higher education courses, to ensure they are not limiting their choices post 16. Students can also explore broad areas (e.g. creative arts, social sciences) if they are unsure what they would like to study at higher education level. Encouraging or helping students to also research different institution’s websites to get a broader idea of what is required for their higher education course can also help them with their choice.
Websites such as Which? University can also be useful to use with students as an alternative to UCAS for researching universities and entry requirements.
Best of luck with helping your students at this busy time of year, and as always the HE Progression Advisers are here to support you – get in touch with your regional adviser to find out how!
Feel free to circulate this blog to year 11 tutors or those involved in student’s progression post 16.