Options overview

Pathways from 18+

Young people in England have a range of education and career options from 18.

Whatever they choose, they can continue learning and their changing aspirations and interest may lead them to a higher education qualification, such as a degree or higher technical qualification. This is possible throughout their career.

Pathways from 18+ - Talking Futures

Pathways from 18+

Young people in England have a range of education and career options from 18.

Whatever they choose, they can continue learning and their changing aspirations and interest may lead them to a higher education qualification, such as a degree or higher technical qualification. This is possible throughout their career.

Understand the options

If your child decides to get a job, many employers offer training programmes and apprenticeships which will enable them to learn while they earn.

If their chosen career means they need to get certain qualifications first, or they want to continue studying, they will usually do this at an education provider such as a further education (FE) college or a university.

Employment

  • There are several employment options available from age 18, but the opportunities will vary depending on where you live.
  • To start exploring the options, you could have a conversation with your child’s school or college about roles that are suitable for your child and the best job prospects locally.
  • Many employers offer opportunities for training to help young people build their careers.

Higher Education

  • Higher Education includes bachelor’s degrees and higher technical qualifications (e.g., HNC/HNDs and foundation degrees).
  • Higher education is delivered in universities and many further education colleges.
  • Study can be full-time or part-time and combined with a job.
  • Student loans are usually available to pay the course fees and living costs, but many colleges and universities offer additional support for those in need.

Apprenticeships

  • Apprenticeships combine study with training in a paid job.
  • Apprentices spend most of their time at work, with at least 20% of their time studying at a training provider.
  • Apprenticeships are offered at all levels, from Level 2 right through to Level 6 or 7 (which is bachelor’s or master’s degree equivalent).
  • Apprenticeships are offered by employers, who advertise when they have vacancies. Vacancies are also advertised locally, for example through colleges, or on national websites.

Extra support

A range of help is available

  • Your child’s school or college is required to publish a careers plan, which you will find on its website. These career plans include details of events and activities you and/or your child might want to attend.
  • The website will also have contact details of the careers leader who will be a useful starting point for any career discussion.
  • You may feel more comfortable speaking to a teacher you already know, such as your child’s form tutor. They can also provide guidance on where to access more information and the careers specialists who can help.
  • You can speak to a specialist careers adviser through the National Careers Service website.
  • If your child has special eduactional needs and disabilites (SEND), their current school or college can help you find out what support is available in your area.
  • Different sources may explain things differently and with different levels of detail.
  • It may feel overwhelming, but exploring the options with your child can be just as valuable as having the answers yourself.