Different routes to employment

The routes to employment have changed a lot over the last few years and will continue to do so.

The diagram below gives an overview of the different options available to young people.

Your Routes to Employment

Secondary Education

With the growth of Academies, Free Schools, Studio Schools and University Technical Colleges (UTC)  all catering for 11-16/18 and 14-16/18 year old students  the world of Secondary Education is evolving at the fastest rate in decades.  A brief overview of the different types of establishments is listed below. You can also visit the our Schools page to find a more local perspective.

Academies and Free Schools

Both Academies and Free Schools are publicly funded independent schools that are not managed by a local authority. They can set pay and conditions for their staff and also change the length of their terms. Academies don’t have to follow the national curriculum.

Studio Schools

Studio schools are small schools – usually with around 300 pupils for children aged 14-19 delivering mainstream qualifications through project-based learning. This means working in realistic situations as well as learning academic subjects. Students work with local employers and a personal coach, and follow a curriculum designed to give them the skills and qualifications they need in work, or to take up further education.  More information about Studio Schools can be found here: The Studio Schools Trust.

University Technical Colleges

UTC’s specialise in subjects like engineering and construction – and teach these subjects along with business skills and using IT.  Pupils study academic subjects as well as practical subjects leading to technical qualifications. The curriculum is designed by the university and employers, who also provide work experience for students.

University technical colleges are sponsored by universities, employers and further education colleges.  More information about UTC’s and the 2 local to Warwickshire can be found here: University Technical Colleges

Sixth Form

You may be able to study at your own school’s sixth form, the sixth form of another school, or at a sixth form college. They offer a wider range of options than you’ve probably had to date, and the environment is usually more relaxed than in Year 11.
Sixth forms vary a lot in size, and in the courses and facilities they offer. Sixth form colleges tend to be larger and more informal than school sixth forms.

Further Education College

Further education colleges can offer similar courses to sixth form as well a wider range of vocational subjects. They also vary a lot in size, and in the subjects and facilities they offer.  Your fellow students may include adults of all ages as well as young people.



Apprenticeships give you the chance to learn – and gain nationally recognised qualifications – while getting a weekly wage.

Apprenticeships are available in more than 200 roles across a wide variety of industry sectors. These range from accountancy and business administration to construction, engineering, manufacturing – and many more.
Apprenticeships are offered at 3 levels with the Higher Apprenticeships now going from Level 4 (foundation degree) up to a level 7 qualification that is equivalent to a Master Degree.

Employment / Volunteering with Training

If your 16-18 and not in full time education or an Apprenticeship you must be working/volunteering for over 20 hours a week and also on a recognised training programme at an appropriate level (Details still to be finalised).


Degrees are usually studies at Universities, however more and more degrees can now be studied through Further Education Colleges and Private Training Providers.  To find out more please visit the UCAS website.

Different routes to employment was last updated on September 25, 2017.