Explore your options

Options at 18+

After your A Levels, vocational courses or apprenticeships you have various options. This section will give you an overview of what is available and where to get more information. We are currently researching the best resources available to go in this section. In the meantime, please visit https://nationalcareers.service.gov.uk/careers-advice/career-choices-at-18 .


Below will provide you with information on the different roads you can take.

What is an Apprenticeship?

Apprenticeships are an excellent way of gaining qualifications and workplace experience. As an apprentice, you can earn as you learn, and you gain practical skills from the workplace. 

The key benefits of an apprenticeship are:

  • You gain valuable workplace skills and experience.
  • You work in a real job for a real employer.
  • You are paid a salary and have a contract of employment.
  • You achieve an apprenticeship recognised by employers.
  • You get support from your colleagues and training organisation.
  • It’s a careers pathway that helps you achieve your goals.
  • It’s something for your CV to show skills, achievements and work experience.

To hear from some apprentices and find out more about an apprenticeships watch the below videos:


There are different levels of apprenticeships and you could start with an intermediate apprenticeship, the equivalent level to GCSE’s and progress to a degree apprenticeship.

The below shows the different levels of apprenticeships and their educational equivalent:




Equivalent education level






A level


4,5,6 and 7

Foundation degree and above


6 and 7

Bachelor’s or master’s degree


What is an intermediate or advanced apprenticeship?

An intermediate apprenticeship are Level 2 apprenticeships, and generally considered to be the same level as five GCSE passes.

As an intermediate apprentice, you will study towards qualifications at the same level as five GCSEs, such as NVQ Level 2, and a knowledge-based qualification such as BTEC Diploma and Certificate, relevant to the sector and job role. You can go on to complete advanced and higher apprenticeships. 

Entry requirements for intermediate apprenticeships vary, with some employers asking for two or more GCSEs, although you may not need any formal qualifications. If you don’t have GCSEs in English and maths, you are usually required to take qualifications in these subjects as part of the apprenticeship.

Whereas, an advanced apprenticeships are also called Level 3 apprenticeships, and generally considered to be the same level as two A level passes.  

Entry requirements vary, but you will usually need at least five GCSEs with grades 9 to 4/A* to C, including English and maths. 

What is a higher or degree apprenticeship?

The higher apprenticeship is the same as a foundation degree or HND (Higher National Diploma). Whereas a degree apprenticeships allow apprentices to achieve a full bachelor's or master's degree as part of their apprenticeship. 

These programmes are developed by employers, universities, and professional bodies working in partnership.

Higher and degree apprenticeships combine working with studying part-time at a university. Apprentices are employed throughout the programme, and spend part of their time at university and the rest with their employer. This can be on a day-to-day basis or in blocks of time, depending on the programme and requirements of the employer.

They can take between three to six years to complete, depending on the course level. Currently, the scheme is only available in England and Wales, although applications may be made from all parts of the UK.

Degree apprenticeships are still quite new, so there are a limited number of vacancies. It’s anticipated that the number of vacancies will grow over the next year or two.

For more information on a degree apprenticeship visit  


 or https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/higher-and-degree-apprenticeships

Careers advisor, Victoria Geary, talks you through the things you might want to consider when working out which apprenticeships to apply for.


Where to find the apprenticeships?

You can search for live apprenticeship vacancies on our Employer Apprenticeship vacancies 

You can also find apprenticeships using the website https://www.gov.uk/apply-apprenticeship

Both systems will allow you to see:

  • Detailed information about the job.
  • The employer.
  • Training.
  • Pay and the qualifications you will be working towards.


Apprenticeships are accessible, regardless of what qualifications you have taken so far. 

A gap year is far more than a long holiday, it gives you the chance to experience new things, discover a different culture and learn new skills that will boost your employability. 

A video created by Careers Wales gives you their top tips on making a Gap Year work for you. 

Some useful websites to get you started:

These are organised programmes which mix travel and adventures. The  programmes can be between 1 and 26 weeks long and incur a cost.

Raleigh International 

Provide placements of between 7 and 13 weeks to help communities in Malaysia, Borneo, Nepal and Tanzania


Real Gap Experience 

Provide placements for 1 to 12 weeks in many different fields including sport, building projects, child care abroad, medical, conservation and community projects. This company also facilitates paid work opportunities abroad. 

To find out more visit: https://www.realgap.co.uk/


Offers working and volunteering opportunities in Africa, Asia and North & South America.

To find out more visit: 


 Adrenalin Travel, Xtreme Gap  

Are you thinking that you want to travel but do it in a group? Xtreme Gap allows you to do this. 


Year Out Group 

This is a portal for companies to advertise gap year options. 



Offers many different adventure placements


 Inter railing in Europe

This is a popular choice for young people. Tickets can be purchased for one specific country or a “global pass” covering 30 listed countries. https://www.interrail.eu/e

Camp America

This 9 week opportunity allows you to experience life in an America Children’s summer camp. At the end of the 9 weeks you are allowed to travel in America for a further 30 days.


Disney Paris 25 

Every year, Disneyland® Paris offers 1000 work placement contracts.


Teaching English as a foreign language.

Gaining this qualification allows you to apply to teach English abroad. Courses are available online and in Hull and Leeds. There are many organisations that offer this qualification and advertise vacancies


GO overseas 

This site reviews different work and voluntary placements.


Higher education courses can be studied at university, further education colleges, specialist institutions like art schools or agricultural colleges, training providers and online providers. Higher education qualifications range from Higher National Certificates (HNCs) and diplomas to Postgraduate awards and Master’s degrees. https://www.gov.uk/higher-education-courses-find-and-apply

Higher education qualifications include:

• NVQs.

• Higher National Certificates (HNC)

• Higher National Diplomas (HND)

• Foundation degrees.

• Bachelor degrees.

• Post-graduate degrees.

• (Higher) Degree Apprenticeships.

Routes into higher education - https://www.nidirect.gov.uk/articles/routes-higher-education

Guide to qualifications - https://www.nidirect.gov.uk/information-and-services/education/guide-qualifications


Can I get into university without doing A Levels?

Yes you can, but you may need to do some more research into this as everyone's route will be different. 

Aside from searching for universities that may consider qualifications other than A-levels, there are other routes to go down.

One of these options is to take an Access to Higher Education course at a further education (FE) college. These qualifications are available in specific subjects - for example, the Access to HE Diploma (Health) from the Open Study College (OSC) can provide a direct pathway into degree-level nursing and midwifery courses at university. To be eligible for the course you need to have achieved grade 4 in both GCSE English and maths. 

This article will tell you more https://www.theuniguide.co.uk/advice/ucas-application/can-you-get-into-university-if-youre-studying-btecs

Are you doing your A Levels?

Perhaps the tools below might help your decision making.

This first link helps you to see what university courses you could do if you have done your A Levels and the second tells you which A levels are needed to progress onto a particular university degree.  



Please note, higher education is accessible, regardless of what qualifications you have taken so far. 

Choosing your higher education subject

If you’re considering higher education, you’ll need to decide what subject, course type, and course provider is right for you. Here are some tips and advice to help you.

It’s important you choose a subject you enjoy and will help you reach your goals. Here are some things to help you choose the right subject for you.

• Think about what you enjoy day-to-day – maybe this could be part of a future job role?

• Explore different job sites and graduate career options to look for ideas on what you’d like to do once you've finished your studies.

• Think about your career goals and the qualifications required as part of a person specification.

• Take a look at our subject guides to get an idea of the types of subjects you could study, and the industries graduates go on to work in.

• Search for courses by subject to see what's available.

UK degree courses tend to be very specialised from day one, allowing students to focus on their chosen subject. However, there are others that allow you more flexibility in what you study. Make sure you read the course descriptions carefully, and click through to university websites for further information.

Thinking about more than one higher education course or subject?

To increase your chances of getting a place on a course we give you the option of applying to up to five courses at once, usually all in a similar subject so that your application is relevant to all of them.

Please note, there are a couple of restrictions though you can only apply maximum of four courses in any one of medicine, dentistry, veterinary medicine or veterinary science. 

For more information on what and where to study visit https://www.ucas.com/undergraduate/what-and-where-study/ucas-undergraduate-what-study

Have you got a disability and are concerned about going to university?

This website gives you the information about the support that you can access. 



Now take some time to check out what HE courses are available locally on our Higher Education prospectus  

If you have a good business idea, being self-employed or starting a small business can be very rewarding but it can take a lot of hard work and dedication. 

Self-employment can offer:

  • An opportunity to do something you enjoy and are good at.
  • A chance to be your own boss.
  • Flexible working hours.

How to get started?

  • Is there a gap in the market for your idea?
  • How much money will you need to set-up?
  • Where will this money come from?
  • What equipment will you need?
  • Where will you work from eg home or an office?
  • Will you need to employ anyone else?

There is plenty of free information, advice and practical support available to help you set up your own business.

Useful Contacts

Business advice and start up - The East Riding of Yorkshire Council runs Enterprise Clubs, which are designed to bring your business ideas to life.  

Hull Youth Enterprise Club -  The club provides young people with a place to meet and exchange skills, make contacts, share experiences, receive support and encourage each other to work through their business ideas. 

John Cracknell Youth Enterprise Bank which is for young people aged up to and including 21 years old, and offers grants of up to £1,000 for individuals or groups of young people who need finance to help make their idea happen.

Humber LEP Start-Up  - Your gateway to finding finance, advice and support for starting or growing your business in the Humber region.

The Princes Trust Enterprise Programme offers support to young people aged 18-30 to explore self employment.

Gov.uk - For free access to online tutorials and advice on how to start, including developing your business idea, tax, finance and marketing, visit 

Start up Britain is a national campaign set up by 8 entrepreneurs last year, with the support of the government. It offers links to many sources of information.

Business in You case studies of successful entrepreneurs and help to find a mentor.

Supported Internships are a structured study programme for a young person with SEND and an Education, Health Care Plan. They will be given a work experience placement which is allocated for them, based upon their interests, and is individual for them. Alongside the placement, they will also attend a college where they will study Maths, English and learn about employability skills and writing a CV. This study programme and placement are to give the young person, the knowledge and experience to enable them to gain paid employment.

There are many varied placements and Supported Internship Providers. Previous placements have included working with animals, catering, administration and maintenance, however there are more placements available on every course and new opportunities becoming available.

Watch Steven's story. Steven took part in an Supported Internship in the kitchen's at Bricknell Primary School

A Traineeship is an education and training programme with work experience that unlocks the great potential of young people and prepares them for their future careers by helping them to become ‘work ready’.

Designed to help young people aged 16 to 24 who don’t yet have the appropriate skills or experience, Traineeships provide the essential work preparation training, English, maths and work experience needed to secure an apprenticeship or employment. 

A Traineeship - Why they work 

Watch the below video to hear about Holly's journey on a Traineeship with Derby City Council

Watch the below video to hear about Rukhsar's journey on a Traineeship with Spinning Top Nursery in Bradford

Traineeship Student Activity Pack

This is an activity pack where students can learn all about Traineeships developed by Amazing Apprenticeships


Further information 

For more information visit https://www.gov.uk/guidance/traineeship-information-for-trainees

Now take some time to check out what Traineeships are available locally on the Full Time courses prospectus