Post 16 choices

When it comes to the question of what to do after school or college there are lots of choices to be made: Apprenticeships, Traineeships, T Levels, A Levels, Technical and vocational qualifications, Applied qualifications and Supported Internships.

START Careers Platform

START Careers Platform in Waltham Forest will help you to discover your future and navigate your journey through education and into the world of work.

  • Register to create an account so that you can start building your profile and receive personalised information and advice.
  • Capture evidence of your employability to help your write a knockout CV or a personal statement
  • Search for post 16 course providers, and apprenticeships
  • Go through to the UCAS website to search for at higher education courses.
  • Explore jobs linked to your interests, or jobs linked to your subject, jobs linked to your strengths, jobs that are in demand in the UK
  • Discover the different worlds where people and businesses work.
  • Search and apply for jobs near you and across London
  • Find out information about employers in Waltham Forest


Apprenticeships are real jobs with a recognised qualification and a salary.  Apprenticeships combine practical training in a job with study.

As an apprentice, you’ll:

  • work alongside experienced staff
  • gain job-specific skills
  • earn a wage and get holiday pay
  • be given time for study related to your role

Duration: A minimum of one year

Start date: Opportunities are advertised throughout the year

Entry requirements: Set by the employer, dependent on apprenticeship level, and the industry.

Where will I study: On the job. Off the job with a training provider or further education college

Level of study: 2/3 with the possibility to progress to higher level apprenticeships up to level seven

Work experience: Yes, it’s a paid job with at least 20% off the job training

UCAS points? No

What does it leads to: Higher level or degree apprenticeship, university/college, work

Find out more: For general information about apprenticeships and for details of local vacancies contact the Waltham Forest Adult Learning Service.

The Amazing Apprenticeships website has live broadcasts and webinars.

To Apply: Create an account to manage your applications and get alerts about new apprenticeships. For more information, visit the GOV.UK website.



A traineeship is a training programme to prepare you for an apprenticeship or a job.  

A programme involves:

  • Work preparation training, and job search
  • If required, maths, English and ICT lessons
  • A minimum of 70 hours in a work placement
  • Mentoring support during training and whilst on placement.

Duration: six weeks to one year.

Start date: Opportunities are advertised throughout the year.

Assessment: A formal job or exit interview with written feedback. Coursework and exams are course dependent.

Where will I study: With a training provider or in a further education college.

Entry requirements: Are qualified up to and including a full level three qualification, are aged 16-24 and for young people with Education and Health Care Plans up to academic age 25, are unemployed with little work experience

Level of study: N/A

Work experience: Yes

What does it leads to: Apprenticeship, work.

Find out more: For further information on what is a traineeship visit the All about school leavers website.

A guide to applying for apprenticeships visit the Rate my apprenticeship website.  

For a list of traineeship providers visit the GOV.UK website

How to apply: Create an account to manage your applications and get alerts about new traineeships. For more information visit the GOV.UK website.

Go to individual further education college websites.  Search for courses on the National Careers Service website.  

To get help with your application there are a range of individuals who can support you: school or college Careers Adviser, Leaving Care Coach, Assessment Planning and Review Officer, Jobcentre Plus Work Coach, Education, Employment and Training Advisor, NCS Careers Adviser.


T Levels

T Levels are new courses, equivalent to three A levels.

T Levels involve more classroom study than apprenticeships, which means you can experience an industry while you continue your studies.

You’ll spend 80% of your time in the classroom and 20% on a 45-day placement with an employer to give you the skills and knowledge companies look for

Duration: two years

Start date: September

Assessment: Exams, projects, and practical assignments

Level of study: 3

Where will I study: Further education college, sixth form colleges

Entry requirements: Set by each school and college

Work experience: 80% classroom 20% work

Awards UCAS points? Yes

What does it lead to? Apprenticeship, university/college, work

Find out more: For more in-depth information go to the T-levels website or visit the Amazing apprenticeships website.

How to apply: Go to the individual schools and colleges websites.  Visit the T-Levels website where you can add your postcode to find an organisation who’ll be offering T Levels in 2021. 


Technical & vocational qualifications

Vocational courses provide qualifications related to a specific job e.g. carpenter, chef or beautician. The courses are practical and involve learning in real situations.  Examples include: Cambridge Technical, some Pearson BTEC, City and Guilds Diploma, AQA Technical, VTCT Diploma and many others.

Duration: Course dependent

Start date: September. Some colleges have January start dates for entry/level 1 courses

Assessment: Can include coursework, skills tests and exams

Level of study: one plus

Where will I study: Further education college, sixth form college and in some school sixth forms

Entry requirements: Set by each school and college

Work experience: Course dependent

Awards UCAS points? Some (course and awarding organisation dependent)

What does it leads to: Apprenticeship, work, college

Find out more: For course levels: visit the GOV.UK website

How to apply: Go to the individual school and college websites.  Search for courses on the National Careers service website.


Applied qualifications

Applied Generals are for students who want a broad study of a specific vocational area.  They cover a wide range of subject areas, from applied science, business, and health and social care, to accountancy and horticulture. Examples include: some Pearson BTEC and some Cambridge Technical, WJEC Diploma, AQA Certificate, NCFE Applied and many others.

Duration: two years

Start date: September

Assessment: Course work and exams

Level of study: Level three

Where will I study: School sixth form, sixth form college, further education college

Entry requirements: Set by each school and college

Work experience: Course dependent

Awards UCAS points: Yes

What does it leads to: University/college, higher level or degree apprenticeship, work

Find out more: For more detailed information about Applied General qualifications visit the Career pilot website.

For a full list of qualifications, discount codes and point scores visit the GOV.UK website.

How to apply: Go to individual school sixth form and college websites.  Search for courses on the National Careers service website.


Further education colleges and sixth forms in Waltham Forest

Big Creative Education Academy

Leyton Sixth Form College

Sir George Monoux College

Waltham Forest College

To find out what courses are offered by each college it is best to look at the institution’s own website. Look for the ‘16-18’ or ‘courses’ section.


A Levels

An academic qualification, similar in style to GCSEs, that prepares you for further study.  A Levels are examined at the end of a 2 year course.

Duration: 2 years

Start date: September

Assessment: Mostly exams at the end of the course

Where will I study: School sixth form, sixth form college, further education college

Level of study: three

Entry requirements: Set by each school and college, usually a minimum of 5 GCSEs grades 9-4.  Strong GCSE grades in the subject you want to study.

Work experience: Usually 1 week during year 12

Awards UCAS points? Yes

What does it leads to: University/college, higher level or degree apprenticeship, work

Find out more: When choosing your A Levels; what you need to consider visit: the Career Pilot website.  

Use the Informed Choices website to help you understand which subjects open up which degrees, particularly at Russell Group universities.

 Go to individual school and college websites.  Search for courses on the National Careers Service website.


Supported Internships

A supported internship is a study programme specifically aimed at young people aged 16 to 24 who want to move into employment and need extra support to do so.  You will be offered a higher level of support than a trainee or an apprentice, you will have workplace support in the form of a job coach, as well as support for your non-workplace learning.

Duration: Normally 12 months.  It should last at least six months

Start date: Some will start in September; others will be available all year round.

Assessment: Course dependent.  You can take vocational qualifications and if required have numeracy and literacy support

Where will I study: In the workplace with an employer.  For pre-placement training and off the job learning a further education college, sixth form college, 16-19 academy or training provider.

Entry Requirements: Aged 16-24 with an Education and Health Care Plan.  Have employment as your main focus, have had work experience at school or college, really want to work, be at the right stage in your learning and development to benefit from a supported internship.

Leads to: Work, traineeship, apprenticeship

Find out more: Visit our employment support webpage and watch our Local offer post 16 pathway videos.

How to apply: Speak to your school or college, your Assessment Planning and Review Officer, Access to Work Adviser



Schools with sixth forms in Waltham Forest

Chingford Foundation School

Heathcote School & Science College

Highams Park School

Holy Family Catholic School

Kelmscott School

Lammas School & Sixth Form

Norlington School & 6th Form

Walthamstow Academy

To find out what courses are offered by each school it is best to look at the school’s own website. Look for the post 16 programme/prospectus.

Details about Special Schools can be found on the special schools webpage.


Careers information and advice

Call the National Careers Service helpline for information and advice about jobs, careers and training if you’re 13 or older in England.

  • 0800 100 900
  • open 8am to 10pm
  • 7 days a week

A team of skilled careers advisers will be able to help you with:

  • Skills, qualifications and subject choices
  • Resits and remarks
  • Sixth form, college, university, and other further/higher education choices
  • Gap years
  • Vocational learning routes including apprenticeships
  • Careers and employment

Find more information on GOV.UK

If you are currently attending a school or college, you can also arrange a Personal Guidance appointment with a qualified Careers Adviser.


Unemployment support 

Unemployment support for 16-17 year olds (NEET)

The Mayor’s NEET Programme is a service for young people who are not in employment, education or training (NEET). It will provide you with the opportunity to gain the skills and confidence to compete for jobs, return to education or start further training.  

In North & East London, Your Time NEET programme for 16-17 year olds run by Dimensions Training Ltd via a network of providers and is open to young people who live in the following local authorities:  Waltham Forest, Barking & Dagenham, Bexley, Bromley, Enfield, Greenwich, Havering, Newham, and Redbridge.

Benefits for you include:

  • one to one meeting with a youth mentor
  • practical support with college applications
  • access to specialist job vacancies and apprenticeships
  • opportunity to take numeracy and literacy qualifications if you need to improve your grades.
  • Opportunity to take a range of qualifications e.g. working towards a CSCS card
  • a range of short courses to upskill and improve employability
  • Referrals to a range of training provision and traineeships across London

Find more information through dimensions training solutions

To be referred parents/carers should register with the Careers Service by

If you’re 16-24 and on Universal Credit, why not apply for a six-month work placement and earn up to £8.20 per hour for 25 hours per week for six months. With the Kickstart scheme the government covers all salary costs and provides employers with a training budget.

There are placements in sectors covering music, digital, PR, marketing and hospitality, to retail, legal and sport, plus many more.

To apply go to or speak to your Jobcentre Plus Work Coach.

If you’d like some help with completing the application form or interview preparation, please let the Kickstart support team know at

Unemployment support for 16-24-year olds in care or care leavers, those at risk of homelessness or who are homeless

Maximus run the Pathways to Employment, Education and Training NEET programme across Waltham Forest, Barking & Dagenham, Bexley, Bromley, Enfield, Greenwich, Havering, Newham, and Redbridge.

The programme offers:

  • Assisting you to discover and overcome your personal barriers and set goals
  • Confidence and motivational coaching
  • Support with creating CV’s, online job applications and mock interviews
  • Introduction to employers with roles that suit you, and job brokerage
  • Support with college applications, online accredited/non-accredited training courses, apprenticeships and traineeships
  • Signposting to organisations for specialised support
  • Better off calculations
  • Access to Health Professionals for support and guidance
  • Discretionary financial support depending on circumstances as when required.

Find more information through maximus UK

To be referred: young people in care and care leavers should contact the Virtual School for Looked after Children: 020 8496 1741 

Young people at risk of homelessness or who are homeless should contact: 020 8496 3000 or

Unemployment support for young people with special educational needs and/or learning disabilities from 16 up to 25

You or your family can contact the Special Education Needs and Disability Service (SEND)