Life After School

Beyond School Days

All children in this country have to attend school until they are 16. Excepting physical or mental restrictions, that is the law, like it or like it not.

In England, the law continues, and young people must either stay at school in further full education until 18 years, or part time education or training, provided they are working at least 20 hours per week. The other option is to start an apprenticeship or traineeship.

The majority of young people stay on at school to take A levels, many with prospect of university ahead of them.

The numbers of those going on to university do not seem to have been dented by the possibility of increases in the tuition fees, which are currently around £9,000 per year.

In addition, maintenance loans, can bring the student debt, after a typical three year course, to around 35 to £40,000. The weight of this debt has been tempered by the relatively light-touch repayments.

When a post graduate starts to earn in excess of £21,000 the repayments begins, 9% of income is taken. So a wage of £25,000 would mean a repayment rate of £30 per month, and a wage of £30,000 would repay at £67 per month.

The loan also accrues interest, though at a fairly nominal rate, which is that of inflation, which is currently at around just less than 1%. The repayment terms mean that most students will not pay off the loan until their forties, or even fifties. If the loan, in whole or part is still outstanding after thirty years, it is written off.

It may be because of this system that also on the rise, are the numbers of school leavers taking up apprenticeships or being helped by traineeships to go into the apprentice scheme.

Traineeships are a kind of safety net for those who have possibly struggled with school, or haven’t achieved a sufficient grounding in basic skills like English and maths. Traineeships can give them help to move into an apprenticeship, or into the jobs market. Find out more about traineeships and take your career to the next level.

Apprenticeships, unlike university, allow people to earn while they learn, as well as achieving nationally recognised qualifications. There are three distinct levels of apprenticeship, intermediate, advanced, and higher.

Apprenticeships are a mixture of hands on practical learning in the work place, and a measure of academic study at a local college or training company. The intermediate apprenticeship is recognised as around the equivalent of five good GCSE passes.

Apprenticeships will not suit everybody, as neither will university, but these are just two of the options out there when young people run out of school days.