My Future 16+


Making the right decisions about subject choices and future careers plans for some young people can be quite complex and daunting. Whilst teachers at school will usually be able discuss your suitability to take individual subjects, there are also a number of professionals available to provide careers information, advice and guidance. Furthermore, you can get support with making applications, searching for opportunities, CV building and interview techniques.

Where can I get professional advice?

  • If you are in years 9, 10 or 11 at school or are in further education (either at school or college), ask to see the Connexions Professional Adviser or careers adviser working in your school/college
  • If you are unemployed, in work or on a training programme and are under 25 years of age, you can contact Connexions on 0161 393 4500 or email  
  • Jane Farrell, Connexions Professional Adviser, works within the Next Step Team two days per week.  Please ask your social worker or aftercare worker to make a referral.
  • If you are in higher education, each university has its own careers service which offers information, advice and guidance to their own students
  • If you are 16+, you can also speak to the National Careers Service on 0800 900 100 or email them via their website.
  • In addition, Next Step's corporate parenting officer, Chris Purcell, is a qualified careers adviser, you can contact him on 0161 607 1888. Ask your social worker, pathway advisor or aftercare worker to make a referral.

What are my options at the end of year 11?

  • Staying on at school (if your school has a sixth form)
  • College - check out the range of academic and vocational courses at Salford City College and other colleges within reasonable travelling distance
  • Apprenticeships - search for opportunities at apprenticeship vacancies
  • The Study Programme - The Study Programme replaces Foundation Learning and aims to prepare young people for progression into further learning and/or employment. It has three key elements:
    • A substantial qualification, eg BTEC First (level 2), BTEC National (level 3) or GCE A levels
    • Working towards level 2 in maths and English (if a learner is not already at this level)
    • Work experience or other work-preparation programme
  • Traineeships - A traineeship is a structured support programme to help young people into work and is a pathway of the Study Programme at 16 to 19. It is also open to 19 to 24 year olds through Jobcentre Plus. It has four key elements:
    • Preparation for work - finding and retaining a job
    • Work experience - extended where possible
    • English and maths - for those not yet at level 2
    • Vocational preparation - this may be appropriate if the traineeship is being designed to link specifically to a sector, ie construction, engineering, hair and beauty, etc
  • Employment with training
  • Personal development (eg Prince's Trust, Fairbridge)
  • Voluntary work opportunities

What is raising the participation age (RPA)?

In 2013 the government raised the participation age for young people leaving year 11. This means that school leavers will be required to stay in some form of learning beyond completing their compulsory education.  All year 11 school leavers will need to stay in learning until their 18th birthday.

RPA is not about raising the school leaving age. Young people will have a range of options for how they can participate, which could be through:

  • Full-time education, such as school or college
  • An apprenticeship
  • Part-time education or training if they are employed, self-employed or volunteering for 20 hours or more a week

What support is available to me as a care leaver if I go to university?

If you meet the eligibility criteria, you could be entitled to the following:

  • A local authority bursary of £2000
  • Help with accommodation costs*
  • A weekly allowance (equivalent to the Jobseekers Allowance rate plus £15, currently a total of £72.90)*
  • A computer and internet access (if you don't already have these)
  • A named social worker or aftercare worker to support you

Furthermore, we will try to negotiate access to a place in university halls of residence for you (including outside term time) and an individual package of support from the university itself.

Please note: * Financial support will vary according to other sources of income available.

National Network for the Education of Care Leavers (NNECL) This is a national network of higher education institutions and national organisations in England whose mission is to transform the progression of young people in or leaving care, into and through further and higher education.  Please see the flyer below and access their website for more information and details of local events.

NNECL leaflet

NNECL leaflet

For a full copy of Next Step's Finance Policy, please follow this link: Next Step Finance Policy       

Useful website links:

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 My Future 16+




Need a CV (Curriculum Vitae)?

Many employers and learning providers will ask to see your CV to help them decide on your suitability for a job or training programme (e.g. Apprenticeships, Traineeships). There are many different CV templates available online, but below is the preferred version used by the Corporate Parenting Officer, Chris Purcell (which you can open and edit). 

If you require help in preparing a CV please contact Chris on 0161 607 1888. 

CV template

Alternatively go to the CV builder:



If you’re 13+ and looking to do some part-time work alongside your school studies (i.e. in Years 9, 10 or 11), click on the leaflet above.