Progression Post Year 11

The Government currently state that pupils must stay in school until they are 16 years of age. After the age of 16, individuals must choose to do one of the following options:

  • Stay in full-time education at a school or college.
  • Enrol in a traineeship or apprenticeship program.
  • Spend 20 hours or more a week working or volunteering whilst remaining in part-time education or educational training. 

Pupils will be encouraged to consider these options during the careers program activities, assemblies and meetings arranged during Year 11. Pupils will be given advice and support with the UCAS process during these times. We also recommend that parents and pupils attend the school Sixth Form open evening and local college open days to get a feel for what is available post Year 11. 


During an apprenticeship, you are employed to do a real job while studying for a formal qualification, usually for one day a week either at a college or training centre or via online learning or block release. By the end of your apprenticeship, you will have gained the skills and knowledge and behaviours needed to either succeed in your chosen career or progress onto the next apprenticeship level.

What you will learn depends on the role that you are training for. However, apprentices in every role follow an approved study programme, which means you will gain a nationally-recognised qualification at the end of your apprenticeship.

What qualifications could I achieve?

  • Functional skills - GCSE level qualifications in English, mathematics and IT (if not already gained).
  • National Vocational Qualifications (NVQs) - from Level 2 (comparable to five GCSEs) up to Level 7 (similar to a postgraduate degree).
  • Technical certificates - such as BTEC, City and Guild Progression Award etc.
  • Academic qualifications - including a Higher National Certificate (HNC), Higher National Diploma (HND), foundation degree or the equivalent of a full Bachelors degree.

You'll also be constantly developing your transferable skills, otherwise known as soft skills, which are highly valued by employers. These include communication, teamwork and problem-solving, as well as knowledge of IT and the application of numbers.

What are the levels of apprenticeship?

  • Intermediate apprenticeships (Level 2)
  • Advanced apprenticeships (Level 3)
  • Higher apprenticeships (Level 4 and above)
  • Degree apprenticeships (Level 5 - 7)

Amazing Apprenticeships

Please visit our Live Apprenticeship and Traineeship page for the latest apprenticeship opportunities in Swale.


A traineeship is a course that includes a work placement. It can last from 6 weeks up to 6 months.

Traineeships help 16 to 24-year-olds (and 25-year-olds with an EHC plan) get ready for an apprenticeship or job if they do not have the appropriate skills or experience. You can apply for a traineeship if you are eligible to work in England, have little or no work experience but are motivated to work or aged 16 to 24 or 25 with an EHC plan and qualified below a Level 3.

How much is a traineeship?

Traineeships are free. The cost of training is given directly to training providers by the government. From the training provider you get support to prepare you for work including CV writing and what to expect in the workplace you will also get support to improve your English, mathematics and digital skills.

What do I gain from a traineeship?

From the employer you get a high-quality work placement of at least 100 hours, an interview for an apprenticeship or job if available or an exit interview with written feedback. Programmes can be tailored to meet your needs or those of the business and local labour market. A traineeship isn’t a job and employers are not required to pay you for the work placement.

You may also get:

  • Expenses for transport and meals from your employer;

  • Financial support for travel, childcare or a disability from your training provider;

  • Support from your local Jobcentre Plus if you are eligible for work benefits.

How do I find a traineeship?

You can click here to find more information about traineeships and current opportunities available for you.

You may also visit our Live Apprenticeship and Traineeship page for the latest traineeship opportunities in Swale.

Local Colleges and Sixth Forms

Westlands School Sixth Form is proud to offer a wide range of courses which include academic, creative and vocational subjects. We also offer extra-curricular activities including sports, creative arts and the Westlands School Farm. You can explore the courses currently on offer by clicking here.

Westlands School Sixth Form is not the only provider for Post 16 options. There are many providers in Sittingbourne and on the Isle of Sheppey. Take a look at what other schools and colleges provide in the local area.

Local Schools

Local Colleges