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  • For some students it is worth considering moving to a College of Further and Higher Education known as Further Education (FE) colleges. These colleges (not all, you need to check) generally offer both A-levels and vocational qualifications (work related courses).

    However, a college environment is different from a school and it is worth considering the following:

    • Are you an independent learner?
    • Can you manage your time effectively?
    • Are you interested in vocational, rather than purely academic qualifications?
    • Do you like to be treated as an adult?


    Choosing your subjects / course(s)

    • What subjects / course(s) are you interested in?
    • What subjects / course(s) will you do well in?
    • What subjects / course(s) will help you pursue your chosen career?

    If you are unsure about your career destination then you should be choosing subjects / course(s) that will enable you to keep your options open.

    Entry Requirements

    The entry requirements to study A-levels in an F.E. College are unlikely to be different from a sixth form, but you may be able to study less subjects.

    For students achieving A to C grades at GCSE you should be aiming for a level 3 qualification.

    However, with some courses you may have to start at level 2. This is to ensure you have the underpinning knowledge of that subject. This will be discussed with you at interview stage.


    A Further Education College timetable is slightly different from a school timetable as you will have free periods/days and your learning may be condensed into for example 3 days.  Students may choose to use this time doing course work/homework, working part-time to build work experience, volunteering and/or becoming involved in college activities.

    If you are considering going to a Further Education College it is worth going along to        Open Days/ Evenings  and talking to subject teachers, current students, careers advisers and having a tour of the campus. Should you wish to study at an FE college it is important to get your application in early as courses do fill up.

    If you feel that you may need additional support at the college it is important to ask for it.  Colleges have budgets for this.

    If you are unsure, keep your options open by choosing a range of subjects / course(s) and talk to a Careers Adviser.

    Finally, it is advisable to have a back-up plan just in case.

    A useful website to help with research is www.ucasprogress.com. 

    Read all the information from the college and check application deadlines.

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    Are you looking to restructure your organisation or make people redundant?

    Your employees may need some help and support to understand the contemporary job market.

    All the research suggests that people who are helped and supported are more likely to make a successful transition to their next destination. Bringing in outside help frees up Human Resources time and energy and shows the organisation is trying to help staff. It can also be a motivating factor for those ‘surviving’ a change management programme. 

    For employees involved in a restructure or being made redundant can be a very stressful period. Being able to talk to an independent and impartial careers professional helps to allay some of their fears and also allows employees to understand how the contemporary job market works. It also enables them to plan their future career direction.

    Stirling Careers Consultancy recently worked with an organisation which was restructuring to help staff reapply for their jobs in the new structure. Most staff had been at the organisation for number of years and they were unsure of the contemporary job market.

    During the restructure staff had to reapply for their jobs and Stirling Careers Consultancy helped them with their applications for their new roles. Stirling Careers Consultancy helped them with their Curriculum Vitaes (CV), covering letters and Interview Techniques (see SCC Blogg on 2nd January 2015 entitled 'Job Search' covering these topics.)

    Sometimes it can be harder going for an internal vacancy than an external vacancy. Never assume the organisation / interview panel fully understand your current role. Also, they may not know what your full range of abilities and skills are so you need to sell yourself to the panel in the most effective way.

    Stirling Careers Consultancy will work with the organisation to put together a tailored programme of support for your employees. If you need any help please contact Email: info@stirlingcareersconsultancy.co.uk or Telephone: 0790 461 4946

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    With pupils returning to school for the start of the new academic year, but particularly for year 11 pupils, it is very important to start thinking and planning for your next career destination.

    These options are:

    • 6th Form at existing school or another 6th Form
    • Further Education College
    • Apprenticeship or Traineeship
    • Working or volunteering and studying part-time
    • NEW University Technical College (UTC) and Studio School (They offer academic qualifications and practical activities combined with contributions from businesses and the feel of a workplace. Studio schools use enterprise projects to support learning, while UTCs offer technical education sponsored by a university.)
    • Supported internships for students with learning difficulties or learning disabilities who want to get a job and need exta support to do this.
    • Self-employed and studying part-time


    If you are planning to go into a 6th Form you will need to consider:

    • What subjects you are interested in
    • What subjects you do well in
    • What subjects will help you pursue your chosen career

    If you are unsure, keep your options open by choosing a range of subjects and talk to a Careers Adviser.

    It is important to look for the general entry requirements for your chosen 6th Form as each school and each subject will have their own entry requirements.

    Also, consider what extra-curricular activities the 6th Form has to offer.

    Research 6th Forms before making an application and find out when each school is holding their Open Evenings/Days. Most of them tend to be held early in the Autumn Term. At these events, talk to teachers and, if possible, talk to current year 12 and year 13 pupils.

    A useful website to help with research is www.ucasprogress.com.  Read all the information from the school and check application deadlines.

    Finally, it is advisable to have a back-up plan just in case.


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    Thousands of students across the country will be receiving their GCSE results on Thursday 20th August 2015. They will discover if they have achieved the grades that they need for their next destination in life.

    There are many things that you need to consider when you receive your results.

    These are:

    • What career you want to do in the future as for some careers you need to choose particular routes.
    • The grades you receive. 
    • Whether you want to be in a school, college or workplace environment.
    • How you like to learn.


    What you need to do:

    • Confirm your place at school, college or work.
    • Seek out advice if you have not received your expected grades.
    • Talk to your Career Adviser.


    Options include:

    • Move into 6th Form.
    • Go to Further Education or Training Provider.
    • Find an apprenticeship or traineeship.
    • Part-time work or volunteering combined with accredited learning.



    It is important that you choose what is best for you and not what someone else thinks is best for you.

    Good Luck.

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