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How to pick the right career path – from work experience to government schemes

Mar 9, 2023 | Featured By The Sun

IT is hard enough as an adult knowing what job is right for you, so how about while still at school?

National Careers Week, which started on Monday, celebrates careers guidance for young people across the UK.


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It is backed by scores of training providers and charities, with events online and in-person.

Research from the Careers & Enterprise Company found careers education is becoming more embedded in day-to-day lessons.

Nine in ten colleges link lessons with careers, while 79 per cent of Year 11 students are confident they know what skills employers need.

Minister for Skills, Apprenticeships and Higher Education Robert Halfon said: “Our skills agenda is transforming the education landscape, taking its cue from employers so businesses can continue to tap into the skilled workforce they need, and ensuring everyone has access to the training they need to secure a good job.

“There are so many great choices for young people to consider when considering their next steps on the ladder.”

Here’s how to make the most of National Careers Week.



National Careers Service: Visit

Support for Schools: A Department for Work and Pensions scheme helps disadvantaged kids aged 12 and up prepare for the world of work.

Schools can contact their local Jobcentre for more information.

Free courses for jobs: Gain a Level 3 qualification — equivalent to A level — for free. See

Skills bootcamps: Free, flexible courses of up to 16 weeks to build up sector-specific skills and fast-track to a job interview. See



Speakers for Schools: Charity campaigning for high-quality work experience for all state-educated pupils. See

The Talent Tap: The charity offers long-term mentoring and residential work experience with leading firms to pupils from Year 12 upwards in social mobility coldspots, including rural and coastal areas.


Sutton Trust: Hosts summer schools to help disadvantaged students access top universities. See

Social Mobility Foundation: The Aspiring Professionals Programme supports students targeting top universities and professional work experience.


Career Accelerator: Offers tech-focused workshops, mentoring and placements to pupils aged 14 plus. See

MAGDA KROLICZAK did work experience at business advisors FTI Consulting and Fever-Tree drinks through The Talent Tap.

The skills she learned helped her secure a role at marketing agency Brandnation.

The 22-year-old from Cheltenham, said: “It’s crucial for pupils to gain work experience.

“It allows you to find what your passion is, gives an employer an idea of who you are and helps develop transferable skills such as communication, teamwork and confidence.

“I was able to do real-life work experience with top firms and attend multiple networking events, which helped me gain more confidence, and the ability to speak about my interests, goals and intentions for my career.”



MOVE your career up a gear with help from one of the nation’s top careers advisors.

Ray Le Tarouilly, who is also an expert employment author, works for the National Careers Service.

Here are his top tips on post-school options.

  1. Aged 16 to 19? Consider a technical qualification such as a new T Level course which is the equivalent of three A Levels. They combine classroom learning with an industry placement so you get hands-on work experience too.
  2. University is always a popular option but higher or degree apprenticeships are a great alternative. You can build your skills and experience in a specific industry while earning a wage and your training is funded for you too.
  3. Want to get earning? Combine work with study and do an apprenticeship. You can start at level 3 or 4 and work up to degree level.
  4. If you have left school with few GCSEs, think about attending a local college to gain maths and English qualifications in order to apply for higher levels of education.
  5. Need help as an adult? There are options at any stage of your career to get new skills in valued sectors including HGV driving, digital and green industries. Find out more at



GROW your future career with the Royal Horticultural Society.

It has launched a £125,000 scholarship scheme to make the sector more accessible to a diverse range of school leavers.

The New Shoots initiative will offer funded training including accommodation, transport and learning materials, alongside apprenticeships.

It will also provide work experience for year-ten students and industry placements for T-level students.

Suzanne Moss, RHS head of education and learning, said: “New Shoots is launching at a time when more people are looking for sustainable, green jobs, but the horticultural sector, a key provider of these jobs, is facing a skills shortage.”




MISSED out on the right careers advice at school?

Adult employment charity Inspira can help you get your foot on the career ladder.

It has put together a free ­National Careers Week guide covering transferable skills, CV advice, interview guidance and an apprenticeship tool kit.

The charity has also created the Launchpad programme to help people aged 16-24 who are not in education, employment or training achieve their professional goals.

Director Sarah Harrington said: “We help people make the most of their transferable skills to find employment through a career that they may not have realised is available to them.”


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About Career Accelerator

We’re a youth organisation supporting young people from diverse backgrounds to prepare for professional careers through employer support, whilst supporting business partners with employee volunteering, diversity initiatives and inter-company collaboration. Career Accelerator currently works with 30 state schools across England, 25 businesses and the UK’s 3 leading LGBT+ career conferences.

Contact us for more information.