Post 16 Qualifications

If you want to carry on studying some of your favourite subjects or you’re thinking about university, you may want to look at the following types of Level 3 qualifications.

A -levels – you usually study three subjects or more. There are a wide range of subjects available. They’re usually studied at the same time over two years.

Extended Project Qualification (EPQ) and Interdisciplinary Project – these are taken alongside A levels and involve doing independent study of your choice.

GCSEs – if you do not have a grade C/4 or above in GCSE English or maths and are studying at school or college, you will need to retake these subjects to get grades A* to C/9 to 4

If you’re interested in a particular job family or industry but not yet sure what job you’d like to do, these qualifications might suit you. They combine practical learning with developing knowledge and skills. You can go on to further education, training or employment, or you can go on to university.

BTEC diplomas – give you a broader knowledge of a particular sector or industry. They are available in a range of sizes which are equivalent to one, two, or three A levels. They can be taken in combination with other qualifications.

Certificates – these enable you to develop transferable knowledge and skills through studying a particular industry or subject area. They are available in a range of subjects and can lead on to higher level study.  

Cambridge Technicals – involve studying a range of eight subject areas, each with flexible choices of units. They are available in a range of sizes which are equivalent to one, two, or three A levels.

If you know what sort of job you want to do, or want a course that’s more practical, or includes some work experience, a technical qualification may be the right qualification for you. There are many types of technical qualifications in a wide range of subjects and career areas, and there are qualifications available for all levels, from entry level up to level 8.

  • NVQs and SVQs – provide you with skills to do a specific job and can be taken if you have a full-time job, or are on a course with a work placement.
  • T Levels – include a range of qualifications which give you specialist technical knowledge and skills and are recognised as leading to specific job roles.
  • Technical certificates – these give you the opportunity to develop specialist knowledge and skills to help you get an apprenticeship or job, or progress to a higher level qualification. They cover jobs where employers may recruit people with specific level 2 qualifications, as well as jobs where you need to have a level 2 qualification before you can progress to level 3.
  • TechBac – this is a new programme (offered by City and Guilds) comprising of a Technical Level qualification, the Extended Project qualification, and some elements which are not-assessed, like project and team work, and work experience.

Functional Skills qualifications provide the essential skills you need in English, maths, and ICT to progress in education and work. They focus on developing and using skills, including communication, team working, presentation, and problem solving. You can study these alongside other qualifications or as part of an apprenticeshiptraineeship, or study programme.

Sixth Form Colleges

A sixth form college is an educational institution, where students aged 16 to 19 typically study for advanced school-level qualifications, such as A-levelsBusiness and Technology Education Council (BTEC) and the International Baccalaureate Diploma, or school-level qualifications such as General Certificate of Secondary Education (GCSE) examinations. 

For further information on local Sixth Form Colleges, please visit :

Hugh Baird College

King George V College

Carmel College

LIPA The Liverpool Institute for Performing Arts

Schools with Sixth Forms

There are several local schools with a sixth form entry and offer a variety of A-level and BTEC qualifications, please visit:

Christ The King Catholic High School and Sixth Form Centre

Range High School

Formby High School

St Michael’s Church of England High School

The Blue Coat School

Further Education Colleges

Further Education Colleges offer a range of academic, vocational, technical and professional courses. Further Education Colleges are attended by people of all ages, from 16 to 90+ although most students are between 16 and 18 years old.

Further Education Colleges offer courses at every level from entry level courses that do not require GCSE grades at entry through to higher level qualifications such as HNC/ HND and degree courses.

A full time course at college is 16 hours, which can mean a student can have a part-time job at the same time (but they will be expected to complete course work and projects too!). Students required to re-sit, or take English and Maths as part of their study programme may be in college for more hours.

For further information on local Further Education Colleges, please visit :

Hugh Baird College

Southport College

St Helens College

Knowsley Community College

The City of Liverpool College


Myerscough College

Higher Education

Higher education takes places at Universities and Further Education colleges and normally includes undergraduate and postgraduate study. Higher education gives young people the chance to study a subject of interest in-depth, and can boost career prospects and earning potential.

At Kings Leadership Academy Hawthorne’s we actively encourage our students to consider Higher Education as part of their career flightpath.

We have strong links with Liverpool University and visits to various departments begin in Year 6 and take place regularly in all other year groups. (See Careers Programmes).


Apprentices earn a wage and work alongside experienced staff to gain job-specific skills, whilst studying for a nationally recognised qualification with a training provider or local college. Apprenticeships can be complete in one year or some will last for a total of four years. Apprenticeships are designed with the help of the employers in the industry, so they offer a structured programme that takes you through the skills you need.


Apprenticeships are increasingly recognised as the gold standard for work-based training.

  1. Intermediate Level Apprenticeships (equivalent of getting 5 GCSEs at grade 9-4)
  2. Advanced Level Apprenticeships (equivalent to 2 A-level passes)
  3. Higher Apprenticeships (equivalent to a foundation degree)


The current minimum wage rate for an apprentice is £4.15 per hour. This rate applies to apprentices under 19 and those aged 19 or over who are in their first year.

Applying for an Apprenticeship

Apprenticeships are open to all age groups above 16 years-old whether you are just leaving school, have been working for years or are seeking to start a new career. There may be different entry requirements depending on the Apprenticeship and the industry sector. However competition for places with employers can be fierce, so you will need to show that you are committed, and aware of your responsibilities to both yourself and the company who would employ you.

All apprenticeships will be advertised @

You will need to register on the site and search for apprenticeships using keywords, job roles and location. If you see any of interest you need to apply on line and you can apply for up to 10 vacancies at any one time. On the site you will complete an application and you will need to complete this to the best of your ability as this may be sent straight to employers. Some vacancies may direct you direct to the employers website to follow their application process.

For other helpful websites please see links below:

Success at School

Amazing Apprenticeships

NGTU Not Going To Uni

Find an Apprenticeship

The Apprenticeship Guide


Labour Market Information (LMI) 

This is the name for facts and figures about jobs and employment. The information is used to give an overall picture of the past, present and future of work. The labour market is the term used to describe the amount of people working and looking for work, and the amount of jobs.

How can labour market information (LMI) help me with career decisions?

Here on, we’ve selected a few different types of LMI to help you think about career decisions.

LMI can help you understand:

  • what a job involves on a day-to-day basis
  • which jobs are growing or declining – for example, it is predicted that the amount of nurses will rise, but the amount of printers will fall
  • what qualifications or skills you might need to do a job
  • how much you might earn
  • how your interests and skills are relevant to particular jobs
  • what jobs there are in Liverpool or other parts of the UK

Useful Links

National Careers Service site

This website offers advice and guidance to young people. Young people and their parents/ carers can chat online to an adviser and /or find out about 800 job profiles.

LMI for All

LMI for All is an online data portal that offers sources of high-quality and reliable labour market information. The Careerometer widget allows users to select different careers and find out about average wages, number of hours worked and potential growth.


Nomis is your one-stop shop for labour market information. The summary pages provide key trend data about a local area.


I Could provides 1,000 different video clips of labour market information and personal career stories to help students explore different career routes and pathways.