Young people have to stay in education or training until they're 18, but this doesn't mean you have to stay at school. There are lots of different education or training options available.

Decide what you want to do next

See our Where next? page about 16 to 19 years education and training options to find out more. 

Your options include:

With so many options available, it's always a good idea to ask for advice and guidance from your school, an accredited careers advisor or your local youth worker, as well as speaking to family and friends about your next steps.

Deciding what to do at 16

There are other websites that can help you decide what to do at 16:

If you are in care or a care leaver, speak to your social worker or personal adviser. They can advise who you can speak to about what to do next.

If you've finished year 11 and under the age of 19 you can ask for help from our Employment, Education and Training Re-engagement Team.

Find the right course for you at 16

Find information about sixth form schools and colleges that offer post 16 courses in Dorset

You may find it helpful to see what courses are available when choosing your options. Use the National Careers Service search to find out about learning of all types in your area.

If you can't find what you're looking for, you can always contact an advisor for a chat.

Find out what other young people have chosen to do at 16 in the My chosen route section. They could help you decide what to do.

Finding a job

There are plenty of ways to search for a job in Dorset, such as:

  • your local newspaper
  • online sites such as Universal Jobmatch and Indeed
  • checking local job boards
  • taking your CV to local employers, such as restaurants, cafes or local shops

Part-time jobs

You can get a part-time job from the age of 13, but there are restrictions on:

  • the number of hours you can work
  • the type of work you can do

If you're aged between 13 and 16 and want to find work, you can read about child employment which includes information on:

  • accepted working hours
  • minimum wage
  • your rights
  • employer work permits

Part-time jobs are useful because they:

  • are a great way to earn extra money while you're studying
  • will look great on your CV
  • give you valuable work experience
  • give you the opportunity to practise your CV writing skills and interview techniques

Full-time jobs

Young people have to stay in education until they're 18. You can start work while studying by starting an apprenticeship or a traineeship.

When you're looking for a job, ask if it has accredited training that will:

  • give you qualifications to help you progress further in your career
  • help you earn more money
  • have better job security

Working for yourself

If you're aged between 18 and 30 and you like the idea of working for yourself, you can approach The Prince's Trust with a business idea you'd like to explore.

The Prince's Trust can offer grants and funding to help support young people in turning a viable business idea into secure self-employment.

Careers advice

When making decisions about your future, it's always a good idea to ask for advice from your school, an accredited careers advisor, as well as your family and friends.

There are resources to help you decide and give you advice on interview techniques and preparing your CV:

Find information about events, opportunities and places that can help you on our Family Information Directory.

You're not in education, employment or training

Find out how we can support you if you're not in education, at work or training for a job.

Higher education (HE) and university

Find out about your options for higher education.

Read our top tips for applying to higher education