Post 16 Applications in Kent and Medway – Part 2

03rd September 2023

Post 16 Applications in Kent and Medway – Part 2

As you are now in Year 11, you will soon be making your Post 16 applications and some decisions!

Post-16 applications and careers research has now begun (see Part 1 of our Post-16 Application Guide). In Part 2 of this guide, we will explore Apprenticeships and financial support available for study.

What is a Study Programme?

A Study Programme is a course of study from six weeks to a year which may include some form of maths, English and often work experience and employability skills. Aimed at students of a lower ability or those who find mainstream education a challenge, they form pathways into Apprenticeships, Work-based Training and/or further education.

Students may take several study programmes over the course of a year, with each varying in length and content, to build the confidence and skills needed to progress.


There is a wide range of Study Programmes so search carefully. Note: many don’t go by the title of “study programmes” so you will need to search by area to bring up the programmes of study on offer.

  • It is possible to arrange a visit with each provider to help you decide if it is right for you.
  • Although many won’t have set open days, most are happy for students, parents & carers to visit.

Due to their nature, some have very limited places (only taking around six to twelve young people on a programme).

What are Apprenticeships?

Post-16 Apprenticeships at Level 2 to 3 are available in all shapes and sizes, with varying entry criteria (the more technical ones require 4s and above in English and maths GCSEs). Most are the equivalent of about one day a week at a college, a training centre or equivalent, with the rest of the time (four days a week) at work. Students receive a training wage.

An apprenticeship is a paid job where the employee learns and gains valuable experiences.

Alongside on-the-job training, apprentices spend at least 20% of their working hours completing classroom-based learning with a college … or training provider which leads to a nationally recognised qualification. 

An apprenticeship includes: 

  • paid employment with holiday leave 
  • hands-on-experience in a sector/role of interest
  • at least 20% off-the-job training 
  • formal assessment which leads to a nationally recognised qualification”

  • Note: It is worth being aware of Post-18 Apprenticeships at Levels 4 and above. These are aimed at students who have gained Level 3 qualifications or the equivalent (usually through 6th Form or College).
  • Entry criteria varies considerably, with some requiring specific subjects at Level 3 and work experience to enter. The areas covered are varied, with opportunities from Science, through to Law, Business & Architecture!

Further details on all types of apprenticeships can be found at:

Apprenticeship Applications

Applications for Apprenticeships differ to the School, College and Study Programme application process as follows.

With regards to apprenticeships, there are many helpful and useful websites which can help you, with some being sector specific. Speak to your Careers Adviser in school or college to access the sites you need, for the occupational areas which interest you and check out:

Our detailed guides will talk you through how to find and apply for Apprenticeships:


Also check out our CXK Resource Hub to help you:

Apprenticeship vacancy listings are open all year round, but for Year 11 students, the places with a September 2023 start often appear from March onwards.

  • Places are hard to find and competitive, so if taking this route, make sure you also have a back-up in place.
  • Many young people also apply to a school, college and/or study programme in case they don’t find an apprenticeship.
  • If you are accepted for an Apprenticeship, you just let the schools and colleges you applied to as “back-ups” know in September ‘23 (saying you won’t need to attend). This is ok and expected.

Many apprenticeships are also found through networks (as opposed to just the vacancy listings). It is important that you develop relationships with local employers, as this will increase the chances of you finding an apprenticeship. You can do this via work experience with local employers or even speaking to friends and family.


If you need help (such as how to write a CV or approach employers) speak to your independent Careers Adviser or Careers Leader in school or college, who will be able to support with this.

You may like the idea of an Apprenticeship but not feel quite ready to start one after Year 11 – this is ok and not an issue. Many young people go to College, 6th form or attend a Study Programme first, to build up their confidence and then apply for an Apprenticeship.

It is also quite usual, to go from Level 3 study, onto a Level 2 Apprenticeship, as the level of the apprenticeship is set at the level the work requires (not the level of study you have taken).

  • For example, you may take some BTECs or A-levels which are Level 3 at 6th form or College, in subjects you enjoy. Afterwards, you may then decide to apply for a Mechanics Apprenticeship at Level 2 or 3.
  • Alternatively, you may go to College, to study for a Vocational course such as Construction to see if you like working in the area, and then go onto an Apprenticeship in Carpentry or similar.

It is your journey to take, so find the path that feels best for you.

Financial Help for Study

You may be concerned about what support is available at Post-16. Many of the Local Authority websites and their Local Offers have links to the details of financial support available in each county (not just for students with SEND but all students). It is worth exploring these, to see what you may be entitled to.

If circumstances provide you with greater worries, it is important that you speak to the School, College, or Study Programme provider you are applying to, as some have hardship funds you can access, as well as staff trained in financial support.













































All of this may feel a little daunting, but Careers Advisers in schools, as well as at the National Careers Service helpline for teenagers, are here to support you if you have any questions or queries.

Good luck with your next steps and applications!

Written by Chris Targett RCDP, Careers Adviser

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