This handy guide provides top tips on taking your next steps into employment, education or training. In this article we explore:

Youth Employability Service (YES) – Year 14 Support

If you live in East Sussex and were born between the 1st September 2002 and the 31st August 2003 then you can access FREE information, advice and guidance around your next steps into employment, education or training. This support is provided by Anna, the Year 14 Specialist at YES.

Here is a list of what our Year 14 Adviser can support you with:

  • Job searching and interview skills
  • CV writing and feedback
  • Apprenticeships and Traineeships
  • Maths and English GCSEs/Functional Skills
  • Further Education and Alternative Education
  • University, Higher Education and Access Courses
  • Work Experience, Volunteering and Networking
  • Understanding and claiming Universal Credit
  • Accessing Kickstart jobs and SWAPs (Sector-based work academy programmes)
  • Helping you to identify barriers that may be limiting your progress and signposting you to further support where necessary
  • And anything else that might be relevant to you!

We can chat in person, by video call or by phone. Anna is also happy to chat via Facebook messenger or email if you prefer. You will work together to consider what your plan might look like and break this down into manageable steps.

This service is available to you from the 1st September 2021 until the 1st September 2022. All you need to do to access this is get in touch!

If you would like to stay in touch, but you wouldn’t like support right now, you can sign up for the Year 14 Mailing List.

If you would like to refer yourself or a Young Person aged between 16-19 to our service, you can do so with our Online Referral Form. Alternatively, you can get in touch directly with Anna to find out more:
Email Anna –
Call/text Anna – 07500 895820
Message Anna on Facebook

National Careers Service

The National Careers Service provides free, professional careers information, advice and guidance to help you move forward with your career.

National Career Service can help you to:

  • Assess your skills.
  • Find out what a job involves and if it’s right for you.
  • Find out what kind of jobs could suit you.
  • Explore apprenticeship options.
  • Search for training courses and learning providers.
  • Get new qualifications.
  • Develop your CV.
  • Develop your interview skills.
  • Find the right job for you.

Find out more about the National Careers Service, and book your free appointment on the National Career Service page.

Universal Credit

If you are over 18, are not in full-time education and you’re unemployed or on a low income, you are likely to be able to claim Universal Credit. This is a monthly payment designed to support you to live and find work or work-related opportunities. If you are unemployed and looking for work, going onto Universal Credit is a great way to get more support. You will be working regularly with a Job Coach who is there to support you to find work and keep you on track. Find out more about Universal Credit.

There are exceptions to the rules, so make sure you take a look at the eligibility page to double-check whether or not you are eligible. If you are fit and able-bodied, you are likely to be expected to spend 35 hours per week on work or work-related activities to receive your payments. These activities include job searching, online learning/training, volunteering, and other similar activities. The expectation can be lowered if you have valid reasons, such as spending time caring for someone regularly or if you have mental/physical health concerns. If you think you may like to explore this, it is best to do so before you apply as you will probably need to provide proof of your circumstances. Get in touch with YES or contact the HARC phone line for more information.

Benefits Helpline: 0333 344 0681
HARC Advice Line: 01424 428375

Find out more about HARC.

What is Kickstart?


What is a Sector-Based Work Academy Programme (SWAP)


Education and Funding

Education is free for young people at least up to the age of 18. If you are aged 19+ and you have not yet gained a qualification at Level 2 or 3, you may still be able to study for free (see the section below to find out more). East Sussex College Group provides information about this on the ESCG Website.
You may also be able to access alternative education, like online learning and traineeships through other colleges and training providers. If you are interested in a course or programme, it is always worth contacting colleges or training providers to double-check about funding, as they might have new information that you are unaware of.

Levels of Education

If you’re wondering what the difference is between all the different qualifications, the GOV.UK website explains it very clearly.

UCAS Points

If you’ve completed a Level 3 qualification or higher, it’s likely that you have earned some UCAS Points. These are used to calculate what kind of courses you might be able to move onto. Read this guide for more information.


Once you turn 18, there are many more volunteering opportunities open to you. Volunteering is a great way to gain work experience, boost your CV and build your confidence. It can also potentially lead to paid roles within the organisation that you volunteer with. It is surprising how just a small amount of volunteering experience can make the difference between being selected for a paid role of being overlooked. Explore the Do It site for current vacancies or reach out to local charities and organisations that interest you.



YES is a free service that offers support and guidance to young people in the East Sussex area aged 16-19 who are not in education, employment or training (NEET), or are at risk of being NEET. Visit the YES page for more information about the support available