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Our careers support has two components – Careers education (CE) and impartial advice and guidance (IAG).

Impartial Advice and Guidance is provided by our Careers Advisor, Oona Banner, and supports pupils in the process of making informed decisions about the post-16 learning and work that is available to them.

Our aim is to support pupils in the decision-taking which faces them in their final year at Sharples School.  They have to consider possible career paths and post-16 education pathways.


Young people today have more choice about what to do in the future than ever before and lots of different ways of getting there.

Here at Sharples School we are committed to each pupil achieving their full potential. Through a structured forward-looking strategy, our careers programme aims to bring out the best in everyone. Operating across the curriculum and through specific careers-focused activities the programme offers a broad and balanced exposure to post-16 pathways and possible career paths.  The programme also aims to prepare students for the challenges and opportunities of adult life through a progressive series of careers-related activities designed to develop the skills, attitudes and knowledge needed to make informed choices and to be successful in the world of work in the 21st Century.

We are committed to meeting in full the eight Gatsby Benchmarks that are at the heart of the careers strategy for all schools to offer high quality CEIAG to all our students throughout all years. As a school, we will:

  • encourage the development of self-awareness and independent thinking;
  • help them to understand the decision-making process;
  • equip them with information on current opportunities;
  • provide appropriate resource materials for research and evaluation;
  • offer support from our guidance team;
  • promote a culture in which the pupils set for themselves aspirational goals, which will advance their interests and passions.

Click here to view the Sharples School Core Provision



Useful Websites

UNIFROG  All students have been given their login details. See Mrs N.Patel if you don’t have one

GMACS    The Greater Manchester Apprenticeship & Careers Service (GMACS) helps young people explore and design their next steps before leaving school. The site brings together different stages of the career planning process, helping students navigate the choices open to them and develop the tools to start working life. It showcases what Greater Manchester can offer and provides a direct way to apply for courses, jobs and apprenticeships.

XELLO www. Xello helps you explore career possibilities, pathways and personalised lessons. Get help creating an online action plan to achieve school, career and life goals. And then review and adapt your plan to reflect your progress.


The National Careers service  – navigate from here to their collection of 750+ Job Profiles.

Film clips of hundreds of people telling you about their careers.

Science, Technology Engineering and Maths Careers.

Health and Medical Careers.

Engineering Careers.

Comprehensive information about the whole of the Construction sector. The “Learn about Construction” tab has an interactive careers map, personality quiz and role finder

Use the Careerometer to compare the average wages, working hours and predicted trends for up to three UK jobs.

A Levels

Advanced level qualifications (known as A levels) are subject-based qualifications that can lead to university, further study, training, or work. You can normally study three or more A levels over two years. They’re usually assessed by a series of examinations.

You normally need:

  • at least five GCSEs at grades 9 to 4/A* to C
  • at least grade B in the specific subject(s) you want to study

However, the specific requirements needed to study A levels will vary across schools and colleges. It’s important to check what you will need with the school or college you are looking to study at.

  • If you’re thinking about going to university, most higher education courses require specific A levels or combinations of A levels (or alternative level 3 qualifications).
  • If you’re not sure what career or job you want to do, studying a selection of A levels can be a good way of keeping your options op

Choosing A level subjects

The most important criteria for choosing A levels subjects are:

  1. Looking at what you are likely to enjoy and be good at. If you enjoy a subject or have an ability in it already, you are more likely to do well.
  2. Are there any particular subjects and/or grades you may need? If you have a particular career, job, or further study in mind, you may need to choose specific A levels in order to meet entry requirements.
  3. How open you want to keep your future study and career choices?

What you can do after A levels

Many people ask ‘What can I do with my A levels?’ here are some answers:

  • Here is a great place to start looking at all the options open to you.
  • Continue on to university – A levels are the most common qualifications studied to get into higher education.
  • Keep your options open if you’re unsure about what you want to do in the future.
  • Look for employment – they’re valued by employers because they show a good level of education.
  • Go on to vocational or work-based qualifications, such as a higher apprenticeship.

T Levels

All this info below is hidden under the toggle,  Click the toggle to reveal the info

T Levels are two-year technical qualifications which have been developed in collaboration with employers and businesses to meet the needs of different industries

  • You will complete a 45-day industry placement as part of your qualification
  • T Levels are equivalent to three A-levels and have UCAS tariff points


BTECs are specialist work-related qualifications. They combine practical learning with subject and theory content. There are over 2,000 BTEC qualifications across 16 sectors, including:

  • Applied science Art and design Business Childcare Construction Engineering Media Health and Social Care Hospitality ICT Land based Performing Arts Public Services Sport Travel and Tourism

Who are they for?

BTECs are designed for young people interested in a particular sector or industry but who are not yet sure what job they’d like to do.

You could study a BTEC at Level 2 or 3, either alongside academic qualifications or as part of a wider programme (such as an apprenticeship). You can also study a BTEC as a standalone course.

The different types of BTEC

BTECs are broken down into three main levels of study:

  1. BTEC Firsts are available from entry level to Level 2 (similar standard to GCSEs). These offer an introduction to work in a vocational sector. Combined with other qualifications, these can enable you to go on to further study, to an apprenticeship, or into employment.
  2. BTEC Nationals are available from Level 3 (similar standard to A levels). Many of these are well regarded by universities, further education colleges, and employers. A BTEC National qualification can lead to employment, continuing study, or professional development programmes.
  3. BTEC Apprenticeships are available at Levels 2 to 5 across more than 25 sectors

How do they work?

BTEC qualifications are flexible – you can take one alongside (or instead of) GCSEs and A levels in schools and colleges. They’re also usually studied full-time, either in college or jointly between a school and a college.

BTECs are divided into units, which cover specific areas of knowledge, skills, and understanding required by the particular sector or industry.

  1. Every BTEC student takes the core units, which provide a broad foundation and understanding about the sector.
  2. There is a range of optional units to choose from which enable students to focus on particular interests and plans they have for next steps into further study, an apprenticeship, or employment.
  3. The course involves a series of assignments which can be written or activity-based, for example creating a film clip, planning and putting on a performance, or creating a business plan. Students complete some assignments individually and some as part of a team. For some BTEC courses, students can also apply their knowledge and skills through work experience

What are the entry requirements for a BTEC?

Entry requirements vary depending on the school or college and the particular BTEC course you are interested in. You may need up to five GCSEs at grade 9 to 4, or A* to C.

What can you do next?

BTEC Nationals

On successful completion of a BTEC National qualification, students can progress to employment or continue their learning in the same or related areas of study, in higher education and professional development programmes.

Some BTEC National qualifications are recognised as technical certificates and form part of the apprenticeship framework. They can attract UCAS points but if you are thinking of going to university or on to higher education, it is important to check whether the universities offering the courses you want to apply to accept BTEC Nationals.

BTEC Firsts

These enable you to go on to further study at Level 3 (for example BTEC Nationals), to do an apprenticeship, or to go into employment


Apprenticeships mean you can earn a salary and gain a qualification at the same time. There are

What do I need to do for an apprenticeship?

  • You have to be over 16 years old.
  • Entry requirements vary, and you may need up to five GCSEs at grade 9 to 4/A* to C — including English and maths.
  • You’ll need to show you have the ability to complete the programme — what’s required varies across training providers, employers, and job roles.

An apprenticeship usually takes between one and three years to complete. They’re made up of three parts — all completed on the job, online, or in a classroom.

Why do it?

Each apprenticeship trains you for a specific job, so it’s worth finding out as much as you can about that job, as well as the career and progression route your apprenticeship could lead to. You’ll be earning while you qualify and will also gain good work and training experience, which will support your applications for other jobs.

Earn while you learn

All apprentices receive the national minimum wage, paid holiday, and bank holidays.

  • Learning is completed on a day-release basis — one day a week — or in a block-release of several days at a college or training provider.
  • This enables you to develop the knowledge and skills you need, while the employer provides the practical experience to put those skills to the test.
  • Training could be classroom-based or in the workplace.

Your employer provides on-the-job training and pays your wages.

  • All apprentices should work at least 30 hours a week, alongside experienced staff, gaining job-specific skills and earning a wage.

The qualification

Apprenticeships are at least 12 months long — they lead to a national, recognised qualification and follow a ‘framework’ developed by Sector Skills Councils. Most include:

  • national vocational qualification (NVQ) — e.g. Level 2 for intermediate level apprenticeships, Level 3 for advanced level apprenticeships
  • knowledge-based qualification — such as a higher national certificate (HNC), higher national diploma (HND), or foundation degree
  • functional skills qualifications — e.g. in maths, English, or ICT
  • technical certificate — such as a BTEC or City & Guilds progression award

Applying for apprenticeships

Take a look at the National Apprenticeships Service (NAS) for useful information and tips on apprenticeships.

If an apprenticeship is advertised by a training provider, check if the opportunity includes the job, or if you need to find the job element with a local employer. Training providers can give you help, advice, and guidance on finding appropriate employment.

Useful Websites


Relationships with Parents

We recognise that parents have a major role to play in the area of careers, both in terms of encouraging and supporting their children and in supporting the school in its endeavours to promote a wide variety of careers information.

The Senior Leadership Team and Careers Adviser are available at Year 8 Options Evening and Parents Evenings throughout the year.

Should parents wish to come into school and discuss careers opportunities for their child they are most welcome to arrange an appointment.

Useful Links & Resources


Employers / Providers

Careers Events

We offer pupils a range of career events each academic year:

  • Careers Fair
  • Speed Networking Employer and Provider event
  • Year 10 Mock Interviews
  • Year 11 Next Steps Evening
  • Employability skills and personal development workshops
  • Visiting speakers from both higher education institutions and the workplace.


Click here to view the Sharples School Core Careers Provision.

Click here to view our Provider Access Statement.


Employer/Provider Support

We welcome offers of support from employers and providers for our students and the School Careers programme in the following ways:

  • Whole year group assemblies
  • Small targeted workshops
  • 1: 1 or group mentoring
  • Internal or external events or competitions
  • Master classes
  • Work Experience
  • External visits

Please contact Mr S Jackson if you would like to contribute to our Careers Events.