The requirement for year 11 finishers

For finishers in years 11 and 13 finding a position of full time paid employment can mean an apprenticeship or it can mean a job that is not an apprenticeship. Year 11 finishers must continue in recognised education or training until at least their 18th birthday. Full-time education, such as school or college satisfies this requirement. Apprenticeships and pre – apprenticeship programmes (such as study programmes or traineeships) also satisfy the requirement. Part-time education or training if they are employed (but not as an apprentice) or self-employed or volunteering for 20 hours or more a week also meets the requirement.

Knowing where to look for vacancies

There is not a one-stop site for all vacancies. Vacancies appear on various websites and through other sources.

A list of useful sites and contacts appears here.

The government apprenticeship website is a major source of advertised apprenticeship vacancies. Students will need to create an account on the site (usually at the start of year 11). It is possible to set your account to receive text or email notifications when suitable vacancies appear on this site. Your School careers team can provide help with this.

Local post year 11 learning providers such as colleges and training providers are a source of apprenticeship vacancies. The same vacancies probably will also appear on the government website. It is also likely that the colleges and training providers will know about some of the vacancies before they appear on the government website. Often these learning providers will already have established contact and sometimes a rapport with the employer advertising the vacancy – and can offer applicants coaching during the application process.

Your School careers team can provide help with this.

Local Council Apprenticeship Vacancies

General and sector apprenticeship vacancy links appear on the list of sites already provided. Specific sector apprenticeships vacancies also occur by searching on the internet and by using the following sites: (health and medical care) (law) (engineering/manufacturing) (hospitality) (construction) (plumbing and electrical) (childcare) (computing, IT, business)

The list consists of suggested sites and is not definitive. Your School careers team can provide further help with this.

These could be LinkedIn, Facebook, Twitter, Instagram etc. Professional networks can appear on these sites and can be useful. Students should ask for parental supervision when using these sites.

Smaller companies might sometimes not advertise vacancies on major platforms such as the government website, but they may advertise on their own website.

A business directory such as enables a search on businesses in the local area. Sometimes no vacancies will appear, businesses can still be approached with a speculative CV and covering letter expressing your interest in the company and any future apprenticeship or similar opportunities.

Friends, family and other acquaintances will know hundreds of people between them. Someone might know of a business that is looking to take on a young person. While an introduction will not automatically get you the job, many employers like a personal recommendation.

The skills of application, interview and being selected

Once you have found a vacancy that you can apply for you will normally have to convince the employer that you are the best person for the job. There are useful sections on the Matrix Academy Trust careers website to help you. Also, always consider the following points:


Whats Involved

The job that you are applying for – what duties are involved? Look carefully at the job advert, the job specification and the job description.


The Job Role?

What do careers websites say about the job role? See the useful website tab above. Visit the National Careers Service and I Could websites.



Research the company/organisation advertising the vacancy. Some companies will list their corporate/business values on their websites. For example, Microsoft lists respect, accountability and integrity. Jaguar Landrover identifies with, putting the customer first, integrity, responsibility, excellence and pioneering.



You should be able to provide examples that demonstrate your experiences and strengths and how these fit in with the duties involved in the job and the companies’ values. This can be difficult at first if you have never done this before. Your Schools careers team will be able to help.

Look Regularly & Apply Early

Look regularly and apply early (where this is possible) during years 11 or 13. Most of the apprenticeship vacancies that students can apply for will not appear until well into the spring term. However, some companies will advertise vacancies during the autumn term and close the application process before the Christmas break.

Accuracy Important

When completing applications for vacancies, accuracy is very important. This is most probably the first communication that an employer will have received from you. Asking someone else to read your application before sending it helps spot any spelling or grammatical errors.

Be Prepared

Be prepared to apply for a number of vacancies before you become successful. Determination is important.

Speculative Approach

If you try a speculative approach (contacting organisations where there is no advertised position) the company are not obligated to respond to your approach.

Entering Employment

Some of you will have your heart set on entering employment as your progression idea at the end of year 11 or year 13. Even during normal years, not everyone who wants a job will be able to realise this goal straight away. Currently, there are fewer employment opportunities for people across the economy. You will need to consider alternative options too. These can include continued full-time learning, traineeships, or a position of employment (apprenticeship) in a different role, where skills are transferable to a future desired role. CA 7/9/20

Digital Skills

Ninety percent of all future jobs will require digital (IT, computing) skills.