Post 16 Options

At 16 you have many options to considerer after you finish your GCSEs:

  • Post-16
  • College
  • Apprenticeships
  • Employment

You can apply for as many options as you wish, please read below for further information.

Post 16

Talk to your teachers about what the subject involves and whether teacher thinks they are suitable to do the course. Ensure you attend local Open Evenings to see what each post 16 options offers.

What qualifications are needed? What are the target grades?

  • Level 3 courses (A Level over 2 years) want at least 5 GCSEs at A* – C grade, some course may need higher grades for entry.
  • Usually need to do 4 subjects
  • Level 2 course (1 year) – see Connexions
  • What do they need for their career plan/University


Attend college open days – these seem to be the most local colleges:

Aquinas College

  • Saturday 30th September 2017 (10.00am – 1.00pm) 
  • Wednesday 11th October 2017 (6.30 – 8.30) 
  • Thursday 2nd November 2017 (6.30pm – 8.30pm) 

Ashton Sixth Form College

  • Saturday 30th September 2017 (10.00am - 1.00pm)
  • Tuesday 17th October 2017 (5.00pm - 8.00pm)

Audenshaw Sixth Form

  • Thursday 5th October 2017 (6.00pm - 8.00pm)

Clarendon Sixth Form College

  • Saturday 21st October 2017 (10.00am - 2.00pm)
  • Monday 20th November 2017(6.00pm – 8.00pm)

Connell Sixth Form College

  • Saturday 7th October 2017 (Morning)

Loreto College

  • Saturday 7st October 2017 (10.00am - 1.00pm)
  • Saturday 15st October 2017 (10.00am - 1.00pm)

Oldham College

  • Saturday 7th October 2017 (10.00am - 1.00pm)

Oldham Sixth Form College

  • Saturday 7th October 2017 (10.00am - 2.00pm)
  • Monday 16th October 2017 (5.00pm - 8.00pm)

Tameside College

  • Monday 2nd October 2017 (6.00pm - 8.00pm)
  • Saturday 21st October 2017 (10.00am - 1.00pm)
  • Monday 20th November 2017 (6.00pm - 8.00pm)

The Manchester College

  • Tuesday 3rd October 2017 - North Campus (5.00pm – 8.00pm)
  • Wednesday 4th October 2017 - South Campus (5.00pm – 8.00pm)
  • Thursday 5th October 2017 - Central Campus (5.00pm – 8.00pm)

Xavarian College

  • Saturday 7th October 2017 (10.30am – 2.00pm)

Contact college or look at prospectus or their website for open days.

Main reasons for going to college:

  • does the course you want – as well as A-Levels
  • can offer more vocational courses

Things to consider:

  • Does it fit with your career plan?
  • Does it qualify you for a specific job? (e.g. child care), or is it general e.g. Health and Social Care
  • What grades are required?
  • Application processs and deadline dates. You may need to apply as soon as possible. You may also get called in for an interview, do assessment tests and taster days
  • You will probably have to pay some material fees for books or resources –  you can ask for help from college towards this based on family income.
  • Travel every day – think about costs of bus, time involved


Apprenticeships combine practical training in a job with study and take 1 to 5 years to complete depending on their level. 

As an apprentice you will:

  • work alongside experienced staff
  • gain job-specific skills
  • earn a wage and get holiday pay
  • get time for study related to your role (usually one day a week)

Things to consider

  • What occupational areas you’re interested in, companies such as Airbus, Rolls Royce, Royal Mail and MOD may need early applications, so check their websites. 
  • Register yourself with the National Apprenticeship website. You are best searching by postcode rather than just looking for 'Manchester'. This gives actual current vacancies.
  • Must have an employer with real vacancy before apprenticeship can start.
  • You will usually have to do assessment tests – especially for more technical apprenticeships, or at least basic literacy/numeracy
  • Your apprenticeship may involve day release to a college
  • Pay may only be £95 week – although some e.g. Rolls Royce/Airbus pay more


  • Best to look for employers who will offer training
  • Check out Connexions website to see types of vacancies available for young people
  • Be realistic about the wage they expect to get
  • Talk to other young people about jobs they are doing and where
  • People often find jobs through people who work there – network and ask around.
  • Employers will look for the best candidate – what can you offer – qualifications, references, work experience

Confused about what you would like to do?

  • Book an appointment with our on-site Career Advisor, Barbara Roach -
  • Look at local college prospectus to see what is available just to start thinking.
  • Look at the Apprenticeship website
Droylsden Academy
Manor Road, Droylsden,
Manchester M43 6QD
T: 0161 301 7600
F: 0161 301 7601