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Career choices

Making career choices

If you are in Year 11, you must stay in some kind of education or training until at least your 18th birthday. This means if you leave full-time learning, you must take a job with training or an apprenticeship. You can read more about staying in learning and Raising the Participation Age (RPA) in the section below.

The Progress Team can give you advice on employment, education or training. Phone 0207 527 7031 or email

The Islington Progress Pledge

Developed with the help of young people, the Progress Pledge sets out the support you can expect from the Progress Team, to help you find employment, education or training:

  • careers guidance with our qualified advisers
  • job coaching
  • mock interviews
  • support in English and maths up to Level 2
  • one-to-one support into education, a traineeship or apprenticeship, or employment
  • up to 100 hours of work experience or volunteering
  • help to access other support services.

The National Careers Service can also provide advice and guidance on jobs and careers.

There's more infomation in the links below on making career choices at 13-14, 16 and 18.

What is Raising the Participation Age (RPA)?

RPA (Raising the Participation Age) increases the minimum age you can leave learning.

After Year 11 you will have to stay in some form of education or training until at least your 18th birthday.

In fact, most young people choose to stay in learning between 16 and 18, gaining the skills and knowledge employers ask for and that will be needed by jobs in the future.

RPA doesn’t mean you must stay in school. You can choose an option to suit you from the following choices:

  • work-based learning such as an apprenticeship or job with training. (Training has to be for at least 280 teaching hours a year and lead to an Ofqual accredited qualification)
  • part-time education or training if you are employed, self-employed or volunteering for more than 20 hours a week
  • a full-time course in school or college.

RPA begins from the last day of the summer term. However, if you have an offer of a place on a course with a September start date, you will not be expected to do any other learning before you start the course.

There is more information on RPA on the government website.

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