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Whether you want to continue studying, get straight into work or combine both, there are a lot of options to choose from at 18.

The right path for you will depend on your qualifications and work experience so far, your interests and whether you already have a job or career in mind.


If you want to get straight into the working world, you could consider an internship, getting a job or starting your own business.


If you want to stay in or return to education, your main options are exam retakes, a Higher Technical Skills course or an undergraduate degree. There’s also the chance for a year’s free study to help you gain work-related skills.

Combine work and study

If you want to improve your skills at the same time as getting work experience, then a traineeship, apprenticeship or school leavers’ scheme may be right for you. Some options, such as apprenticeships, allow you to earn while you learn. You can spend time in a real workplace while working towards a qualification that employers need.

To compare your options, and for support with your choices, visit the National Careers Service website.

The Youth Employment UK website has further advice and support when considering your next steps. 

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