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What should I do after my GCSEs?

Coming to the end of your time at school can hit everyone differently. It can be exciting and nerve-wracking, tiring and exhilarating, or simply a relief. Whatever you’re feeling, though, it always leads to the question: ‘What next?’

Once you’ve tackled mocks, revision and the GCSE exams, you’ll feel a surge of freedom. But you also know it’s time for the next phase in your life. This transition means you get a choice.

GCSEs—done. Now what?

For some school leavers, their post-GCSE choice is crystal clear—they know where they’re headed and they know the best path to get there. For others, the choice may not be so simple—that’s perfectly fine.

When you’re considering life after GCSEs, the best place to start is to know your options.
Let’s break them down:

T Levels

T Levels offer a fresh perspective on your future. Instead of the traditional route of A Levels or apprenticeships, T Levels are a great stepping stone into the working world.

Students undertaking T Levels spend 80% of their course in their learning environment, and 20% in a meaningful placement. It’s a blend of theory and hands-on practice guided by industry experts.

Equivalent to 3 A Levels, T Levels offer a flexible choice for school leavers who would enjoy a more technical or vocational course. They are a gateway to skilled employment, apprenticeships, or further study and university (they are worth up 168 UCAS points).

Plus, the minimum 45 days of industry placement gives potential employers an insight into new talent coming their way—a taste of your potential.

Currently, we offer two amazing T Level courses. Find out more about each one and how to enrol by clicking the relevant link below:

A Levels

A Levels are pretty familiar to most students at GCSE. They are considered the traditional choice for those considering moving on to university. Although, the route is widening.
Students can either stay on at their current schools if they offer A levels, attend another school’s sixth form, attend a sixth-form college or another A Level provider.

Most students will choose 3 or 4 A Levels and their course choices are generally in line with whatever university course they want to pursue. Roughly 33% of school leavers choose university as the best choice for them.


For young people who want an more immediate transition into the world of work, apprenticeships are a great choice. Apprentices offer roughly 20% class-based study to 80% work-placed learning. This way, apprentices know they’re going to hit the ground running in their chosen career.

Apprenticeships offer targeted workplace training, give unprecedented insight into the day-to-day working life in your chosen industry and provide invaluable hands-on experience in the field.

There is the added bonus of earning a wage and getting employees benefits such as sick and holiday pay, too.

Currently, we offer a wide selection of apprenticeships, many with paid placements ready to filled. You can become an apprentice in hairdressing, barbering, business administration and more. Find out more by visiting our courses page and selecting “apprenticeships” in the filter.


Of course there’s always the option to go straight into work. For some, this is the best option as it means you can start earning money straight away. However, unlike an apprenticeship, you won’t gain a qualification which could really help broaden your career options further down the line.

If you want to get stuck straight in, without the pressure of studying, then perhaps you are more suited to going straight into a real job. You can always choose to study later down the line, once you have a bit of experience under your belt and a clearer idea of what kind of career you want.

Your Choice, Your Future

Leaving school after GCSEs may feel daunting, but it’s the next step into a bright future.

Stay involved in your choice by being informed: Think deeply about your options, discuss your options with those who care for you, get advice from professionals in the fields you are interested in, and visit course providers.

That way, you’ll stride more confidently into the next chapter of your journey.

If you’d like to find out more about what you can study with Central Training Academy,
call 0800 783 2901 to speak to one of our lovely team ,
or fill in our contact form and we’ll be in touch.

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