Support for youngsters planning next steps after exams
The council is holding drop-in sessions for 16 to 19-year-olds to get advice about staying in learning, finding a job or starting an apprenticeship (see below).
Throughout the results period and beyond, staff will also be available via the web chat service on the Oxme website or over the phone (01865 328460) to talk to young people and parents about the wide range of learning and employment opportunities available in Oxfordshire, and to help with applications.
The council’s cabinet Member for Children, Education and Families Melinda Tilley said: “Our simple message to young people is don’t panic - there are plenty of opportunities out there, as well as the professional help you need to figure out what to do next. Speak to your school, local college or get in touch with the council for help and advice.”
Drop-in sessions for young people aged 16-19 (up to 24 for those with Special Educational Needs) are taking place at the council’s Early Intervention Hubs on the following days and times:
- The Net, Stratton Way, Abingdon Tuesdays 10am - 1pm
- Banbury New Futures Centre, Hilton Road Thursdays 1pm - 4pm
- The Courtyard, Bicester, Launton Road Mondays 3.30pm - 5pm
- The Forum, Kidlington Wednesdays 11am - 2pm
- West Oxfordshire Hub, Witten Way, Witney Thursdays 1pm - 4pm
- Blackbird Leys Young People's Centre Wednesdays 1.30 - 3pm
- Central Library, Westgate, Oxford Tuesdays 1pm - 4pm and Thursdays 1pm – 4pm
All of this information and more can be accessed via a dedicated page on the Oxme website www.oxme.info/resultsday
National legislation now requires all young people to stay in some form of learning or training until at least their 18th birthday. That means places are guaranteed for all young people finishing their GCSEs this month.
While the vast majority will choose to stay on at school or further education colleges, there is also a wide range of workplace training schemes and apprenticeships available within Oxfordshire.
Cllr Tilley added: “If you don’t get the GCSE grades you’re hoping for, or are simply not sure what to do next, you can rest assured there will be a place in learning guaranteed for you in September.
“Likewise, for anyone not going down the university route after A-Levels or undecided on their next steps, gaining further qualifications by doing an apprenticeship might just be for you.”
Last year around two per cent of those finishing GCSEs in Oxfordshire went on to an apprenticeship and that figure is expected to rise this year, with up to six per cent of Year 11 students saying they are planning to sign up.
Apprenticeships are a fantastic way for young people to earn money, learn and gain qualifications. There are hundreds of local places available across many different areas, suitable for all levels - from school leavers to degree level courses.
More information about apprenticeships and traineeships including current vacancies is available at www.oxfordshireapprenticeships.co.uk