Important Information

National Careers Week

March 9, 2022

Dear Parents/Carers,

This week we have been celebrating National Careers Week 2022 and your child has had the opportunity to take part in a careers fair and other activities both in and out of lessons. The purpose of the week is to raise awareness of the options available to young people once they leave school this coming summer.

As with all young people, this can be a daunting time for our learners who might be unsure as to where they would like to go next or what they would like to study. Below you will find information about all of the options open to our learners moving forward along with some helpful links that you may wish to look at.

As always, learners are encouraged to continue attending right up until their formal examinations in the summer term to ensure they cover all topics needed for the exams but also to ensure that they can access the help and support we have to offer which includes drop-in sessions with Gina Nesbitt (Careers Lead) on a Monday afternoon and formal appointments with our careers advisor Alex which can be requested by discussing with Rachel in the pastoral office.

An important piece of information we would like to make clear is that all young people are expected to remain in some form of formal education, training or employment after leaving school at the end of year 11 and up to the age of 18. If learners do not stay in education, training or employment up to this point there is the potential that some household benefits may be reduced or even stopped all together. These can include child benefit, child tax credits and universal credit. You will be sent information by HMRC in the coming months asking you to state where your child is planning to be in the next academic year. This is a general idea and not set in stone and will ensure that there is no disruption to your benefits. If you need any further help and support with this, please contact school and we will be happy to advise you further or check out this helpful online tool;

I would also like to lay out the post-16 options open to your child and have included a helpful leaflet which has a number of links to local colleges and training providers which you might find useful to talk to your child about. We can support them in school to contact colleges and training providers as well as arrange visits for them and make applications with them. We will be working on employability skills in lessons and all learners will have access to CV and personal statement writing.


Post-16 Options:

There are several possible routes for your child depending on their areas of interest and the grades they are likely to achieve at GCSE;

  • Academic : This includes sixth form and college courses and often comprises of traditional A Level courses.


  • T Levels :  T Levels are relatively new and are technical courses where learners study with a hands on approach with a combination of vocational experiences and classroom study.


  • Vocational : This can include sixth form but more likely to be college or training provider based and includes more hands on practical subjects such as motor mechanics, childcare, construction and catering to name a few. Learners will often study towards BTEC (or equivalent) awards at levels 1, 2 or 3.


  • Apprenticeships : The apprenticeship system has been completely revamped and offers excellent opportunities for young people to enter the workforce and be trained on the job. They are paid no less than minimum wage and are employed to do a specific job role. There are lots of opportunities for apprenticeships in this region at the present time. They generally last 1-3 years and go from intermediate level right up to degree level.


  • Traineeships : Traineeships can run for as little as 12 weeks and up to two years  and offer a training opportunity with a view to move onto an apprenticeship or in to employment. They are unpaid but offer the chance to experience the workplace and be trained to do a specific job role in an area of interest.


  • Voluntary Work : Young people are encouraged to engage in voluntary work and it can count towards training and employment in terms of parents/carers maintaining benefits. There are lots of opportunities for young people to become involved with volunteering which gives them a huge range of skills for the future.


If you or your child would like any more information about post-16 opportunities, please get in touch with school as soon as possible. The leaflet enclosed also has lots of useful weblinks and information that can support yourself and your child to make decisions about their futures. For further information take a look at the link below which offers a full guide to post-16 options.

Yours sincerely,

Gina Nesbitt

KS4 Teacher/Careers LeadGina Nesbitt

To view or print this letter via .PDF – Click Here 

Career Guidance for Year 11s @ The Link School .PDF – Click Here


Link School Springwell Dene
Swindon Road, Sunderland, Tyne & Wear  SR3 4EE

Tel: 0191 561 5777

Office Opening Times

Mon-Thurs: 8am – 4:30pm

Friday: 8am – 4pm

Link School Pallion
Waverley Terrace, Sunderland, Tyne & Wear SR4 6TA

Tel: 0191 561 4777



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