As school leavers receive their GCSE results from 12th August 2021 across the UK, after the stresses of living through a pandemic, multiple lockdowns and exam cancellations, you should be so proud.

Were your results not what you expected? Are you worried about what to do next? You may be wondering what options there are for staying in education until you are 18. There are many routes to take, either sixth form, higher education or an Apprenticeship/Traineeship, you’ve just got to pick what is the best path for you. Here we list some of the ways IPS can help you.

What are your options after GCSE’s?


Apprenticeships combine work with education and allow you to earn while you learn on the job, while gaining a qualification. They are an exciting option to get hands on training and the chance to put skills into practice.

If you know what sector or career you want to take, an Apprenticeship is a great way to start, with hundreds to choose from in a range of different areas and some even are at degree level.

At IPS, we have a range of Apprenticeships in many sectors, from Business, Engineering, Construction, Automotive, Health & Social Care and Mentoring, that could kick start your career and hopefully once completed, offer you a permanent job.

Apprenticeships are funded from contributions made by the government and your employer. This means you will not have any student loans or tuition fees.

A Level 2 Apprenticeship Standard is suitable for those who’ve just completed their GCSE’s while a Level 3 Apprenticeship Standard is equivalent to gaining A-Levels, but please note it will be dependent on the job role that will effect what level Apprenticeship you do, and IPS can help guide you and support you in what works best for you.

For a guide on how to become an Apprentice, please click here.



Don’t like the idea of studying but still want qualifications?

BTEC stands for the ‘Business and Technology Education Council’ and at IPS we offer BTEC Engineering courses that are practical courses, rather than theory led.

The highest Level 3 BTEC available, the Extended Diploma, is the equivalent of three A-levels.



NVQ stands for ‘National Vocational Qualification’ and are courses that include practical work-related tasks.

NVQ’s require no specific academic qualification and typically take 6 months to complete at level 2 and around a year for level 3.



A Traineeship is a skills development programme that includes a work placement; it can last from 6 weeks up to 12 months, with most lasting less than 6 months. If you feel you didn’t get the results you were expecting and you want to work on your qualifications, cv writing and interview skills, then a Traineeships is a great way to gain work ready skills and a work placement for experience.

Traineeships help 16 – 24-year olds or 25-year olds with an education, health and care plan (EHC). Traineeships support you to gain appropriate skills and qualities to allow you to progress into further employment or education such as an Apprenticeship.

Remember, grades do not determine what you are capable of achieving, there are lots of avenues out there to take and kick start your career.

Advice and Guidance

For more information and guidance, please do not hesitate to contact us.