There is such a wide range of jobs and careers out there that it can be difficult for a young person to know where to start when looking for training opportunities.
Careers Wales has a job matching quiz to help school leavers match their skills and interests to different jobs and help them understand the training, qualifications and skills they will need to fulfil their ambitions. With over 700 jobs listed, it’s a great starting place.
Find out what types of careers and opportunities are available in Wales in Careers Wales’ Job Trends. You can find out what careers are growing in Wales, who the key employers are, what people earn and much more.
Once you have an idea about the job you want, it’s time to think about the training or qualifications you need to do the job.
Being paid to train
Depending on the kind of career you’re interested in, it might be possible to train and get paid at the same time.
Jobs Growth Wales+
Jobs Growth Wales+ is a training and development programme for 16–18 year olds which helps young people to gain the skills, qualifications and experience they need to get a job or perhaps advance to an apprenticement, or a college course.
There are three strands:
Young people in a training programme will receive a weekly training allowance from their employer. Depending on their circumstances, they may also be able to claim Universal Credit.
For more information visit Working Wales.
An apprenticeship is a job with training and it gives the apprentice an opportunity to gain recognised qualifications whilst you are working and earning a wage. Apprenticeships usually last between two and three years.
There are four types of apprenticeships:
- Foundation apprenticeship (level 2)
- Apprenticeship (level 3)
- Higher apprenticeship (level 4 / 5)
- Degree apprenticeship (level 6, i.e. degree level)
Find out more on What is an Apprenticeship? Careers Wales has put together a useful list of employers who offer apprenticeships, with a link to the relevant page on their website.
Apprenticeships. A Genius Idea. A Guide for Learners provides comprehensive information about the kind of apprenticeships available.
The National Minimum Wage for an apprentice currently starts at £4.81 an hour (August 2022).
Training at college
Another option to train and qualify for your chosen career is to study a course at college.
You can study BTEC, City & Guilds and NVQ qualifications in work-related subjects like building and construction, health and beauty, and hospitality and catering.
Colleges offer many vocational courses so it’s worth looking at individual college websites to see what’s on offer.
You can start at a lower level course and then progress to the next level. Find out more about the courses available in Wales.
Help with living costs
Young people aged 16-18 in further education may be eligible for an Education Maintenance Allowance (EMA) depending on the household income.
Students aged 19 or over may be eligible for a Welsh Government Learning Grant (WGLG) - FE of up to £1,500. Colleges may offer additional help with childcare and travel costs depending on your circumstances.
Supported work for disabled young people
Disabled young people may need additional support to pursue their chosen career path, e.g. work experience, travel or perhaps the provision of specialist equipment. Find out more about funding for disabled students.
There are organisations to help disabled young people to enter the world of work. Visit Careers Wales for more information.