Exam results: What now? | Latest Newry News, Newry Sport and Newry Business for Newry City

Exam results: What now?

Students across Northern Ireland have received exam results and, depending upon the results received, asking themselves ‘Where do I go from here?’

exam1Johnny Nolan, careers manager for Newry, Downpatrick, Kilkeel and Newcastle in the Department for Employment and Learning’s Careers Service, answers some frequently asked questions.

Q. What can the Careers Service offer me?

A. Professionally qualified careers advisers provide young people and adults with impartial advice and guidance on a range of career related issues, including apprenticeships, further and higher education, training, employment and voluntary work opportunities.

A comprehensive guidance service is available to those clients hoping to progress into post 16 and 18 opportunities at this time. Careers advisers use labour market information and knowledge of the skills and qualities employers need to inform the guidance process.


Q. I did not achieve the required results for my chosen universities. What are my options?

A. If you are unclear or confused about your next move, particularly if you did not get the grades you had hoped for, I would encourage you to speak to a careers adviser.

Careers information, advice and guidance can play an important role in helping you understand the qualification and training requirements of your preferred career, identify routes to achieving your career goals, and help you decide on your next steps.

There are a number of possibilities available and these will depend on your own individual circumstances. Options could include an alternative degree course, an apprenticeship foundation degree courses, alternative qualifications, employment or self employment or even a gap year.

Johnny Nolan, Careers Manager for Newry in the Department for Employment and Learning's Careers Service

Johnny Nolan, Careers Manager for Newry in the Department for Employment and Learning’s Careers Service

Q. Where will future jobs be?

A. A number of sectors have been identified by the Minister for Employment and Learning as important in rebuilding and rebalancing the economy. These sectors all need skilled and qualified staff and you may wish to think about this when considering your future career options.

These sectors are Business Services (including ICT), Financial Services, Advanced Engineering, Advanced Manufacturing and Materials, Food and Drink / Agri Foods, Hotels and Catering (in support of Tourism), Retail, Health and life Sciences and Creative Industries and Digital Media.

Further information on these and other sectors is available in the Job Trends Factsheets available at www.nidirect.gov.uk/careers and from careers advisers.


Q. I want to stay on at school but I did not get enough GCSEs, what can I do?

A. When considering your next steps, some points to be aware of: –
* Do your GCSE grades reflect your academic potential?
* Are you sure that ‘A’ Levels are the best route for you?
* You may be able to go to a different school to do ‘A’ Levels as entry requirements can vary from school to school.
* Consider whether you can achieve your career goals by studying an alternative course or taking an alternative route such as an apprenticeship or training.
* Further education colleges also offer a range of full time and part time qualifications and training to suit all needs and abilities. This includes Level 3 Extended Diplomas – students – who undertake this qualification can achieve up to 420 UCAS points which is the equivalent of three A* at A-Level.

You can discuss your plans with your careers adviser who will advise on all the options open to you.

Q. Is there any financial support if I decide to go to a Further Education college or to remain at school?

If you decide to stay on at school or go to a Further Education college in Northern Ireland you may be entitled to an Educational Maintenance Allowance (EMA). Further information on EMA is available at www.nidirect.gov.uk/education-maintenance-allowance.html; or by e-mailing ema_ni@slc.co.uk or telephoning 0845 601 7646.


Q. What can I do at a Further Education college?

A. Further Education colleges offer a range of academic, professional and technical qualifications as well as training courses. You can choose from a range of full time and part time options including Apprenticeships, Foundation Degrees, Extended Diplomas and Higher Level Apprenticeships etc.

Professional and technical qualifications delivered by colleges have been developed in conjunction with employer bodies and are a strong first step in accessing your chosen career.

The education and training provided in colleges is geared towards preparing learners to enter the world of work in their chosen area with the skills and knowledge that today’s employers want, in settings that prepare the learner for the workplace.

You can find out more at www.nidirect.gov.uk/further-education

Q. What about training?

A. Apprenticeships – there are many benefits of following an apprenticeship qualification including earning while you learn. You are trained to a quality standard in your chosen occupational area.

Learning takes place both ‘On the job’ and ‘Off the Job’ working towards the achievement of an industry approved qualification. Further information can be obtained from www.nidirect.gov.uk/skills.

Last year the Minister for Employment and Learning announced a new Northern Ireland Strategy on Apprenticeships which is central to transforming the skills landscape and securing economic success.

This September, FE colleges and universities in partnership with local employers will be offering new Higher Level Apprenticeship opportunities as part of pilots which are designed to further inform the implementation of our new system of apprenticeships.

As new HLAs are being agreed on an ongoing basis, your careers adviser will have a complete and up-to-date list of what is available. Those interested in exploring the opportunities provided through a Higher Level Apprenticeship can also contact their local FE College. Check www.nidirect.gov.uk/skills.

The Department for Employment and Learning’s Training for Success programme provides young people with the tools and confidence they need to find work. It offers training to help young people gain the recognised skills, experiences and qualifications to help you progress into your chosen career. For further information go to www.nidirect.gov.uk/skills

Q. Is employment an option?

A. If you feel that full time education or training is not for you, employment may be an option. Vacancies are advertised in JobCentres, Jobs & Benefit offices, online at www.jobcentreonline.com, in local and regional newspapers and through recruitment agencies.

Careers advisers can help you to perfect your job hunting skills, help with job applications and CVs, and to prepare for interviews.

Careers advisers are located in Jobcentres, Jobs and Benefit offices and Careers Offices throughout Northern Ireland. Details of how to contact your local careers adviser are available at www.nidirect.gov.uk/careers.

Alternatively during this exam period you can call the dedicated career helpline on 0300 200 7820 to speak directly to a careers adviser. The Careers Service also has six customised Careers Resources Centres in Belfast, Dungannon, Ballymena, Bangor, Downpatrick and Derry.

More information and details of how to contact your local careers adviser are available at www.nidirect.gov.uk/careers or phone 0300 200 7820.

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Posted by on Aug 25 2015. Filed under Community, Jobs & Careers. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. You can leave a response or trackback to this entry

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