Careers Guidance whilst at school

For Young People

How we can support you when you are in school?

Positive Steps employ Level 6 qualified Career Advisers who will help you if you are in school across Oldham, Rochdale, or Tameside. We will work with you, in an individual guidance appointment during Year 10 and 11, to help you discuss your choices and ensure you move into a suitable pathway when you leave Year 11. We’ll produce a written document for you called a Progression Plan so that you don’t have to remember everything discussed, and this will include action points to help you to plan your next step.

Your Positive Steps Career Adviser may be available during certain days of the week, and on an informal basis during lunchtimes. You can ask for further information in your school.


What are the different pathways you can take?

It is important that you understand the pathways available to you when you leave Year 11. You may have heard of T Levels, A Levels, BTECs, apprenticeships and more but what do they really entail and are they right for you? You also need to think about the environment you want to be in – are you ready for the workplace, or would a local college or 6th form suit you more? Do you want to stay in your school sixth form, or branch out and ditch the uniform? It’s never too early to start to research these pathways and future careers. You will see your Positive Steps Career Adviser for a guidance interview in Year 10 or 11, where you will have the opportunity to talk about what you would like to do in the future.

How to apply for Sixth forms and colleges?

Most colleges now have an online application via their website. Always best to visit the college and understand and find out about the course you want to apply for before applying online. Be sure to apply before applications deadlines, which can be as early as mid-November for some Sixth form colleges. It’s good to apply with your own email personal address so you can track your application progress.

Can you apply for an Apprenticeship through colleges?

Apprenticeships are like jobs, the College websites have live apprenticeship job vacancies you may apply for which have been advertised by employers.  Colleges also have apprenticeship courses, these are NOT guaranteed places, you will be expected to find your own employer before you apply.  You can also simply contact colleges and ask them to save your CV for any potential vacancies in the future.

For Parents

If our child is in Year 11, here is how you can support them.

September – November

Take your child to open events at College and Sixth Forms. Check they have done their applications. Most of the Sixth Forms and Colleges have application deadlines in December or January. Check the College websites for their exact dates. Your child can apply for more than one College and might want to consider a back-up application.

January – April

Ask about interviews. Most Sixth forms and Colleges will interview during this time. These can take place in school, at the College or Sixth Form, or over the phone. After the interview, your child should receive a conditional offer. This means they can start at the College if they meet the entry requirements. The entry requirements can be found on the College websites. If your child has not had an interview or an invitation to interview, contact the College and check the application status.

April – September

If your child is interested in an Apprenticeship, they can start to search on the Gov.UK website for vacancies. Your child will need a CV and work experience is useful.


Before results day, check your child knows how and when to enrol. They will either have been sent this information or it will be on their College portal. Enrolment starts on results day. Your child will need their results, so they can enrol at College. If you are not able to pick up your child’s results, let the school know so they can be posted to you. Make sure your address is up to date with the school.


College will start the first week in September, avoid being on holiday at this time, as students who miss the start of the course might be put on a waiting list or not accepted into the College or Sixth Form.

Contact Us

You can contact us on 0161 621 9400 or complete the form on the Contact Us page. Alternatively, you can speak to us on the live chat feature. For more information and resources, visit our padlet pages for Oldham, Rochdale and Tameside.