School Leavers

University isn’t for everyone.

Here are some useful links to websites that focus on options post-school:

Not Going to Uni ( is one of the premier online sources of apprenticeship recruitment in the UK.  They also provide independent careers advice and guidance, as well as 500 video case studies to inspire you in your choice of career.

Moving On magazine ( is an impartial careers publication that provides a wide range of information regarding choices following school.

More sites for further details on careers and non-uni options:

Management Training Programmes

The following links are selected to give you a flavour of what is available and how different the programmes can be.  The financial sector has many more opportunities other than the three examples listed below.  But whichever scheme you go for, it will be very competitive to get a place so examine closely what the employer is looking for, get relevant work experience if you can and, above all, show your enthusiasm and motivation for the role.

Banking & Finance

Barclays Retail Development Programme – 2 routes to obtaining a sponsored BA (Hons) degree in either Management & Leadership or Business Management (Retail Banking).  Work based programme with study time and paid salary.  Become Branch Manager or Assistant Branch Manager within 3 years.

Deloittes’ BrightStart Programme – combined programme of study and work experience, culminating in professional accounting qualification.

Association of Accounting Technicians Qualification – the only fast-track non-graduate route into chartered accountancy.  Learn at your own pace, study full/part time, or from home.

Merchant Navy

Officers – enrol for either Navigation (Deck) or Engineering and Electro Technical Officers.  Sponsored degrees are offered plus clearly defined career paths, long holidays and good pay.

If you are reluctant to discount the university option, consider a sandwich course where you combine a degree with one year’s work placement. An excellent opportunity to build industry contacts, gain highly practical experience with on-the-job learning, and much more likely to secure a permanent job at graduate level post study.

Retailing, Marketing and Management

This 4 year course at Loughborough University includes 1 year’s placement, earning a salary, as a trainee manager – typically with a retail organisation or in a marketing role with one of a broad range of major UK companies.  There are also sponsorship and scholarships opportunities with this course.

Recommended site for Higher Education tuition fees:

Visit Martin Lewis’ website for the complete low down on tuition fees.