Jobs at 16
In today’s tight job market there are limited job opportunities for Year 11 school leavers. Competition can be fierce and you’re likely to find yourself competing against people who are more qualified and experienced than you. You’ll need to be realistic about the type of work available and what you’re prepared to do. Use the vacancy pages of local newspapers and job search websites to get a flavour of the local job market.
Think carefully about taking a job without recognised training. The more qualifications you gain now the easier it should be for you to move on and do well in the job market later on. More qualifications usually also means more pay. If your job doesn’t offer any training you may be entitled to paid time off for study or training. Find out more about this by following this link.
Even if you’re already 16 you can’t legally start full-time work until after the last Friday in June. When you turn 16 you should be sent your National Insurance Number. Make sure you keep it safe as you’ll need it when you start a job. At age 16/17 you’ll be entitled to a National Minimum Wage of at least £3.68 per hour (there is a separate rate for apprentices).
It’s unusual, but not impossible, for school leavers to become self employed.
If you’re thinking of working for yourself you’ll need to have a great business idea that you’ve thoroughly researched and thought through. Self employment can be extemely hard work but really rewarding. Before you go any further get some information and advice from the experts (see websites tab above).
If you finish year 11 in or after summer 2013, “Learning for Longer” applies to you. It means that if you’re employed for 20 hours or more a week you may be required to undertake part-time education or training that leads to a recognised qualification. However many hours you work, you should also think about doing some part time learning alongside your job.