Meet Scope: The disability equality charity in England and Wales

10 February 2022 | Focus | Guest Author

We provide practical information and emotional support, and campaign relentlessly to create a fairer society.

One of the ways we do that is through Career Pathways. Career Pathways provides careers advice to young disabled people. Many young people ask us about what they can do when they leave school or college.

Here are some of the options that are available to you, once you leave school, to help you to achieve your goals.

Vocational and academic courses at college

These are practical courses that teach you skills for a particular profession. Examples include IT, construction, television production, digital media, hairdressing, catering and hospitality.


Apprenticeships combine training at work with classroom or home learning. They offer an alternative to academic qualifications such as A levels.
As an apprentice, you will get:
• new skills
• experience of being at work with other people
• a regular wage and holiday pay
• training and study towards a qualification
You will get real experience that can help you get a job in the future. Apprenticeships can be a good way into employment if you prefer practical work to academic study.

Supported internships

You could apply for a supported internship if you are 16 to 24. Supported internships provide unpaid work experience for people who need extra support to move into employment. They usually last from 6 months to 1 year.


A traineeship is a course with work experience for people aged 16 to 24. Traineeships last from 8 weeks to 6 months. You can get help with English and maths if you need it. You will not be paid but you might get expenses, such as travel. A traineeship can help you get ready for work or an apprenticeship.


Finding a job

You can go straight into work when you leave school or college. If you have little or no work experience, it can take time to find your first job.



Setting up your own business can be exciting and rewarding. But you will be responsible for paying your own wages. There can be many costs involved in starting up, such as the cost of premises, stock, equipment and insurance. You will need:
• drive and determination
• funds to cover your startup costs and living costs before you make a profit
• skills to manage and promote your business


Taking time out

If you’re not sure where you want to go next, you could take a gap year between school and further study or work. You could use the time to:
• get a part-time job and build up your savings
• get unpaid work experience to build your confidence for work
• travel
• volunteer to gain new skills
• try out self-directed study, such as free online courses

Some young people feel anxious or lost if they are not working or studying. Set out a plan for what you want to do and what you want to learn. It will be easier to find a job if you can show what you’ve learnt during your time off. If you try something and decide it’s not for you, you can change your plan.



Universities offer a huge range of courses and qualifications. Most students start with an undergraduate degree. Some people choose to do a foundation year. This is a way into university if you’re not ready to study for a degree yet. You may not need to have A levels to apply for a Foundation year, depending on which course you choose.

University courses can be full-time or part-time. If you are not ready to start straight after leaving school, you can apply for a deferred place. This means that you can take a year out before you start your course.

Still unsure?

Scope’s Career Pathways service is open to 16- 25 year olds with a disability, impairment or condition. If you would like free careers advice, you can contact us at, visit our website or meet our team at What University? & What Career? Live on 4 & 5 March, at the NEC, Birmingham


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