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Embrace Vocational!

A-levels? BTECs? Apprenticeships? What are vocational qualifications?

We’ve heard it before. There is a lot of information out there about post-16 options, but nothing is clear enough. Leaving school is a big step and helping your son or daughter decide what to do next can be a mind-boggling process. Through our #EmbraceVocational campaign, we want to talk about what options are available, how your child can start their story with NWSLC and why you should embrace vocational courses as a serious option.


So what are the options after school?

Once they finish year 11, young people have the option to:

  • stay in full-time education, completing a programme like BTECs or A-Levels
  • start an apprenticeship
  • spend 20 hours or more a week working or volunteering, while in part-time education or training

Remember – the Government states that young people must stay in education or training until they are 18.


BTEC vs. A-level

Let’s start by saying that no one option is better than the other, they are just different routes. BTECs are vocational qualifications that focus on practical skills and knowledge.  Students choose one subject of their choice and the assessment is continual throughout the year via projects, coursework and tests.

A-Levels are focused on more traditional academic subjects. Students will study 3 to 4 subjects at a time and assessment is exam-based at the end of the second year.


Can BTEC students go to University?

YES! All Universities accept applications with both BTEC and A-Level qualifications. Even more, BTECs are given the same value in UCAS Points, just check with the university on their entry requirements for a specific course.


BTEC is equivalent to…

All qualifications can be split into levels. Where your son or daughter starts will depend on their grades and experience.

College Levels Explained


What do employers want?

It’s a competitive jobs market out there. Your son or daughter needs to leave College with a strong CV that sets them out from the crowd. We make sure each student finishes their course with the whole package:

  • A qualification relevant to the industry
  • Genuine work experience in their field
  • Soft skills that employers are really looking for – team working, communication, time management, etc.


So… what do we offer?

Her at the College, we offer two routes for those finishing school:

1. BTEC/vocational courses at Level 1, 2 and 3
2. Apprenticeships at Level 2 and 3– where students work as a paid employee whilst they gain their qualification

We offer vocational qualifications in a huge range of areas, across five different campuses.

Nuneaton Campus: Business & Management | Childcare & Education | Computing & IT | Engineering | Hair & Beauty | Health & Social Care | Hospitality & Catering | Motor Vehicle | Uniformed Services | Sport | Travel & Tourism

Wigston Campus: Business & Management | Beauty and Spa Therapies | Childcare & Education | Computing & IT | Counselling | Engineering | Hairdressing | Health & Social Care | Games Design| Media | Uniformed Services | Sport | Travel & Tourism

Hinckley Campus: Art & Design | Computing | Fashion & Textiles | Games Development | Graphic Design | Interior Design | Journalism | Media | Music | Performing Arts | Photography

Harrowbrook Campus: Trades Apprenticeships | Brickwork | Carpentry | Multi-skills, including plastering, painting, decorating and tiling | Fork Lift Truck maintenance and repair

MTI Campus: Automotive Engineering Apprenticeships


What do we also offer?

We have a team of dedicated career experts that will make sure you are on track to pursue a career you are passionate about. If you are unsure which path to take, the guidance team can provide free, impartial advice on careers and applying for jobs. You don’t have to be a student at the College to benefit from this service, to find out more get in touch.



Will you join us in spreading the word? Will you support our campaign, thus helping parents and students make an informed decision when choosing their course? Simply share this article on Facebook, Instagram or Twitter, using #EmbraceVocational or, if you have a BTEC qualification, write about your story and tag us in it, using the same hashtag.