When you start a new job, you're constantly learning new skills. As well as on-the-job training, some employers offer organised training, especially for younger employees. This might include training days or learning online (e-learning).
Don’t be NIL
Training, learning and gaining qualifications are especially important if you're a young employee. Employees who are aged 16-19 may lack experience in the workplace, so gaining qualifications through your job can put you at an advantage when changing jobs, asking for a pay rise, or negotiating working conditions. Training can also help if you feel you aren’t progressing within your job and need a new challenge.
Young people aged 16-19 who are employed but not in education or training are described as Not In Learning (NIL) by the government. The government has pledged to reduce the numbers of young people who are NIL.
If you are aged 16-19, you should be taking part in organised learning or training, even if you are employed. See the Raising Participation Age page for more information.
Take Action: For details on what courses are available see the Directory of Entry Level Programmes & Traineeships and the Directory of Training and Foundation Providers or search for learning opportunities.
Support available for you and your employer
Whether you want to start work right away, or would rather spend more time building your skills at school or college, there is support available to keep you learning.
If you want to stay in (or re-enter) learning:
- Fully funded education up to age 19 (end of Year 13) from Sixth Forms, Colleges and Further Education colleges.
- Bursaries at your school and college which can help with travel costs, etc.
- Late applications and January starts at local colleges. It’s never too late to apply!
If you want to start working or learn as you earn:
- Support is available for employers to offer apprenticeships.
If these options aren’t right for you
Some young people may find that working or learning is difficult for them, perhaps for health reasons, or if they have other responsibilities, like having a baby or caring for someone else. If this is your situation, there is still support available:
- Informal learning opportunities which have flexible hours and rolling start dates
- Respite care and other kinds of support for young carers
- Learning support for young people with difficulties and disabilities and long-term illnesses
- Help with childcare via Care to Learn and other schemes for young parents
It is so important that young people keep on learning that there is support available for pretty much any situation. Talk to your support worker to find out what is available.
Get the lifelong learning habit
Most people carry on doing courses, training, and learning throughout their lives. They may do courses at home, at work or attend classes in the evenings or at weekends.
Wherever you are working or studying, it's always a good idea to find out what training and learning opportunities are available.
Here are some of the things that people in jobs say about carrying on learning, training and gaining qualifications:
- It helps keep you fresh and inspired to do everything better - Jeremy
- Important to keep up knowledge and further your professional development - Richard
- It gives confidence and belief in your skills and abilities - Owen
- Gives you the required skills to develop your career - Debbie
- Helps you climb that career ladder - Luke