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Youth Education and Employment FAQ

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I need to get my Maths and/or English GCSE; where can I go?

If you are a full time student or apprentice you will be expected to study for English and maths if you do not have a grade 4 or above in English and/or maths.  If you have a grade 3 you must continue to study for the GCSE if you have a grade 1 or 2 you can follow functional skills or ‘stepping stone’ qualifications for English and/or maths.

If you have left full time education you can study for a maths and/or English GCSE with Cornwall Adult Education, Cornwall College and Truro and Penwith College.  Maths and English courses up to GCSE are free if you do not have a GCSE grade 4 or higher.

Where can I find out information about college courses?

Where can I find out about apprenticeships?

For those looking to build on their skills and knowledge whilst gaining paid employment, there are a number of options available.

Disability Rights UK has a guide 'Into Apprenticeships' for disabled people, parents and key advisors about applying for apprenticeships in England.

Will I be supported in Further Education?

Many young people with SEN or disabilities, once they are over compulsory school age, move into further education (FE), such as FE and sixth form colleges and 16-19 academies.

Transition into Further education: Colleges should be involved in plans for young people to leave school and enter further education, and give them the chance to say whether they have SEN or a disability which might affect their learning, so they can be prepared to meet their needs. If a young person has SEN, the college needs to use its best endeavours to give them the support they require.

Reviewing support: The college should keep the support it provides under review and discuss it regularly with the young person, as well as keeping parents informed. At age 16 and beyond, young people will often become increasingly independent and may want to exercise more control over the support they receive for their SEN. Parents should talk to their son or daughter and agree how best they can be involved and how much support their child will need as they get older.

EHC assessments and Plans: If a college, despite its best endeavours, can’t meet a young person’s needs then a young person, with support from their parents, should consider whether they need an Education, Health and Care (EHC) needs assessment, which might lead to an EHC plan (see section in this guide on Education, Health and Care needs assessments and plans). If you think your son or daughter needs an assessment, you should both discuss this with the college. A request can be made for an EHC plan up until a young person reaches the age of 25.

For more information about EHC plans visit the Local Offer EHC Plans page or the SEN file

For more information on moving into Further Education, please review the 'Special educational needs and disability - a guide for parents and carers' document on the site.

Will I be supported in Higher Education?

Higher education students in England can get money to help towards their individual needs through a Disabled Students’ Allowance.

These organisations provide advice for disabled people and those with health conditions considering where to study:

To ensure you receive the correct support, contact your chosen University's 'Student Services', who have an obligation to support you in your learning.

Where would I go to find personal assistance with my studies at university or in higher education?

What is 'Access to Work'?

The Access to Work Fund is a Government led scheme to assist people with a disability or long term mental health condition. It can cover the cost in full or in part, of support required at work. 

The fund can help if you are:

  • a new or existing employee
  • self-employed
  • in paid employment
  • on an apprenticeship, supported internship or BIS traineeship
  • going for an interview

If you are claiming benefits, you may be able to access the fund via the Job Centre, to help with the cost of work experience or work trials.

To be eligible, applicants should:

  • Be over 16 years old
  • Live and work in England, Scotland or Wales
  • Be in or about to start paid employment
  • Have a disability or condition that affects their ability to do their job or travel to work

For more information, visit

Or for information, 1:1 advice or an Access to Work referral form, email

Who can help me write my CV or application form?

If you'd like some assistance with writing your CV or filling in application forms, there are plenty of services that can help you, such as: 

Ambitions is a new project for Cornwall and the Isles of Scilly that offers advice and support to help anyone aged 15-25 get into or stay on in education, training or employment.  Ambitions will offer detailed advice and guidance including support with your CV.  Ambitions can also provide work experience and help with basic skills such as maths and English that can enhance your CV.

National Careers Service – for help and advice on creating and refining your CV

United Response - Cornwall Supported Employment

Employability Cornwall Team - Cornwall Council

Brandon Trust

Where can I get careers advice?

All schools and colleges provide careers education and information, advice and guidance and can arrange for an appointment with an independent careers adviser.  There are also a range of organisations that can help with careers advice:

If you are not in employment, education or training there are a range of programmes that might suit you:

The Cornwall Fire & Rescue Prince’s Trust Team Programme 2019 is an intensive 12 week programme that prepares young people who are not in employment, education or training for their next step and will give your motivation and confidence a boost.

Ambitions is a new project (from November 2018) for Cornwall and the Isles of Scilly that offers intensive advice and support to help anyone aged 15-25 get into or stay on in employment, education, or training.

Who can support me in finding work?

There are many sources of help and information for anyone seeking employment.  The job Centre have a useful online service - Job Centre Plus – Find a job as well as local listings and employers contacts available in local Job Centre Plus offices.

The organisations that provide careers advice or who can help you with a CV will also be able to help you find work.

There are many online job search and vacancy listing services:

Total Jobs


Cornwall Council jobs – including apprenticeships  

Fish for jobs (CV Library) (you will need to have a current CV to upload)

How can I get to work if I don't drive?

National Concession Bus Pass can be issued for people who meet the criteria see the Cornwall Council webpage for further details and how to apply.

Access to Work can pay for taxi fares to work or a support worker if you cannot use public transport.  You need to be in paid employment for more than one hour a week or self-employed.  (This is not available for those on funded learning programmes such as Apprenticeships and Traineeships where a bursary or travel training may be available.)

If you don't feel comfortable travelling alone, you can see our listings for all other forms of transport, including private taxis and community transport schemes.

Support for young people aged 15-24 not in Education or Training (NEET)

Young People referred as part of the Ambitions project will receive an assessment of their needs, one-to-one guidance and a bespoke support programme designed to help them onto the right path to employment, education or training.

Each young person referred to the programme will be given the opportunity to access:

  • work experience placements, tasters and employer ‘Safaris’, which will show the range of jobs that are available in a particular industry
  • employability and enterprise skills and CV building sessions
  • ‘Access to Work Fund’ application support – for young people with Special Educational Needs or a Disability (SEND) facing obstacles to finding and maintaining work and training
  • ongoing support to help achieve aims where needed, such as resilience and confidence building

For further information about the project and how to apply please call 01209 615070 or visit our webpage


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