Select Page

Careers Education, Information, Advice and Guidance (CEIAG)

The school’s Careers Leader is:

Mrs A Wardell
Head of Careers
01925 853 500

During your time at Birchwood Community High School you will take part in many activities to help prepare you for your next steps whether it be choosing options in Year 9, what college to go to after Year 11 or whether to go to university or on to an apprenticeship. These activities will take place in registration, through your lessons and on PSHE days throughout the year. You may also be invited on a trip to visit a Careers Fair, a college, university or a company – so look out for these.

You can also speak to our Careers Adviser, Mrs Morris about your individual plans and get expert advice on career pathways, qualifications and the local labour market.

As there are so many different careers and jobs to choose from it is a good idea to start researching into the world of work from Year 7. You will have lots of opportunities to speak to employers in school but we would also recommend doing your own research using the following websites:

We also have a page on the LearnLive website where you can find out about local companies, colleges, universities, apprenticeships. There is a Live jobs feed on this website which is useful for getting up to date info on the latest vacancies.

Career Planning

Career Planning is important if you are to find that perfect career and will help you increase your chance of entering your career of choice.

There are 4 Stages in career planning 

Stage 1: Know Yourself

The first stage in any career plan is to increase your self-awareness.  Identifying your strengths and weaknesses and likes and dislikes, will help you narrow down the type of work you might enjoy. Think about: 

  • What is important to you?

  • What do you love to do?

  • What are you good at?

  • Where do you want to work? E.g. inside, outside, office, hospital, airport. 

The “Buzz Quiz” on is a useful starting point for this.

Stage 2: Know Your Options

Once you have built up a more detailed picture of yourself, the next stage is to see how this relates to the career opportunities out there.  Read up and do your research into different careers and find ones that match your skills, interests and values. 

The National Careers Service is a good place to start with over 800 job profiles in an easy to read format.

Prospects, the graduate careers website has equally as many graduate careers for you to research and some real life case studies for you to read.

The employer sponsored website Careersbox has some interesting video clips on different careers sectors. 

The more visual Icould has career videos linked to school subjects and job types.

Stage 3: Make Plans

What do you need to do next? 

 A specific course at college/6th form

  • University

  • Apprenticeship or traineeship

  • Further your skills and experience through work/volunteering

Stage 4: Take Action and Apply

4 Stages in Career Planning

  1. Thinking About Me
  2. Researching My Options
  3. Making Plans
  4. Taking Actins

Routes after Year 11​

Young people are required to continue in education or training until their eighteenth birthday.

This could mean choosing to stay in full-time education at Birchwood College, or another local college, or finding a job or an apprenticeship that involves some form of training.

The Choices are:

  • Full-time education, such as school or college.

  • An Apprenticeship.

  • Part-time education or training if you are employed, self employed or volunteering for 20 hours or more a week.

    Colleges in Warrington

    Birchwood College
    Warrington and Vale Royal College
    Priestley College
    UTC Warrington


    School 6th Forms in Warrington

    Birchwood College
    Barrowhall College (Great Sankey High School 6th form)
    Lymm 6th Form


Apprenticeships are jobs with training leading to further qualifications. There are 4 levels of apprenticeships: 

  • Intermediate

  • Advanced

  • Higher

  • Degree 

Intermediate and advanced apprenticeships can be done straight after year 11, but higher and degree apprenticeships require level 3 qualifications (A’levels, BTECs, Diplomas) so they are usually taken after a college course or after completing an advanced apprenticeship.


Traineeships are designed to help young people aged 16 to 24 who don’t yet have the skills or experience needed to get an apprenticeship or job.

The programme can last a minimum of six weeks and up to a maximum of six months, with the content tailored to individual career needs.

Traineeships include:

  • A high-quality work experience placement with an employer.
  • Work preparation training with a training provider.
  • English and maths if needed provided by a training provider.



Why go to University

Choosing higher education has many benefits. These include: developing valuable skills to give you wider opportunities, studying a subject you’re passionate about, gaining a qualification to help you follow your chosen career, higher earning potential.

With a huge range of courses available, it’s important to do your research to decide what’s right for you.

UCAS – How it all Works

University applications are made through UCAS. There is a lot of useful information help and support on the UCAS website, both for students and their parents/carers.

Student Finance

Make sure you have a look at Student Finance. You may be entitled to extra support. There are also other websites which can give you advice on the best way to manage financing further education.  

Extra-Curricular Activities and Volunteering

Whilst it is important to work hard and aim for the best possible grades at school/college, it is also important to take part in activities to help build up skills and experience. 

Employers are looking for the following key skills: Communication, team-working, using initiative, working well under pressure, IT skills and enterprise. 

There are many extra-curricular activities run by school, but also lots outside school e.g. Air Cadets, St John’s Ambulance and through Warrington Youth Club.