2007      2008




Information on work and
learning options for Year 10
and 11 students




                              ...
It’s your choice 2007-08




    Welcome to It’s your choice
This booklet has been written especially
for you because you ...
1




 Contents
Section 1                            Section 6

What are the options?           2    Experience needed    ...
2 Section 1
12                     What are the options?

 Jason


                                              What are
...
What are the options? Section 1           3



Personal calendar
This Personal Calendar has been developed to help you to ...
4 Section 1
12                      What are the options?
                                             Continued
 Ebere
  ...
Qualifications Section 2              5




    Qualifications




Whether or not you stay in full-time education, it’s  Adv...
6 Section 2             Qualifications
                                              Continued
 Phil
                      ...
Qualifications Section 2                7


National Vocational Qualifications (NVQs)
● There are more than 900 NVQs, design...
8 Section 2           Qualifications
                                                Continued

  Action point 4
  Get a fr...
Qualifications            Section 2            9



  Progression routes                                                   ...
10 Section 3           What to study and where

 Rose


                                             What to study
       ...
What to study and where       Section 3       11

                                                                        ...
12 Section 3            What to study and where
                                             Continued
 Ashleigh




     ...
What to study and where               Section 3     13




  Action point 7
  Points to consider
  Everyone has different ...
14 Section 4            Work and learning

 Robert



                                               Work and learning
   ...
Work and learning       Section 4        15

                                                                             ...
16 Section 4            Work and learning
                                              Continued
 Sam




When Sam left s...
Work and learning Section 4                  17


                                                                        ...
18 Section 5           Applications and interviews




    Applications and
    interviews
                               ...
Applications and interviews Section 5                19

Action point 9

Imagine you are completing a letter of applicatio...
20 Section 5      Applications and interviews
                                    Continued

Action point 9 (continued)


...
Applications and interviews Section 5                 21




Completing application forms                                 ...
22 Section 6           Experience needed

 Ryan



                                              Experience needed
       ...
Work in a changing world          Section 7         23

                                                                  ...
24 Section 8           What about money?

 Anna



                                              What about money?
       ...
I Y C 2007 2008
I Y C 2007 2008
I Y C 2007 2008
I Y C 2007 2008
I Y C 2007 2008
I Y C 2007 2008
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I Y C 2007 2008

  1. 1. 2007 2008 Information on work and learning options for Year 10 and 11 students What are the options? Qualifications What to study and where Work and learning Applications and interviews Getting help and support… and lots more…
  2. 2. It’s your choice 2007-08 Welcome to It’s your choice This booklet has been written especially for you because you are nearing the end of Year 11 and it is now time for you to make some choices. After eleven years of compulsory education, you are now in the exciting, but maybe scary, position of beginning to think about what you want to do after Year 11. This booklet will help you to think about the best ways for you to gain the career and the life that you want. It’s your choice puts YOU at the centre of the decision-making Acknowledgements process and provides a step-by-step approach. It leads you through We would like to thank Bishop David Brown School for permission the process of considering all your options and then making an to take photographs. informed choice about what you want and what best suits you as We would also like to thank all the young people who agreed to be an individual. Everyone in Year 11 is going to be choosing their own case studies for It’s your choice. route, and there is plenty of information and advice available to The Department for Children, Schools and Families (DCSF) is not responsible help you to make the right choices for you. for the content or reliability of the websites listed in this publication and does not necessarily endorse the views expressed within them. Listings shall not be There is a guide called Parents and Carers, which is available taken as an endorsement of any kind. We cannot guarantee that these sites to help them to understand the choices ahead and how they can will work all of the time and we have no control over availability or content best help you. of the sites listed. If your parents or carers have not received a copy, ask your school or order a copy from: DCSF Publications, PO Box 5050, Sherwood, Nottingham NG15 0DJ. T 0845 602 2260. Or check out the interactive version online at W www.connexions-direct.com/parentcarer
  3. 3. 1 Contents Section 1 Section 6 What are the options? 2 Experience needed 22 ● Personal calendar 3 Section 7 ● Which route shall I follow? 4 Work in a changing world 23 Section 2 Section 8 Qualifications 5 What about money? 24 Section 3 Section 9 What to study and where 10 Getting help and support 27 Section 4 Section 10 Work and learning 14 Individual learning planning 29 Section 5 Applications and interviews 18 Visit the interactive version of It’s your choice at www.connexions-direct.com/itsyourchoice
  4. 4. 2 Section 1 12 What are the options? Jason What are the options? There are lots of choices, but don’t At this stage you need to start thinking about worry because, although you have how you learn and work, what makes you happy and what you want from life. There’s many options available to you lots more information on this in the rest of regarding what you can do after the booklet, but for now, it’s your time to do Year 11, all the choices can be split some thinking… into two main categories: Use the space below to think about your initial thoughts and ideas. ● continuing in full-time education Jason has a range of career ideas ● continue your learning through work- including computer programming, Action point 1 based training. law and animation. He is an able student and is good at a wide The route that appeals to me initially is: variety of subjects including September Guarantee mathematics and science. He has From September 2007 onwards, the chosen to study a range of subjects September Guarantee will mean that at A level which will enable him everyone leaving education in Year 11 has to keep his career options open: an offer of an appropriate post-16 course, so This appeals to me because: ‘I chose the subjects that I am you will receive the information, advice and good at and that I enjoy, whilst guidance you need to take up a place. also taking into account my career ideas. I want to be able to change my plans if my ideas change, and I If you choose to continue in full-time also like studying a range of different education, your choices are: The areas I want to research further are: subjects because it adds variety.’ ● school sixth form ● sixth form college Jason chose to study A level graphics, ICT, mathematics and critical thinking ● further education college at sixth form and plans to go on to ● specialist college. higher education. He is keeping an open mind about his choice of higher If you choose the training/work route, education course and plans to decide your choices are: when he has received his AS results. ● becoming an Apprentice ‘Doing a range of A levels will be ● getting a job where you receive training useful for any course that I want ● joining an Entry to Employment (e2e) Hot tip to do at university and for any profession. Getting good grades programme Find out as much information as will hopefully mean that I will be ● self-employment. possible, to make sure you come to able to choose between a wide the right decision. range of degree courses.’ If you don’t have a career in mind, make a choice with lots of options to progress. If you do have a career in mind, research Look at the jobs4u your career and choose your options careers database at accordingly. Remember, no qualification W www.connexions- is ever wasted. direct.com/jobs4u
  5. 5. What are the options? Section 1 3 Personal calendar This Personal Calendar has been developed to help you to plan for the year ahead as you make your choices in Year 11. Action point 2 Autumn Term 2007 ● Read the It’s your choice booklet to give you an overview. ● Complete the activities within this booklet to help you focus on yourself. ● Use your school’s Connexions Resource Centre to research all your options after Year 11. ● Think about careers that interest you and find out as much about them as you can. ● Start thinking about the routes that interest you and your reasons. ● Think about keeping your options open if you don’t have a career in mind. ● Begin collecting prospectuses for colleges and sixth forms that interest you. ● Request information about Apprenticeships and the application process. ● Talk to your Connexions personal adviser about your plans and next steps. ● Discuss your thoughts, ideas and plans with friends, family and teachers. ● Find out when the college and sixth form open evenings are – attend these. ● Look at the Local 14–19 Prospectus (see page 6). ● You may need to start applying for some courses now. ● Create a portfolio of evidence (see page 23). Spring Term 2008 ● Start narrowing down your choices. ● Apply for college or sixth form courses, training courses or an Apprenticeship. ● Mock exams. If your results have changed your predicted grades, you may need to rethink your options. ● Think about a back-up plan, should your results be better than (or not as good as) you’d hoped. ● Create a revision plan that works for you and be prepared to stick to it. ● Prepare for interviews for college, sixth form or Apprenticeships. ● Check that you have completed all your coursework. ● Check if you are eligible for the Education Maintenance Allowance (EMA) and apply if you are. ● Speak to your Connexions personal adviser regarding any careers-related topics. Summer Term 2008 ● Seek advice from your Connexions personal adviser as soon as possible if you don’t have any plans. ● Ask your personal adviser to help if you are seeking work with training. ● Think about a pre-employment programme, like Entry to Employment (e2e), if you don’t want to study and are not sure you are ready for work yet. ● Check that you have received and confirmed your offer of a place at college or sixth form. You can still apply if you haven’t done so yet. ● Try to organise a job or some work experience for the summer holidays. ● GCSE results are out on Thursday 21 August. If your results are better than (or not as good as) you’d hoped, visit your local Connexions centre as soon as possible. The school leaving date is the last Friday in June.
  6. 6. 4 Section 1 12 What are the options? Continued Ebere Which route shall I follow? Now you know the options that are available, how are you going to make your choice? The quiz below will help you to understand yourself better and to decide which option suits you best. Action point 3 After Year 11, I want to… (A) Gain more qualifications and continue to study. (B) Go to work and gain more qualifications as I earn. Ebere first met with his Connexions (C) Continue to study, but I am not sure which qualifications to do. personal adviser in school at the end of Year 10. At this point, (A) Take a full-time course at a school or college. he was interested in a career (B) Work while studying part time. related to engineering and wanted (C) Think about what I would like to do in the future – maybe get a job. some more information about Apprenticeships, which he had (A) Study subjects that I enjoy and am good at. recently seen advertised on television. (B) Gain a qualification linked to the work that I want to do. Ebere met his Connexions personal (C) Get some advice about the type of courses and qualifications adviser several times in school during that would suit me best. Year 11, where they discussed the option of doing an Apprenticeship (A) Gain the qualifications I need and earn more money in the longer term. and also of continuing in full-time (B) Go to work and start earning some money. education to study for further (C) Find out about getting some financial support to help me study or train. qualifications, either in the sixth form or at college. As a result of these (A) Study for higher level qualifications as a step towards gaining the job I want. sessions, Ebere became aware of (B) Start working as soon as possible. the post-16 routes open to him. (C) Get some help to make the right decision for me. Now in his school’s sixth form, Ebere is studying A levels in mathematics, physics, ICT and sociology. Ebere How did you score? Mostly Bs has forged a successful working Add up your totals of As, Bs and Cs and You are probably thinking about training, relationship with his Connexions check the results below. work-based learning, work with training or personal adviser and they continue Apprenticeship routes. (On an Apprenticeship Mostly As you can work, train for qualifications and to have discussions about the most You are probably interested in the full- suitable progression pathways for him earn a wage all at the same time.) See the time education route – studying at school Qualifications section on pages 5–9, once he has completed his A levels. or college. This is a very broad area, and Work and learning on pages 14–17 and Ebere plans to apply to university there may be opportunities to study a the Applications and interviews section to study for a computer science general or a work-related subject. See the on pages 18–21. course, but first he wants to Qualifications section on pages 5–9 and take a gap year during which he What to study and where on pages Mostly Cs intends to get a job to give him 10–13. Check the What about money? It sounds like you are not sure which way to some relevant work experience. section on pages 24–26 to see whether you go at the moment. Talk to your Connexions qualify for financial help. personal adviser, teachers, family and friends to get some help and advice. See the Getting help and support section on pages 27–28.
  7. 7. Qualifications Section 2 5 Qualifications Whether or not you stay in full-time education, it’s Advanced Subsidiary level and Advanced level important that you continue learning and gaining (AS level and A level) qualifications. Although having qualifications will not ● You can choose from a wide range of subjects at AS and A level. guarantee you a job, people with the right skills and You could continue with subjects you studied at GCSE, or take up a new subject not offered at GCSE, for example sociology, qualifications have a greater chance of finding a job law or philosophy. that offers better prospects and more money. Changes ● Find out what is available at sixth forms and colleges in your area. in the job market mean people without skills may find ● Most students take three or four AS subjects in the first year it hard to get work. and carry three on as A2 subjects in the second year to gain full A levels. From September 2008, the number of units of work will There are a lot of courses available, leading to a range of be reduced from six to four in most subjects at A level. qualifications, so it can get a bit confusing. This section gives an overview of what is available and how the different qualification ● From September 2008, an optional extended project will be levels relate to each other, to help you decide which courses are available. This will increase the range, breadth and challenge of right for you. A levels available. The extended project is a single piece of work that requires students to explore a subject independently and in depth. It is a free-standing qualification and can be completed at General Certificate of Secondary Education various stages. (GCSE) ● Most A level subjects involve a combination of examinations Should you not get the grades that you were expecting, some and coursework. Optional coursework is not available. schools and colleges offer the option of retaking your GCSEs in ● Higher education modules now allow you to work in order to gain an improved grade. Some offer new GCSE courses. greater breadth and depth, and also enable you to develop your Getting better GCSEs could help you to get the job or the college independent working skills in preparation for progression on to place that you want. higher education courses.
  8. 8. 6 Section 2 Qualifications Continued Phil Advanced Extension Awards 14–19 Diplomas (AEAs) ● Do you want a real alternative to If you are likely to get A grades in your traditional qualifications? The 14–19 A level studies, there is the option of taking Diploma can help you develop work- an Advanced Extension Award, which relevant skills, knowledge and can provide proof of a greater depth of understanding in an exciting, creative understanding than an A level. These are and enjoyable way. You will experience available in several subjects. different styles of learning in different settings, often in a more adult environment. ● From September 2008, you may be able Fact bite to do a Diploma in Creative & Media; Construction & the Built Environment; Currently, 77% of young people continue Engineering; Information Technology or in full-time education or training beyond Society, Health & Development. Find out the age of 16. whether any of these Diplomas will be on offer in your area. ● By 2013, you will be able to take one of Phil is currently in Year 13 and taking A levels in applied subjects 14 different Diplomas at Levels 1, 2 and A levels in English literature, physical ● A levels are also available in a wide 3 covering all the sectors of the economy. education and ICT. Since the end range of applied subjects, for example They will sit alongside, and sometimes of Year 12, Phil has really enjoyed applied art and design, applied business, incorporate, A levels and GCSEs. studying English and has developed applied ICT, applied science, engineering, ● Diplomas will give you the essential a flair for creative writing. With health and social care, leisure studies, knowledge and personal skills that you this interest, Phil is keen to pursue media communication and production, will need for college, university or work a career as a writer, although is performing arts, and travel and tourism. and help you make choices about what unsure in which area this would be. career you want to follow. ● They involve assessments to measure He has done some research on the skills and coursework to examine ● Diplomas will offer you a mix of theoretical internet and has had discussions with understanding. and practical learning, including functional his English teacher. He is realistic that ● They provide practical skills and an skills in English, mathematics and ICT, and becoming a published writer is tough understanding of what it’s like to have personal learning and thinking skills, such and has therefore decided to continue a job. as independent enquiry, creative thinking with his education. After Year 13, ● They can be taught in schools or in or team working. he is planning to go to university to study for an English degree. conjunction with local colleges and ● Through the additional/specialist learning training providers. part of your Diploma you will get the This will not only give him opportunities to get involved in ● Entry requirements may be more flexible opportunity to study a particular topic creative writing, but will also give than for academic A levels – check with in more depth or broaden your studies him further qualifications and widen sixth forms or colleges. through complementary learning. This his career possibilities when he has could include GCSEs or A levels. finished studying. Phil’s ambition is ● You will also take on an extended project still to become a writer, but he knows that by continuing in education, Hot tip as part of your Diploma, which will allow you to plan and organise your own learning. his English degree could take him English, mathematics and ICT are really At Level 3 the project will demonstrate in many different directions. important subjects, as you will need project management and other higher skills ‘I might even continue to study these in all areas of work and daily life. that you need for university. at a postgraduate level after my degree. I think as long as you pick ● Your Diploma, at whatever level, will also subjects you know you are going include at least 10 days of work experience. to enjoy, do your research to see Find out whether 14–19 Diplomas are if your career idea is realistic and available at your school or college. For more have a back-up plan, then getting information, talk to your school/college or qualifications will always be useful.’ speak to your Connexions personal adviser. Your Local 14–19 Prospectus lists all the courses available in your area.
  9. 9. Qualifications Section 2 7 National Vocational Qualifications (NVQs) ● There are more than 900 NVQs, designed for people interested in gaining practical skills and knowledge in a specific industry, for example beauty therapy, travel services, veterinary nursing or plumbing. ● They are work-related qualifications that reflect the knowledge and skills required to do a job effectively. ● There are no formal entry requirements, although you need to have experience of specific areas of work for the higher levels. ● There are five levels of NVQ. Most 16–19 year olds start on Levels 1 to 3, depending on their experience and qualifications. ● Each level is divided into units of competence that cover different aspects of work. ● NVQs are assessed through observation of practical tasks linked to the work role and continual assessment through the creation of a portfolio of evidence. Vocationally Related Qualifications (VRQs) ● A wide range of other vocationally related qualifications are available from different awarding bodies, such as City & Guilds and Edexcel BTEC. Key skills These are the essential skills that will help you to be successful at ● They are designed to provide you with the relevant skills and work, in training, during study and in life. knowledge needed for your chosen vocational area, for example in subjects like food hygiene, hospitality and public services. Key skills cover: ● communication ● They are work-related qualifications that vary in length, from ● working with others short programmes to a BTEC First Diploma, which is roughly the same size and at the same level as four GCSEs (A-C). ● application of number ● improving your own learning ● They have a practical approach to learning, and are made up of ● Information and Communication Technology (ICT) units and modules that are assessed through assignments. You will build a portfolio of evidence of your knowledge, skills and ● problem solving understanding of your chosen work area. ● business and customer awareness. Key skills are: ● recognised qualifications, which you take alongside Functional skills other qualifications Good language, mathematics and IT skills are essential for adult ● assessed through a portfolio of evidence and a test life and are important to employers. So, in the future, these skills in communication, application of number and ICT, and will be part of all qualifications – including GCSEs, Diplomas a portfolio of evidence only for working with others, and Apprenticeships – and will be available as stand-alone improving your own learning and problem solving qualifications. Functional skills are being tested out in some ● linked to your chosen area of study schools and colleges from September 2007. They will be taught as part of Diploma programmes when they start in 2008 and ● offered in colleges and for those taking work-related as part of the other qualifications from 2010. learning programmes. For more information, visit W www.keyskills4u.com
  10. 10. 8 Section 2 Qualifications Continued Action point 4 Get a friend to analyse something that you do linked to each key skill area. Discuss your ideas, and swap roles and feelings: Communication Application of number ICT Working with others Improving your own learning Problem solving International Baccalaureate You may have the option of doing an International Baccalaureate Diploma Programme. Aimed at 16–19 year olds, the programme leads to an International Baccalaureate, which is widely recognised by universities around the world. It aims to help develop the intellectual, personal, emotional and social skills that you will need in order to live, learn and work in a globalising world. The programme takes two years to complete. Students study six subjects selected from a range of subject groups. Normally, three subjects are studied at higher level (courses representing 240 teaching hours), and the remaining three subjects are studied at standard level (courses representing 150 teaching hours). All three parts of the core – extended essay, theory of knowledge, and creativity, action, service – are compulsory and are central to the philosophy of the Diploma Programme. You also have to study a second language.
  11. 11. Qualifications Section 2 9 Progression routes National Qualification Framework 19+ Qualification Level Examples of level indicators qualifications at Employment Degrees/Foundation Degrees/Foundation this level degrees at university degrees/job specific training courses in Building a basic Entry Level certificates Entry Level level of knowledge, at Levels 1, 2 or 3, in a further education (FE) understanding and skills. range of areas including National Curriculum 16–19 subjects, life skills, Other Advanced Level 3 A levels functional skills, and skills work-based Apprenticeships Diploma for working life. learning International Apprenticeships Level 1 and 2 Baccalaureate Basic knowledge, All GCSE grades D-G; Level 1 understanding and skills, 14–19 Diploma Level 1; Diploma also and the ability to apply Award Scheme available learning to everyday Development and situations. Accreditation Network Functional skills in all learning routes (ASDAN) Level 1 certificates; functional and key skills Level 1; 14–16 Vocationally Related Other work-related Level 2 Diploma GCSEs Qualification (VRQ) Level learning (equivalent to five/ 1, for example: BTEC Introductory or City & six GCSEs A*-C) Guilds Level 1; National Vocational Qualification (NVQ) Level 1. Young Foundation Level 1 Diploma Apprenticeships Learning Tier Building knowledge All GCSE grades A*-C; Level 2 and/or skills in relation to 14–19 Diploma Level subject or sector areas; 2; functional and key With so many qualifications it can be hard to understand how they gaining the ability to skills Level 2; VRQ Level relate to one another. The National Qualifications Framework (NQF) apply learning to a 2, for example: City & varied range of tasks. Guilds Level 2 or BTEC is a way of comparing different qualifications by grouping them This is seen as the First Certificates and together in nine different levels (Entry Level and Levels 1 to 8). minimum level required Diplomas; NVQ Level 2. Qualifications of the same level in the NQF all recognise a similar by employers and is critical to going on to level of knowledge, skills and understanding, even though the further study and higher subjects that are studied may be different. The higher the level, skill levels. the more advanced the qualification and the more knowledge and skill it requires. Look at the table opposite to find out how different Learning at this level All GCE AS and A levels; Level 3 involves in-depth Advanced Extension qualifications compare. knowledge, Awards; 14–19 Diploma understanding and skills, Level 3; functional and and a higher level of key skills Level 3; VRQ application. Appropriate Level 3, for example: for people who want to Foundation Diploma in go into higher education Art and Design or BTEC or further training or National Certificates employment. and Diplomas; NVQ Level 3; International Baccalaureate. Specialist learning Certificates and Levels 4–8 involving a high level of Diplomas of Higher knowledge in a specific Education; Bachelor’s occupational role or degrees; postgraduate study. Appropriate for qualifications; people working in or professional wishing to progress to qualifications; Foundation specialised technical and degrees; Higher professional roles, which National Certificates and can involve managing Diplomas; key skills Level and developing others. 4; NVQ Levels 4 and 5.
  12. 12. 10 Section 3 What to study and where Rose What to study and where To get the most out of full-time Does the assessment education it’s important to choose method suit you? the right courses and qualifications. ● Different courses are assessed in different You are now ready to think about ways. They may contain one or more of the following assessment methods: exams, what to study and where. Thinking coursework, project work and observation about the following points will help of performance or a portfolio of evidence. you towards making a decision. Find out how the course is assessed. Rose is about to take her A level exams in Spanish, history and What are you good at English, and already has an AS level Will the learning style suit you? in philosophy. Rose is an academic and what do you enjoy? ● Different courses have different student and knew that she would ● Most people do better when they study a approaches to work. They may involve always continue with her education subject they enjoy. You may already have listening to lectures, being involved and gain further qualifications. ideas about subjects that interest you. in discussions, practical work with an She plans to go to university to Discuss them with your form tutor, subject employer or in a work-type environment, study for a Spanish degree. She teachers and Connexions personal adviser. or writing essays. Find out how the course enjoys languages and hopes that is taught. she will eventually be able to use her language skills in her future career. Should you take a new subject or To help plan for going into higher continue an existing one? Do you have good education, Rose researched her ● Your decisions may already be linked to organisational skills? degree options. She checked the a chosen career path as some careers entry requirements for courses ● Most courses involve deadlines. Are you require certain subjects. However, you able to organise yourself effectively to and found out what subjects were are likely to find a variety of new subjects needed. She also found out what complete and hand work in on time or do available to study after Year 11. If you are you need support with this? past Spanish degree students interested and willing to learn, you may have gone on to do after their not need previous experience. If you are courses. She found the UCAS unsure about your future career, choose website a good starting point, subjects which will give you enough Where will the course lead? as this has links to further sites breadth to make the right decisions later. ● Will the course help you to enter the and university homepages. career or higher education course you Rose also did some work experience have in mind? Find out the progression in Spain at a restaurant, which Fact bite routes. If you are undecided about your she found useful for improving her long-term ambitions, choose subjects that Learning pays off! On average a language skills and plans to do will keep your options open. young person getting five or more good some more over the summer. Rose’s GCSEs earns over £100,000 more during advice to students in Year 11 is: their lifetime than someone who leaves ‘Make sure you’ve done your research learning with qualifications below Level 2. before choosing your A levels and ask what will this subject lead to? Make sure your subject choices are realistic to your abilities.’ Visit the interactive version of It’s your choice at www.connexions-direct.com/itsyourchoice
  13. 13. What to study and where Section 3 11 Amy Now you know what you want Action point 6 Amy is currently in Year 12 and to study. You just need to decide is taking AS levels in history, ICT Many schools and colleges offer similar and photography. Amy wasn’t where you want to study. courses, so you may need to consider the sure what to do after Year 11, and following factors when deciding where ended up moving on to the school The choices are: you would like to go: sixth form mainly because most of her friends were. Halfway through ● school sixth form ● Look at the school or college Year 12, however, Amy realised prospectus and website. that she wasn’t enjoying her studies ● sixth form college ● Talk to your careers and really wanted to move on ● further education (FE) college co-ordinator/Connexions to do a more practical course. ● specialist college, for example for music personal adviser. With this in mind, Amy looked or agriculture. through the local college prospectus ● Get a list of school/college open and has applied to do a City & You may be able to study at a combination days – choose those of interest. Guilds motor vehicle course to of these. Each institution is different, so ● Attend the open days – look around train to be a mechanic. She opted you need to decide which would suit you and talk to people. for this as her Dad is a mechanic best. Further education colleges may offer a and she has already spent time greater range of qualifications, or they may ● Make more than one application to with him fixing and repairing specialise in a particular area of work. keep your options open and to give cars and enjoyed the work. you a back-up plan. Your Local 14–19 Prospectus will list all Looking back, Amy wishes she had the courses available in your area and is gone straight to college after Year 11, available online. as she has found out that learning in a more practical way suits her If you are worried about studying and better. However, she won’t have Action point 5 finances, turn to the What about money? had a wasted year as she will have section on pages 24–26. her AS level qualifications as well. Find out how to access your Local 14–19 Prospectus at If you are deciding between going W www.dcsf.gov.uk/14-19 to college and staying on at school, For more information speak to your Fact bite it’s important to explore all the Connexions personal adviser or careers options. Make sure you choose a co-ordinator. You can apply to more than one sixth course that matches the way you form or college. This will give you more learn best and choose a subject that My Local 14–19 Prospectus is available time to decide which one is right for you. you enjoy. Amy has learnt: ‘Don’t online at the following web address: Research your options carefully. stay on just because your friends W are – make sure it’s right for you.’
  14. 14. 12 Section 3 What to study and where Continued Ashleigh Specialist colleges Foundation degrees There are different types of specialist ● Foundation degrees are higher education Ashleigh is about to finish in the college. Some of them: qualifications and have been developed sixth form and complete her A level in partnership with employers. They will exams in ICT and philosophy. After ● offer courses in specialist subject areas, for example in horticulture, creative arts, develop the skills and knowledge that this, she plans to go to a local further employers are looking for. education college to do a Foundation music or agriculture degree in hospitality management. ● offer specialist courses to students with ● They can be studied at college, university, Ashleigh has had some experience specific, additional needs or disabilities. in the workplace or, in some cases, in this area, helping her Dad, who through distance learning. is a chef, and organising buffets for There may not be an appropriate specialist large events. She wants to continue college near your home. This would mean ● Entry requirements vary between with her education, but would like a doing a lot of travelling or living in or near institutions and across subjects, but course that is going to be practical college during the week in term time. Some Level 3 qualifications and experience and prepare her for a career path that courses are available only to people over the are often accepted. she knows she would like to follow. age of 18. ● On completion of a Foundation degree, Ashleigh researched the course by For more information, visit you can progress on to an honours degree looking at the college prospectus, W http://moneytolearn.direct.gov.uk or gain professional qualifications. going to the college open day, and W www.natspec.org.uk contacting student advisers at the college and gaining advice from her Connexions personal adviser. It is a two-year course and combines some Thinking about going into higher theory and lecture work in college education with at least a 20 week placement If you are aiming to go on to higher with an employer in the first year. education (HE), it is important to check ‘I’m a people person and I want that your chosen subjects for Years 12 to use my personal skills in a and 13 match the entry requirements of career; it’s what I’m good at. If I any HE courses that interest you. You can do well on the work placement I research this information in the directories, might even get offered a job.’ prospectuses and careers software in your Connexions Resource Centre at school. You At the end of the two years, Ashleigh can also talk to your careers co-ordinator or could move on to university and Connexions personal adviser. You can find complete an extra year to top up her lots of information on the internet. qualification to a full honours degree Visit W www.ucas.com for information or go into the workplace and progress on courses. For answers to your questions with her professional qualifications. about university life go to W www.aimhigher.ac.uk/uni4me and W www.studentuk.com
  15. 15. What to study and where Section 3 13 Action point 7 Points to consider Everyone has different priorities when choosing a school or college. By getting to know yourself better, you will get a good idea of what works for you. Think about the following points. Star (*) the points that are important to you, and then tick them off when they have been checked: The courses offered and whether they match your needs The facilities available for students and learning The opportunities for progression from the courses Knowing the teaching staff/environment The social life Easy to get to The right atmosphere for you What the exam results are like Opportunities to make new friends If you ask the right questions you will be able to check how closely each school or college matches your own priorities. Need additional help? Having a disability should not stop you learning. If you think you may need extra help at school or college, mention it at the open days, on your application forms or in interviews. For more information, see W www.direct.gov.uk/disabledpeople and W www.skill.org.uk
  16. 16. 14 Section 4 Work and learning Robert Work and learning If you are thinking about work, you should try to choose a job that offers you planned training leading to nationally recognised qualifications. Doing a job with training gives you better long-term prospects because many employers Robert is currently in Year 12 and look for workers with higher level is studying a BTEC First Diploma skills and qualifications. in Hospitality at college. He is very interested in a career in the hospitality industry and is ● Work opportunities for people with no particularly keen to train as a chef. skills or qualifications are decreasing. Possible routes for gaining work with Robert chose to study a vocational ● Qualifications can help demonstrate your training include: course at college because there are competencies and knowledge. ● Apprenticeships – where you work, earn more opportunities to do practical ● Qualifications increase your chances of and learn work. He doesn’t find written work easy, but has excellent practical skills being offered a job by an employer. ● Entry to Employment (e2e) – and felt that a vocational course would ● Qualifications give you more choice and a personalised training programme. enable him to develop these skills. give you opportunities to move around Robert is enjoying the course and has within the workplace. Other options include: learnt about preparing food, cooking and even silver service waiting: ● Gaining training and qualifications make ● self-employment – you more able to do your job effectively where you work for yourself ‘I’ve learnt a lot about working in and therefore more likely to get promoted. hospitality and we get to do quite ● studying or working abroad – a lot of practical work. The college an option for people over 18. has its own restaurants which the students work in, and this way we get really good experience. I’m not so keen on the silver service, but the cooking has been good.’ There has been theory work on the course, but Robert has had help in lessons from learning support assistants, which has made it easier to cope with. Robert plans to continue at college and is considering a BTEC National Diploma in Hospitality Supervision, or an NVQ in Professional Cookery at Level 3. He hopes eventually to have his own restaurant.
  17. 17. Work and learning Section 4 15 Ryan Apprenticeships Apprenticeships – ten facts you need to know After his GCSEs, Ryan decided 1 There are different types of Apprenticeships, depending on your experience and to continue with his studies and the opportunities in your area. completed two AS level qualifications 2 All Apprenticeships include: an NVQ at either Level 2 or 3; key skills qualifications, at his school sixth form. By the end for example working with others, problem solving and communication; a technical of Year 12, he felt that he wanted to certificate such as a BTEC or City & Guilds (in most cases); or other qualifications start earning money for himself rather according to your occupation. than continuing with academic study. 3 Apprenticeships can also be a stepping-stone to higher education courses, such as Ryan went to his Connexions personal Higher National Diplomas, Foundation degrees and many degrees. adviser in school and asked about the Apprenticeship route, where he could 4 There are no set entry requirements for Apprenticeships. However, for some more learn, work towards qualifications technical Apprenticeships you may need GCSE grades A*-C in mathematics, English and earn money at the same time. and science. You need to be living in England, aged 16–24 and not in full-time Having previously completed and education. enjoyed some work experience at a local hair salon, Ryan investigated 5 Apprenticeships usually last between 12 and 24 months, depending on your ability this as an Apprenticeship option. and your employer’s needs. Some Apprenticeships can last several years. ‘I spoke to my Connexions personal 6 You will get on-the-job training from your employer and will also spend time with adviser and some of my teachers, a learning provider. Your Apprenticeship will include anything from 100 to 1,000 who gave me lots of help. I hours of study, depending on your occupation. contacted the salon where I did my Year 10 work experience and 7 Earnings vary, but if you are employed and on a Learning and Skills Council (LSC) they offered me a trainee position funded Apprenticeship in England, you must receive a minimum income of £80 per where I could learn on the job week. You will also be laying down a great foundation for your future. and get a nationally recognised 8 You will receive at least 20 days’ holiday a year. qualification at the same time.’ 9 There are two ways to apply for an Apprenticeship. You can approach (or send your Ryan says that the Apprenticeship CV to) an employer who takes on Apprentices and see if they are willing to accept route really suited him. He you. Alternatively, you can apply through local and national training providers enjoyed learning in a more who will try to match you with an employer. Your Connexions personal adviser can practical way and now has a skill provide you with a list of contacts. that he can take anywhere. ‘I am a junior hair stylist now and I’ve 10 You may have to attend interviews and/or take tests before you are accepted for got my NVQ Level 2 in Hairdressing. an Apprenticeship. It’s a great skill to have. I can even earn a bit of extra money doing To find out more, talk to your careers co-ordinator or Connexions personal adviser. my friends’ and family’s hair!’ Call T 08000 150 600 or visit W www.apprenticeships.org.uk
  18. 18. 16 Section 4 Work and learning Continued Sam When Sam left school he didn’t know what he wanted to do: ‘I had no motivation and everyone just kept on at me to do something, but I had no idea what.’ Sam’s Mum eventually persuaded him to go to his local Connexions centre, where he spoke to a personal adviser about Entry to Employment (e2e). He started the programme and felt better for getting back into a regular routine. ‘It was fun. I got to mix with people my own age again and I was more willing to do things because it was my choice to go.’ On e2e, Sam worked towards Entry to Employment (e2e) ● e2e is a way for you to try different areas improving his mathematics and of work. English, as well as his personal and If you know that you want to gain work with training, but you don’t feel quite ready to take ● It is a programme that could lead you social skills. He had practical sessions, such as drama-based workshops, into employment with training, an the Apprenticeship or job-search routes, then to help improve self-esteem. Apprenticeship or further education. Entry to Employment (e2e) could be just what The tutors were very supportive and you need. ● There may be some financial help available helped him think about going to for people on e2e. college. He wanted to do something ● e2e is a flexible programme tailored to practical and was interested in your individual needs. It includes team- manufacturing and design. Now To find out more, talk to your Connexions building, job-search skills, career guidance, Sam is in his first year of an NVQ personal adviser or visit help with gaining and maintaining a job, Level 1 in Engineering at college and motivation and key skills. W www.connexions-direct.com plans to get an Apprenticeship in welding and fabrication afterwards. ● It helps develop your skills and build your ‘I would recommend e2e to confidence to help you to prepare for the anyone who is not sure what they world of work. want to do. Don’t stop working and don’t let yourself get into Look at the jobs4u careers database at the trap of doing nothing.’ W www.connexions-direct.com/jobs4u
  19. 19. Work and learning Section 4 17 Studying or working abroad Once you are 18, there are opportunities to study abroad. If you are keen to plan ahead, contact Connect Youth on T 020 7389 4030 and see W www.britishcouncil.org/ connectyouth.htm for details of international student exchanges. Eurodesk has information on funding opportunities for study overseas on T 0131 313 2488 and W www.eurodesk.org.uk Still looking ahead, there may be opportunities to work abroad when you are older. Visit W www.careerseurope.co.uk for more information. Check W http://europa.eu.int for job vacancies in Europe and W www.citizens.eu.org for information on European countries. Action point 8 Time Off for Study and Training (TfST) Things to do next checklist: If you have found a job that doesn’t offer training, you could qualify Do I have any useful contacts? for Time Off for Study and Training (TfST). If you are 16 or 17, did not get any Level 2 qualifications★ at school and are not in full- time education, you are entitled to reasonable paid time off during normal working hours to study or train for an approved qualification. This must be a Level 2 qualification that will improve your future employment prospects. Who are they? Find out more at your local Connexions centre or visit W www.connexions-direct.com ★ This means: ● GCSEs at grades A*-C How can they help me? ● an NVQ Level 2 ● certain other qualifications, for example BTEC First Diploma. Self-employment What shall I do next? You may be thinking that you would like to become self-employed (work for yourself). This is fairly unusual for school leavers. You will need a great business idea and must be prepared to work hard. Your school may offer enterprise workshops or the chance for you to take on a project or set up and run your own real company at school. Your school may also offer opportunities to get involved in national projects, such as Young Enterprise W www.young- enterprise.org.uk, YoungBiz W www.youngbizuk.co.uk and Shell LiveWIRE W www.shell-livewire.org Help is available through local Education Business Partnerships – find yours through W www.nebpn.org/aboutus.htm Help is available through Business Link on T 0845 600 9006 or W www.businesslink.gov.uk. As well as offering training in the business skills you will need, they can link you with lots of useful contacts. Help is also available from The Prince’s Trust on T 0800 842 842 and W www.princes-trust.org.uk. The Make Your Mark Challenge is a national online enterprise challenge – see W www.enterpriseweek.org
  20. 20. 18 Section 5 Applications and interviews Applications and interviews CV writing CV stands for Curriculum Vitae. A CV is a brief description of what you offer in the way of skills, qualifications and interests, and gives the employer an overall picture of you as a potential employee. CVs usually include: ● Personal details: name, address, telephone number and a sensible e-mail address. ● Personal profile: a couple of sentences that summarise you, for example, ‘A hard-working, responsible person, who…’. ● Education: names of the schools that you have attended. Write the most recent first. ● Qualifications: titles and grades of all courses taken. ● Work experience: name of employer(s), dates of work and a brief description of duties. ● Interests and hobbies. ● References: two people who know you (not relatives), who can Whether you are applying for a college course, describe you honestly and hopefully positively. training course or for a job, you will need to think how to go about filling out an application form, Letter of application writing a CV or preparing for an interview. This As with any letter you may write, the format is as follows: section offers you information and useful tips. ● Introductory paragraph: you introduce yourself and your reason for writing (to tell the employer that you have sent them your CV Job searching or application form). ● If you are looking for a job the best place to start is your local ● Middle (or development) paragraphs: you tell the employer why Connexions centre. They will be able to tell you about any you want the job, some information about yourself and what you vacancies specifically for school leavers. You can talk to a could bring to the job. Connexions personal adviser. ● Last (or concluding) paragraph: you explain any actions that ● It is also a good idea to check the jobs pages of you have made or would like to request, for example, ‘I have your local newspapers. enclosed my CV’ or ‘I would be grateful if you could send me an application form’. ● You can search the websites of individual companies or organisations to see if they are advertising any vacancies. There are also general job-search websites on the internet. ● You could also try the speculative approach. This involves writing directly to employers when no job has been advertised. You need to send in your CV with a covering letter to the human Visit the interactive version of It’s your choice at resources department, asking if there are any vacancies. Many www.connexions-direct.com/itsyourchoice companies do not respond to this approach.
  21. 21. Applications and interviews Section 5 19 Action point 9 Imagine you are completing a letter of application and a CV. Fill in the dotted areas here and overleaf with your own ideas. Your address Date Mrs Davis The Manager H. Sons Ltd 43 Sandy Lane Hammerhill Leicestershire LE10 8SD Dear Mrs Davis, Re: The post of Ha mmerhill Mail on 14 June. which was adver tised in the post of I am writing to apply for the post because I am ver y interested in this because I enjoy I think I would be suitable you could I would be ver y grateful if m you. I look for ward to hearing fro Yours sincerely, [Your signature] [Print your name]
  22. 22. 20 Section 5 Applications and interviews Continued Action point 9 (continued) CURRICULUM VITAE Name: Address: Telephone number: E-mail : PERSONAL PROFILE : EDUC ATION: [Name of school] [Grade] QUALIFICATIONS : [Grade] [Subject] [Subject] WORK EXPERIENCE: INTERESTS: REFERENCES : 1 2
  23. 23. Applications and interviews Section 5 21 Completing application forms Interviews ● Application forms are given to prospective employees so that Going for a work or college interview gives you a chance to meet an everybody answers the same questions. The employers will judge admissions tutor or employer face-to-face. The interviewer has the whether your answers fit with their organisation. opportunity to talk to you and decide how well you will fit in, and ● Complete the application form in pencil first to avoid mistakes, or you will be encouraged to ask any questions you may have. It will practise on a photocopy first. help if you follow these steps. ● Think carefully about what you are being asked and make sure you answer the questions fully and truthfully. Before you go for the interview: ● Always write clearly, neatly and in black ink. Return it by the ● Boost your confidence by preparing well. Find out about the closing date. organisation or college. Read any information they have sent you and look at their website. ● Keep a copy of the completed form, so that you can re-read it before you go to the interviews. ● Plan how you are going to get to the interview to make sure you can arrive in plenty of time. ● If you are sending in supporting evidence, like a CV, make sure all the pages are clipped together securely. ● Think about the questions that you would like to ask them – don’t forget, it is your chance to see if you like them too! ● Plan what you will wear and make an effort to look smart. ● Some employers and colleges may ask to see examples of your Fact bite work. Take time to prepare a well-presented portfolio which you can take to the interview. On average, recruiters take less than half a minute to look ● Think about your health and safety. Always tell somebody at each CV. Make sure you make a good impact with a well- where you are going. Never agree to meet anyone who suggests presented and informative CV. holding the interview in their car or a café. During the interview: ● Sit up straight and make sure you give the interviewer/s lots of Hot tip eye contact. ● Smile and be polite. It is important to make a good impression Find out more about writing CVs, filling out application forms on everyone you meet. and searching for jobs in the Work and Training ● Listen carefully to what you are being asked and then think section of your school’s Connexions Resource Centre and at before you answer. ● Always tell the truth. W www.connexions-direct.com ● If you need to sit an aptitude test during your interview, you should be told of this in advance.
  24. 24. 22 Section 6 Experience needed Ryan Experience needed Lots of employers are looking for You can also try work shadowing (being workers with relevant experience. alongside someone while they are doing a specific role). Try to find contacts through Relevant experience is also required family and friends. to get a place on some higher Part-time or holiday work education courses. Getting a part-time job or holiday work will build your employability skills. Sometimes Most schools organise work experience they can even lead to permanent jobs. in Year 10 or 11, often with the help of Ryan is currently studying a BTEC outside agencies. Your school, probably with Voluntary work First Diploma in Health and Social outside expert help, will make sure that your There are many ways in which you could do Care. As part of the course he placement is safe, and will probably help to voluntary work, some of which may offer recently undertook a period of find a suitable business for you. opportunities for accreditation. work experience at a residential care home for the elderly. Ryan was The benefits of experience: ● Vinspired – helps people aged 16–25 already interested in a career in ● it gives you an insight into the world of work to find volunteering opportunities. Visit the care sector, but was undecided ● it enables you to ‘taste’ different work areas W www.vinspired.com which job he would like to do: ● it gives a positive message to future ● The Prince’s Trust – runs a range of ‘I had done some work experience at employers about you, especially if you programmes for people aged 14–30 and a nursery in Year 10 which I enjoyed, have gained encouraging reports aims to build confidence, motivation and but on the course we had been ● it may help you to make decisions team-building skills. Courses last between learning about working with the about your future one and six months, locally and further elderly and I thought this sounded afield. Call T 0800 842 842 or visit ● you gain transferable skills good as well. I decided to try it out.’ W www.princes-trust.org.uk ● you gain an understanding of the expectations Ryan spent a very successful few when you are working with others. ● The Duke of Edinburgh’s Award – weeks at the residential home and is for people aged 14–25 and offers three But how do you get experience? levels of award: bronze, silver and gold. his employer was impressed with Speak to your school staff member who his attitude. He received a very The award is split into service and skills. organises work experience, your careers Visit W www.theaward.org good report and it confirmed his co-ordinator or Connexions personal adviser. interest in working with the elderly: ● Youth Parliament – is aimed at people ‘I’m really pleased I did the work Work experience aged 11–18, has over 300 elected experience. Now I know what the Although you probably won’t get paid, the members and works just like the real work is like and what’s involved. new skills you gain and new contacts you parliament. Your views could be heard I enjoyed it and it made me think make will be very valuable to you when you by politicians and organisations. Visit I’d like to do it as a career.’ are applying for work or for a college place in W www.ukyouthparliament.org.uk the future. This is less common for school leavers, but at Ryan is now planning to apply for an Apprenticeship in a residential 18 some students have a gap year before home when he leaves sixth form and moving into higher education. This means he will continue his training on the taking a year off to study, work or travel, job. Having some experience of the Hot tip at home or abroad, before beginning their work will be regarded very positively higher education course. You can find out Keep any information you have about by employers and should help him more at your local Connexions centre your work experience – reports, dates, to find a suitable placement. or visit W www.yearoutgroup.org or letters about your performance, etc. You could use these in your portfolio or when W www.connexions-direct.com you write your CV.
  25. 25. Work in a changing world Section 7 23 Keelan Work in a changing world The world of work is in a constant ● Gain Level 2 qualifications, if you haven’t and rapid state of change. already done so, to improve your chances to progress at work. Developments in technology and business practices, and changes in ● Have a good work ethic and have key work skills, for example, be committed, the labour market, mean that the reliable, punctual, polite and smart. Also, way we work is changing. be willing to work as a team member and to accept instructions. When you join the world of work, Keelan is interested in a career in you will need to: ● Develop good communication skills and sport and is keen on coaching. He is customer awareness. currently studying BTEC First Diplomas ● Continually keep your skills and Lifelong learning in both Sport and Leisure and Tourism. knowledge up to date. The best way to deal with change is to carry Keelan has a hearing impairment ● Be prepared to develop and offer on improving your knowledge and developing and uses hearing aids. He is employers a range of skills, rather than your skills throughout your life – learning very determined and has never just one or two. doesn’t end when you leave school! This is allowed his difficulties to affect called lifelong learning. his plans. He participates in a ● Be flexible in your working arrangements – this could involve working part time or wide range of sports and is a Hot tip keen football and cricket player. with part-time workers, home-working, self-employment and working around You may find it useful to create a Keelan has undertaken work other commitments. portfolio of evidence – a folder experience. In Year 10 he spent time of evidence that you can show to working at a local primary school ● Develop good IT skills, not only because teaching physical education and employers/tutors at interviews. This of the importance of e-mail and use of was so successful that he received could include certificates, references/ the internet, but also for things such as a local award for Achievement in testimonials (written reports about you), e-conferencing, and e-learning. Work Experience. He has worked examples of work and letters written to congratulate or thank you. in a hotel as part of his leisure and tourism course, and also helps to coach younger students in football. Action point 10 He is currently working towards his Community Sports Leadership Award. What do you think employers are looking for in an employee? ‘I have enjoyed all the work Write some of your thoughts here: experience placements I’ve had. I found it useful to learn more about the job, to see if I’d like to do it in the future. I like working with younger students and have decided I would What could you offer an employer? like to do coaching as a career.’ Keelan plans to progress on to the BTEC National Diploma in Sport next year. He plans to continue coaching and will undertake further work experience in Year 13.
  26. 26. 24 Section 8 What about money? Anna What about money? Having considered all your options, ● Available to help you to buy course-related you now need to turn your attention equipment, pay for travel costs and other on-going expenses. to money! ● Paid directly into your bank account, The National Minimum Wage is very during term time. important because it is a set of laws which ● Awarded if you fulfil the income criteria are in place to protect nearly all people who and are doing, or applying to do, at least work. It sets rates per hour worked and 12 hours of guided learning each week on Anna is approaching the end of Year employers are not allowed to pay below one of the programmes mentioned above. 13 and is studying A levels in biology, these rates. geography and ICT. She plans to ● Awarded for the length of your course move on to university after this to From October 2007, the national minimum – two to three years. In return, you must study conservation and ecology, wage rate for 16–17 year olds is £3.40 per demonstrate a commitment to your as she would like a career that is hour; for 18–21 year olds it is £4.60 per course/training programme, by regular based on geographical sciences. hour. The minimum wage does not apply to attendance and fulfilling all the course Apprentices under 19 and their pay can vary deadlines. Throughout Years 12 and 13 Anna (see page 15). has benefited from receiving ● Able to reward your commitment with a full Education Maintenance bonus payments. Allowance (EMA) of £30 a week, which provided financial support Education Maintenance For information, visit during her two years of study. Allowance (EMA) W www.direct.gov.uk ‘Having an EMA has helped me with If you decide to stay on in full-time transport costs as well as paying for education or training, or join an e2e course textbooks and extra revision aids.’ or a Programme Led Pathways learning Not only does Anna receive £30 programme that leads to an Apprenticeship, a week, but she also gets bonus you may be eligible for an Education payments for attendance and Maintenance Allowance (EMA). The EMA is: achievement in her subjects, ● A weekly payment of up to £30 per week. which she feels has helped her commitment too. ● Awarded dependent upon your household income, which has to be less than £30,810 ‘EMA provides me with that a year. extra bit of motivation to attend all my lessons; I also see it as ● Awarded to about half of all 16 year olds a sufficient reward for all my in the UK who are continuing in full-time hard work and studying.’ education or training. If you are worried about money and are eligible, an EMA may be able to help you out. Not only can it motivate you, but it can also provide much Hot tip needed financial support for things You will need a bank account because like books and travel, enabling you to your EMA is paid directly into your continue in education after Year 11. account.

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