Financial and other support
If your child lives in England and is 19 or over (or 18 or over if a Jobcentre Plus customer) the National Careers Service can arrange a face-to-face appointment with a careers adviser. Jobcentre Plus will have details of the local Jobcentre, information on benefits and a link to Find a Job where they can search for full and part-time jobs in Great Britain and abroad.
In Northern Ireland, the Careers Service offers impartial information and guidance. Their services can be accessed online, by phone, or there are a number of local offices that can provide advice in person.
In Wales, Careers Wales provides all-age support with identifying next steps, finding courses, training or apprenticeship opportunities and searching job vacancies. Advice can be given over the phone, via webchat, email or in person at one of the regional offices.
It’s not uncommon for young people to take a gap year once they turn 18, while they assess their next move. University or college start dates can be deferred and as long as the time is filled with travel or work experience, most employers regard a gap year as a positive addition to a CV. Volunteering, either at home or abroad, can be a good way to gain work experience during a gap year.
There is lots of financial help available to help with the cost of continuing in education after the age of 18, from student loans to bursaries and grants awarded by education institutions themselves. If your child is a 19+ continuer (continuing on a course they started between the age of 16–18) they may also be eligible for the 16 to 19 Bursary Fund in England.
There’s more information on student finance available here, including an eligibility checker for the whole of the UK.