What would you like to do?
Take a look below to find ideas and advice on what you need to be thinking about before you leave school. Plus find out what's the score with National Insurance.
It’s important that you have an inkling of what you want to do in the future. There’s no pressure as you can always change your mind at a later date, but you need to get into and enjoy something now. Here are a few tips to help you on the way.
- Think about what jobs or careers interest you. Your subject choices could limit your options, or direct you towards a particular area of work.
- Think about your options: going on to more education; getting a job straight away; taking time out to volunteer or travel; training for a particular trade; working for yourself.
- Talk to other people. What do parents, guidance teachers, friends, and relatives suggest? What are their experiences?
- Speak to your Careers Adviser. They can help you draw up a Career Action Plan. You could also complete an interest guide to see what might suit your personality, and find out what can you do with your qualifications.
- Start looking for a job before you leave school. Lots of employers and colleges start to recruit well before you sit your final exams. See what’s out there. It may even give you more ideas.
Getting ready to leave school
Thinking about your future after you leave school? This Enquire guide gives you questions to think about and suggests people you can talk to. It also explains what your school may be able to do to help you get ready to leave. At the back you'll find a helpful directory of organisations who can help you with jobs, volunteering, benefits and more.
Your National Insurance card
Just before you are 16 you should receive, in the post, a small plastic card with your National Insurance number (NINO). This is your own personal number for paying National Insurance or claiming social security benefits. Check all the details on the card, and any paperwork that comes with it. If they are not correct, tell your Jobcentre Plus local office, who will change them.
It is important to give your employer your NI number as soon as you start work. Then all your NI contributions and credits can be put on record. If your employer does not have the right number for you, this can affect your contributions record and delay payment of any benefits in the future.
If you do not receive your National Insurance card before your 16th birthday then you must apply for one before you start working or as soon as you or a partner starts to claim benefits.
Visit DirectGov to learn more about what National Insurance is and how to get your card.
After you have left school
If you are leaving school and don’t have a job, get in touch with your local Skills Development Scotland centre. Take your National Insurance card with you. You can get information and advice about your options for employment, training and further education.
Visit DirectGov for information on subjects including jobs, training and benefits.
Skills Development Scotland
- finding job vacancies.
- learning and training opportunities.
- information about the labour market.
- advice and guidance on career plans.
- developing skills to increase job prospects.
- links to other agencies.
More help and information
To find your local centre, contact Skills Development Scotland by phoning: 0845 8 502 502. Visit the My World of Work resource for help on identifying skills, writing CV's an more.