Request Live Advice

  • Full Name
  • Email Address
  • Message

Worried about your grades?

If you aren’t taking GCSEs, think you’ll get low grades or don’t know what you want to do next, colleges and training providers offer several options.


Available through colleges and Training Providers, traineeships help you build the skills you need to start your career.  Traineeships last up to 6 months and include work experience, work preparation training and maths and English help.

Find out more at:

Get In Go Far 

College courses

Colleges offer Level 1 or Foundation level courses which do not ask for GCSE grades.  These are designed to help you build the skills, experience and qualifications you will need for moving on to a higher level course or to an apprenticeship.

They all include maths and English and often cover ICT, work experience, study skills, confidence building and employability skills.

These can be in a particular job area such as Business, Construction, Public Services or Health & Social Care.

Or some give you the opportunity to try a number of different job areas if you are not sure what you want to do.

Special Educational Needs and Disabilities (SEND)

Colleges offer a range of courses for students with additional needs.  It is important to find the one which is right for you, so contact the Special Needs department at the college to get advice and arrange to visit and look around. 

Example College Courses

Here are some examples of courses aimed at school leavers who need to improve their qualifications or who have learning difficulties or additional needs:

Bournemouth & Poole College

  • Step up to College - build your employability skills and try different subjects to enable you to progress onto an apprenticeship or another course at The College to boost your job prospects.
  • Level 1 Route to Business, Leisure & Creative Studies – try out different vocational routes whilst developing work, study and life skills.
  • Engineering, Marine & Motor Vehicle Level 1 Routes Programme – introductory level course in Engineering and Motor Vehicle.

Weymouth College

  • New Directions – Certificate in Skills for Employment, Training & Personal Development, Level 1 - a range of vocational tasters to experience other courses and help you to decide your career path and the opportunity to do work experience.
  • Childcare CACHE Level 1 Certificate - learn basic skills in caring for children and start your career in this industry.
  • Routes into Art, Level 1 – develop basic skills in art to start your career.

Kingston Maurward College

  • Diploma in Skills for Working Life – the course for you if you love working with animals and the countryside, driving tractors, growing plants or outdoor sport
  • Level 1 – Practical Animal Care - develop knowledge and practical skills by working with a wide range of animal species.
  • Level 1 – Practical Horticulture Skills - learn new skills and develop knowledge of the world of horticulture.