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Careers Information, Advice and Guidance

Careers guidance is available to all NTS students from home or at school.

NTS Careers Plan 2022 – 2025 (Read Here)

Preparing our pupils and sixth-formers for their future career is very important to us.  Our provision includes all manner of things from assemblies hosted by employers, work ready days, and work experience assistance to career and enterprise opportunities.  We will continue to strengthen our relationships with both local and national employers and we had input from over thirty businesses last year. Despite the challenges of Covid 19 we are fully committed to Our Careers Plan with some alternative delivery styles.

Our careers programme is designed to ensure that all pupils and sixth-formers understand the full range of learning opportunities and career pathways that are available to them. This includes both academic and vocational routes, learning in schools, colleges, universities and in the workplace.

We encourage our parents, carers and their children to look at the relevant year group careers programme below, clicking on the appropriate year link.  We want to ensure every pupil from Year 7 onwards has access to the information, advice and guidance they need to secure the right future for them.

We also have individual personal guidance sessions available focusing on Years 9 and 11 pupils and our sixth-formers, however, any pupil is welcome to make an appointment.

Our online Careers Resource START is for all our pupils to use anytime at school or at home on a PC, tablet or phone.  It is designed to connect 11-18 year olds with their future career potential. It combines a comprehensive source of information with a personalised experience and career planning tools, helping pupils and sixth-formers  make a more informed decision about future study, as well as understand work, industry and career goals.  Each pupil and sixth-former has a unique log-on address.  We will record any guidance information, and upload action plans, upcoming events, and events attended in pupils’ and sixth-formers ‘virtual lockers’.

Inspira is still able to support young people with careers information advice and guidance. Please click on this link to view the details.

The following link also provides useful sources of independent advice: National Careers Service

We are delighted to continue working with all our local and any national providers who we invite into school to talk about Post 16 & Post 18 options and pathways available to our pupils and Sixth-Formers.

PUPILS & SIXTH-FORMERS: For help finding out about careers, or making choices about your future, please contact the Careers Leader, Mrs Mullarkey, or your Form Tutor to arrange a personal guidance session. Before any personal guidance interview, we expect you to have completed the ‘About Me’ and ‘My Activities’ on your START profile.  This is to ensure we have up-to-date and relevant information about you, before starting our session.

PARENTS AND CARERS: If you have any queries about your child’s career options, pathways or choices, please feel free to contact the Careers Leader, Mrs Mullarkey, at Parents’ Evenings.  We invite past students to talk to our current pupils and sixth-formers about moving on, careers choices and life experiences since leaving NTS.  However, if any parents, friends or employers are willing to give up 15 minutes of their time to talk to a group of children or deliver a workshop based on their career or profession we’d love to hear from you!

EMPLOYERS & COMMUNITY: We really appreciate the support of employers who are already working with us, and are always looking to engage with employers.  There are a number of ways you can get involved, including offers of meaningful work experiences or take part in our Annual Year 10 Work Ready in July of each year.  If you would like more information please contact Mrs Mullarkey directly:

Mrs J Mullarkey tel 016973 42160, extension 250 or email at: or follow our LinkedIn page

The Government’s careers strategy aims to ensure that all young people in secondary education get a programme of advice and guidance that is stable, structured and delivered by individuals with the right skills and experience.

At NTS we use the Gatsby Benchmarks to measure the quality of our provision. For further information on these please follow the link: Gatsby Benchmarks link

It is important to us, that we listen to our pupils, community, parents, teachers and employers to ensure we are providing the information both wanted and needed by our pupils.  We will continually monitor and evaluate our Careers Programme and develop it further, based upon the feedback we receive from all of our stakeholders.

We particularly welcome parents and pupils from Year 13 to follow us on Linkedin.












Startprofile link


A great way to spend some time spare is to start doing some research, into yourself, your skills, your ambitions and find out the real information about what your future may look like. Find out what pathways Post 16 & Post 18 may take you there such as GCSE’s, A levels, T levels, Further Education College, Apprenticeships or University.

START enables you to do all of this in one place. Based on your likes and dislikes START can help you make your future decisions and learn about the future job market, to the education and qualifications you may need to succeed.  Each role will give you top tips in how to reach your goals.

Check your locker for some links to great opportunities such as Virtual Work Experience, and links to local Further Education providers or any certificates you may have such as attendance or hobbies and keep them all in one place.

Experiences such as using Skill-Builder and integrated Virtual Work Experiences and Digital Skills.  You will be able to both rate your skills and the activities you will be taking part in.  By recording your skills and learning START will even help create your CV.

If you have any issues logging into START please contact Mrs Mullarkey on

START Activities To Be Completed









Post -16 Bitesize Choices Guide – Pupil

Post – 16  START Choices Guide –  Parent

Post -16 Options Careers Leaflet

Follow the link to view our Provider Access policy and Careers policy

Follow the link for information about Cumbria’s economy and labour market Labour Market Briefing – current version.

Follow to link the Cumbria Careers Hub link

Check out the review of our 2018-2021 Careers Plan here.

Year 10 – Work Experience

Please find below information regarding Year 10 Work Experience opportunities which pupils have been shown in a recent assembly

Work Experience PowerPoint

Work Experience Request Form


Virtual Work Experience Programme (VWEX)

As we move into new ways of delivering our careers programme, the following guide for Virtual Work Experience opportunities is attached with many opportunities in more diverse areas of industry are available.   Please note some Work Experience opportunities are a paid service so please ensure you read the information carefully.

Some of these organisations offer amazing insight days and work experience across the UK.  These include Disney, Cisco, Santander, the Bank of England, the NHS, Marie Curie etc.

Most opportunities are for young people (aged 14-19) from across the UK to undertake structured, interactive work experience placements with prestigious employers remotely (at school or home) however some are available from age 16 upwards depending on the subject.

Barclays Life Skills link

VWEX – Speakers for school link

Virtual Internships | Learn from real work – Forage (

Work Experience Programmes 2023


For parents and carers:

Options post 16 (Y11)

It’s never too early for parents to start considering what choices are available for their teens after GCSE. Do they know what further qualifications their teen could take and whether staying at school, going to college or entering the workplace could be the best choice?

The Parent Guide to National Careers Week 2023

What are your teen’s options after GCSE?

Link to a Parents’ Toolkit for career conversation

​The Parents’ Guide to T Levels – free download (Y11):

T Levels are an exciting new option in sixth form education that provide a recognized qualification tailored to industry needs and skills. It’s a great choice for students that want to learn practical skills relevant to certain jobs, regardless of whether they want to go on to study for a degree, take alternative further education or go straight into the workplace after sixth form.

Because they were only introduced in 2020, parents might be unsure about why T Levels are a valuable option to consider, so we’ve summarized everything in our guide, including:

  • What’s involved with studying T Levels and where it might lead afterwards
  • The subject choices available as of 2022
  • What they’ll learn in the course
  • The qualifications needed to take them
  • The Transition Programme for those struggling to meet minimum entry requirements
  • The industry placement
  • A summary of alternative options if T Levels are not right for them


Apprenticeships (Y11/Y13)

Whether it’s after GCSE or sixth form, apprenticeships are well worth considering but some parents have concerns that these workplace education programmes are a second-rate option for their child. This is not the case.

Link to explain school leaving age – GOV.UK website

At Nelson Thomlinson School 2021-2022 destinations information shows us to just under 9% of our Year 11 leavers entered into an apprenticeship upon leaving school. This is almost three times the national average!  This is a phenomenal achievement in an employment sector that is both competitive and most apprenticeship roles attract a high volume of applications.   We had several apprenticeship providers into school in September 2022-March 2023 to inspire pupils including Gen2 The British Army and System People.

By working together with potential leavers, including regularly reviewing their career interview action plans, we can help guide pupils to become application ready.  Please encourage your child to attend Futures Club which runs one lunchtime per week from October to Easter every year.


Key Stage 3-4

  • Explore the world of STEM  a selection of free online resources available from Learn by Design  for all to use, to help explore the world of STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Maths).

Key Stage 4-5

Key Stage 5


The school will review the careers information published in September 2024