Careers Service & Work Experience

At Saint Paul’s Catholic High School we work hard to ensure that all our students have the opportunity to make informed decisions about their future. We do this through a programme of activities which will help you to choose the 14-19 pathways best suited to your individual aspirations and by developing the skills which will enable you to manage a lifelong career.

We provide a programme of Careers Education, Information, Advice and Guidance (CEIAG) for all students (Years 8-11) in partnership with Our Futures and other outside agencies.

Saint Paul’s has a comprehensive Careers policy which can be found in our policies section here

During Futures fortnight, our students had access to large companies, organisations and industries to support them with their unique careers journey:

  • A stable careers programme
  • Learning from career and labour market information
  • Addressing the needs of each pupil
  • Linking curriculum learning to careers
  • Encounters with employers and employees
  • Experiences of workplace
  • Encounters with further and higher education
  • Personal guidance


The Careers Service in school is overseen by the Assistant Head responsible for CEIAG and delivered by a team of teaching and support staff alongside Sue Walton, an independent Careers Adviser who works for Our Futures.

Where to find us

The Careers Office is located on the first floor in the Library.

Our Futures is the company providing careers advice and work experience placements for our school. They are an exciting and new local social enterprise delivering high quality careers advice and transition support to schools across Manchester. One-to-one guidance appointments are available during the school day and by agreement with teaching staff in the Key Stage 3 and 4.

The Career Adviser works in school on Wednesdays and Thursdays meeting Year 10s and 11 for 1-2-1 Careers Guidance appointments. During the appointment students work with the Careers Adviser and agree ‘actions’ to do at home, to progress their careers ideas and these are written up in an individual ‘Careers Action Plan’. If students have lost their copy, a new print out can be obtained from the Careers Adviser. ‘Lunch time Drop in’ is for any students with queries. You can find the Careers Adviser in the school’s Library Office.

Year 8 Options Choices

Students are supported throughout the options process through assemblies, talks, option evenings, and option booklets. All Year 8 students are invited at the start of the year to an Expectations Evening where they are provided with further information about future options. Here students and parents can access guidance from Our Futures and university guidance.

Careers Fair

A careers fair is held every year at school where students are able to talk to local employers, colleges, training and apprenticeship providers. This event is aimed at Years 7 – 10 who visit during class time.

Services and Information

Careers Guidance Service in school is provided by the company Our Futures by a qualified and experienced Careers Adviser called Sue Walton, who has been with Saint Paul’s since 2013. All Year 11s have at least one private careers appointment and are welcome to use lunch time drop in for quick queries.

The Careers Adviser (Sue) works closely with Heads of Year, the SEN team, subject teachers and many parents and carers. The Careers Adviser is more than happy to email, speak on the phone or meet with parents and carers to discuss their student’s career.

In Year 11 all students are supported with applying for colleges and apprenticeships through guidance from the Careers Adviser and Year 11 tutors. Each year Xaverian, Loreto, Trafford and Manchester College are invited into school to provide Year 11 with an assembly about their college, courses, applying, student life and extra- curricular activities. Preparing our students includes careers activities in the spring and summer term of Year 10.

Careers Resources:

National Careers Service – A government website with 800 Job Profiles – Click Here

Looking around ‘Job families’ widens awareness of jobs related to the career or subjects that interest you. For example if PE teacher interests you look around the job profiles in Sport, Leisure and Tourism – are Sports Development Office, Sports and Exercise Psychologist jobs you’d heard of before?

Careersbox – The national online careers film and video library. Real people, real jobs to help young people, students, teachers, career professionals, influencers.- Click Here

Future Morph – Website to promote careers in STEM industries (Science, Technology, Engineering and Maths) subjects. There ‘skills gaps’ (lots of jobs available) in many job areas where these subjects are essential. If your academic talent and passion is with STEM subjects, let your curiosity explore careers and activities on this website. Click Here

Lots of information on the 100s of careers in NHS – both clinical and business related is available Here

Icloud- Is a website featuring a fun personality quiz matches your personality and outlook on life against different potential job areas / professions. Click Here

University – Looking ahead to the choice of University degrees, what’s involved and entry requirements (which A levels, are BTECs accepted) is very useful for many year 11s as they make post 16 choices.

UCAS – course search: all university degrees are applied to through UCAS and it provides an excellent research tool. Universities are more than happy to speak to year 10s and 11s about A level and BTEC choices and often speaking to someone can get a lot more information than reading ‘Entry Requirements’ on the website.

The Russell Group is made up of the most prestigious and competitive Universities in the UK. They have written a comprehensive guide about A level choices. Pupils predicted grades A and B at GCSE would find this most relevant. Click Here

Careersbox – the national online careers film and video library. Real people, real jobs to help young people, students, teachers, career professionals, influencers. Click Here

Future Moroph – Government website to promote careers using STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Maths) subjects. There ‘skills gaps’ or lots of jobs available in many job areas where these subjects are essential. If your academic talent and passion is with STEM subjects, let your curiosity explore careers and activities on this website. Click Here

Options after Saint Paul’s:


The most popular option. Start now and look online at course contents, extra-curricular activities, news items to get a feel for what goes on there.

Colleges prospectuses in the careers section of the library. The main colleges for us are Loreto, Xaverian, The Manchester College, Trafford College. Small numbers have progressed onto Manchester Enterprise Academy, Aquinas, Cheadle and Marple, Sale Grammar, Whalley Range Sixth Form and Stockport College in recent years.

See colleges’ websites to read course contents and GCSE entry requirements and dates for open events. The sixth forms generally only have open event in Autumn Term. Other colleges havea number of the events during the year – starting visits with family in Year 10 is a great idea. A list of open events is posted in the Autumn Term.

Year 10s are invited to visit Loreto, Xaverian or The Manchester College in July to a selection of subjects.

College Applications

All Year 11s are advised to visit at least two colleges, and with a family member. All students are guided to apply for two colleges and if applying for A levels or BTEC Level 3 to complete a Personal Statement. support is provided by Year 11 Progress Leader, Tutors, Careers Adviser and Career Coordinator.

Saint Paul’s deadline for applications is the beginning of December.


Get In Go Far – Is the new Government website for Apprenticeships. Click Here

Understanding the Apprenticeships you’d like by researching is essential but it’s not available on this Apprenticeship – use The National Careers Service. But a lot can be learnt from looking up real, live vacancies to see who the company is, what they do, where they are, how much is paid, entry requirements (they’ll differ for the same job as it’s up to the employer to decide what they’re looking for). Look for July onwards start date in the advert which will be a sign the employer is happy to take on school or college leavers. The majority of vacancies come out in the summer around exam time. Click Here

UCAS and iCould websites have useful tips for finding an apprenticeship.


Work Experience

Saint Paul’s organises a one week work experience for Year 10s in the summer. Students are encouraged to find their own placements, often with the help of family and friends. Our Futures is the company which organises safety checks and any work placements for Year 10s that haven’t found their own.

We encourage our students to think about finding additional opportunities to volunteer, ‘work shadow’ or get part time work. This requires young people to take initiative, building confidence and communication skills which are essential job hunting skills for the future.

Career Connect is the charity providing Manchester’s Targeted Youth Support Service (formerly known as Connexions until October 2015). They provide a service for young people without a secure college, training or apprenticeship place . Click Here

Parental Guidance the aim of this external website is to provide helpful information to parents and carers, many of whom feel at a loss about the best way to advise the young people in their care. The website run for parents by careers advice writers. Click Here

Funding – government information on bursaries and child benefit. Click Here

* Saint Paul’s Catholic High School is not responsible for the content of external Internet sites