What next for me?

Find out more by selecting the options below...

» Apprenticeships

An apprenticeship offers an excellent way of gaining both a qualification and valuable skills and experience from the workplace. Find out more...

» Employment

Thinking about Employment? Find out more...

» GAP Years

The information below focuses on the opportunities available to you if you are thinking of taking a year out from university. Each of these information sites will help you to investigate what is on offer to you.

You may also find some useful information on the Volunteering, Working Abroad and Studying Abroad pages in this section.

    Quest Overseas

Medical opportunities with Frontier and GVI

Gain some crucial experience in the competitive field of medicine and healthcare with Frontier and GVI.   Opportunities are available worldwide and include both shorter placements and longer internships. 

Opportunities with Raleigh

Are you up to the challenge?Want to take part in an expedition but concerned about the costs, then take a look at the Raleigh Graduate Bursary Awards

The Academy of Internships Abroad

Interested in employment or a volunteer internship abroad then have a look at the website of The Academy of Internships Abroad, which contains information on a range of development programs worldwide and in a variety of industries. 

Useful websites...

Africa & Asia Venture

Aviva - volunteering in South Africa

Changing Worlds




Gap Year

Gap 360

Global Nomadic


Original Volunteers

Oyster Worldwide

Project Trust

Projects Abroad

Quest Overseas

 Raleigh    SmallerEarth

Real Gap

Ski Le Gap

SL Volunteers 

Volunteer World

Year in Industry

» Higher Education

Thinking about Higher Education? Find out more...

» Part-time and distance learning

Many courses today can be studied in a variety of ways and they often combine a range of different study methods.  This includes learning for personal interest/hobby to higher education level courses.  

Where to Look...

More information on studying a higher education course flexibly can be found on the UCAS website.  There is also lots of useful information within the How and Where to Study section which may further help you in your decision making.   

Watch the video below which shows OU students talking about signing up for a flexible course and starting their studies. 


Useful websites...

Click on the links below to find out more about the courses available from each provider. 

Cambridgeshire County Council - Adult Learning

Beds Adult Skills





International Correspondence School

Luton Adult Community Learning

Milton Keynes Community Adult Learning

NCC Home Learning




Northamptonshire Adult Learning

Open College of the Arts

St Neots Adult and Community Learning





» Self-employment

Hundred's of people of all ages and backgrounds start their own business every year. Before you start it's important to think about a few things first.

  • Why do want to work for yourself?
  • Do you have a good idea for a business?
  • Do you have the personal skills and abilities to work for yourself?

The links to the resources below will give you further useful information about working for yourself.  

Useful websites...

British Franchise Association - offers advice and support to new franchisees

Building Enterprising Communities - offers a free service to unemployed residents of Bedfordshire (excluding Luton), which takes you through the basics of self-employment and helps you decide if it’s right for you.

Companies House - information on starting up and registering a company.

Disabled Entrepreneurs - providing a voice and networking opportunities for all disabled people.

Federation of Small Businesses - provides information and advice for members on business and finance.  

Gov.UK - information on starting a business and self-employment. 

HM Revenue and Customs - information on registering as self-employed, keeping records and completing your tax return.

Princes Trust - Advice and financial support for 18-30 yr olds starting their own business. Please be aware that certain criteria apply, for example you must be unemployed or work less than 16 hrs per week. See also the Enterprise programme.

Shell-live Wire - Online advice and support for 16-30 yr olds starting and running their own business.

Start Up Loans - finance and support for those aged 18+ who wish to start their own business



Business start up advice and guidance.

» Studying abroad


 A Star Future - How to Choose a University Abroad

The Guide 2018 Applying to University in Australia and New Zealand




College Prospects of America helps young people find sports scholarships in American universities. 

Points worth considering when thinking about a scholarship 

  • do your research
  • fees in America can often be more expensive than in the UK
  • is the scholarship on offer guaranteed
  • what's the balance of sport versus academic learning and does this match your expectations? 

Useful websites...

A Star Future - information on international higher education

Careers Europe - education, work and training opportunities in Europe

Degrees Ahead - international education (offers free consultations)

EUNiCAS - European university central application support service

Fulbright Commission - US-UK educational exchange

My Education - High School exchange programmes

 Study Abroad  
Study in Europe - compares courses by location and university

Study in Holland 

Study Options - study in Australia and New Zealand

The Student World - study opportunities overseas, funding and how to apply country by country.

The Sutton Trust - US Programme

QS Top Universities

University of London Institute in Paris 

» Training schemes

A Training Scheme is a good way to gains skills and qualifications and earn a wage at the same time. Find more...

» Working abroad

Thinking of working abroad? 

Useful websites...

British Council
BUNAC - Working Adventures Worldwide
EU Careers - Careers with the European Union
EURES - The European Job Mobility Portal
Place Rec - paid work placements overseas

Overseas Jobs      SmallerEarth

Real Gap - paid work abroad
Working in another EU country

» Volunteering

The links below provide a wide range of ideas for putting your spare time to good use. Although many of the organisations are national they have local branches and opportunities for you to get involved with.  The skills and experiences you gain in a voluntary role may help you to gain paid employment in the future, so don't forget to include any voluntary work on your CV. 

Volunteering while on benefits

You are free to volunteer while receiving benefits as long as the work you do is unpaid and you still meet all the required conditions of the benefit.  To find out more have a look at here at the advice provided by the National Council for Voluntary Organisations (NCVO).

UpRising Leadership Programme

Are you 19-25 years old?  Do you live, work or study in Bedfordshire? If you answered YES to all the above then you could take part in the Uprising Leadership Programme. More information can be found here and on the link below.

UpRising Leadership Programme

General interest


Bedford Volunteer Centre

Community Voluntary Service

Do It - volunteering opportunities

National Council for Voluntary Organisations

TimeBank Org

vInspired - Volunteering opportunities for 14-25 year olds

Advice and information

Citizens Advice Bureau

Conservation and environmental

The Conservation Volunteers

Community Volunteering with Bedford Borough Council

Dunton Community Garden

Greensand Trust

National Trust

Royal Society for the Protection of Birds - RSPB

Sunnyside Rural Trust

Volunteering in Parks

Waste Not Want Not - nurturing plants and people

Health and social care

Bedford & District Cerebral Palsy Society

Bedford Hospital

British Red Cross

Cambridge University Hospitals - Young person's volunteering programme (YPP)

Cancer Research


Leonard Cheshire Disability

Luton and Dunstable University Hospital

Milton Keynes Hospital


Rethink Mental Illness

The Samaritans