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Choose the right path to increase your potential.

SITTING your GCSE's is the culmination of years of school work - so hats off to you for getting this far. But which way do you go now? Our Which Way Now? After GCSE's guide will help you find the answers.

Perhaps you are already sure of the path you want to take in life, which is great. But if you have found yourself at this crossroads without a clue as to the way forward, don't worry - there are loads of young people in the same situation.

By now, you will have had a break from studies, and time to collect your thoughts, especially when you actually have those GCSE results in your hand.

Perhaps your results are better than expected, in which case you might want to go to college after all. If you are in this position, don't let the grass grow under your feet, but find out now what is on offer as soon as you can.

If your results are disappointing, there are options open to you, other than simply taking re-sits. Read on to find out how you can move forward in a positive way.

Across North West Wales, more than 4,000 young people who are at risk of falling out of school or further education will benefit from a new pounds 15m scheme to improve their chances of success.

The Potensial ('Potential' in Welsh) initiative will target both the 11 to 16-year-old and 16 to 19-year-old age brackets, helping young people who are facing difficulties such as underachievement or absenteeism at school, and those who are already at college but are at risk of dropping out.

First Minister for Wales, Carwyn Jones said: "We are determined to raise aspirations and increase participation rates in education, training and employment amongst our young people. Equipping them with new skills and confidence will improve their career prospects and help us create the workforce the economy of North Wales will need to compete in the 21st Century.

"By working together with local authorities, schools and further education colleges, we can maximise our resources to deliver the very support young people need to remain or re-engage in education."

Indeed, reducing the number of young people who are not in education, employment or training is a UK-wide objective. Improving self-esteem, and offering one-to-one support and vocational training, the Potensial initiative is backed with almost pounds 9m from the Convergence European Social Fund, via the Welsh Assembly Government.

It is being led by Gwynedd Council, in collaboration with Anglesey, Denbighshire and Conwy Councils, along with Coleg Menai, Coleg Llandrillo and Careers Wales.

Young People in Wales also have the increasingly popular Welsh Baccalaureate option open to them. Known as Welsh Bac, it offers the potential for a UCAS tariff equivalent to an A grade at A-level, and is a recognised entry qualification for the majority of higher education courses and institutions in the UK.

Read on to some of the options open to you now.


First Minister for Wales, Carwyn Jones
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Title Annotation:Features
Publication:Daily Post (Liverpool, England)
Geographic Code:4EUUK
Date:Aug 25, 2011
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