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Employment, Education and Training

The Employability and Skills Team at Essex County Council provides light-touch support to unemployed 16-18-year-olds who are ready to move into employment, education, or training.

If you are a young person in school or college please contact your school or college Careers Coordinator or Careers Adviser. They are responsible for working with you to find employment, education or training. 

Our services include:

  • Careers Guidance for young people who are not in education, employment or training
  • CV  advice
  • Help completing application forms
  • Job Search and advice about personal marketing techniques and how to access the hidden job market
  • Advice around interview techniques
  • Registering eligible 16/17-year olds for Extension to Child Benefit claims with advice for parents and carers also provided
  • Regular vacancy bulletins containing details of employment, apprenticeship and training opportunities
  • introductions to training providers and referral into study programs

If you are unemployed, opportunity ready and not in school, college or approved training then please get in touch with our team, email: or call 0800 707 6384

CV Advice

 What an employer is looking for in a cv:

  • Name and contact details
  • Sensible email address
  • No National Insurance Number
  • Date of birth is optional
  • Postal address is optional too

Personal Profile

An employer spends an average of 20 seconds looking at a CV. Make the personal profile paragraph short, sharp and to the point, stating why you are sending this CV: I am currently seeking an apprenticeship in etc… If you say you have excellent communication skills back it up with something you have achieved or took part in, for example: public speaking in school or part time work in a customer facing role.

Key Skills/Achievements

An employer doesn’t want to know what you achieved at primary school, make it relevant to the past 2/3 years. Include things like DofE, NCS, Sports Captain, prefect and winning any awards.  


If you are 16-18, put education before work experience on your cv. List your qualifications with English and Maths first and then list other subjects alphabetically, with the most recent achieved on top.


  • Any employment is relevant e.g. paper round and baby sitting
  • think about the skills that were gained and how they might be useful in the role you are applying for

Work Experience

  • Same as above
  • Try to remember exact dates

Hobbies and Interests

Again this should be short and sharp, think about hobbies which enable you to evidence team work, leadership, creativity or helping others.


Ask people if they are happy to act as a referee before adding any personal details


Not going to UNI? 

If you're leaving school and looking for an alternative to a full time University Degree, listen up!

Not Going To Uni were founded over a decade ago to help young people & their parents to understand early careers. 

They are an extremely popular website with School leavers in the UK. Offering alternatives to the traditional university route and providing information to help young people make informed decisions about their future.

To find out more, visit the Not Going To Uni website here-


Finding an Apprenticeship via The National Apprenticeship Site

Creating an account To begin, head on over to

For vacancies This step is straight forward however here are some useful tips to keep in mind when searching.

✓ Use both “Search” and “Browse” section to get more tailored vacancies to your interest.

✓ Be flexible but realistic with the distance so you don’t miss any vacancies just outside of your preferred distance of travel.

✓ When using “Search” look up more than one version of the career. For example; Insurance, Tax, Accounting, Finance, Audit, Broker etc.

✓ Use the map to make sure you can travel to the company easily so that you can arrive on time.


Make sure you have set aside plenty of time to create your account as this is just as important as your CV and will be seen by employers. Be sure to use a sensible email address as this is the first thing an employer will see when receiving your application. They will most likely contact you via phone so don’t forget to also keep your voice mail professional too! All these small details could determine whether you are invited to an interview.


“What are your main strengths?"

Tips on Applying Once you have found a few vacancies you can start applying. This is the most crucial step and needs to be correct. Remember you can save vacancies and come back to them when ready. But don’t wait too long it is always best to apply ASAP. Companies are known to close applications early once they have enough candidates.

Read the vacancy details and make sure this is a job you can see yourself doing before applying. You also need to start thinking about how you can evidence the qualities the employer is looking for.

During the application process you will be answering questions such as “What are your main strengths?” This is your chance to let them know about all your strengths, work experience and achievements in school/college.

If you are 16-17, unemployed and need any help at all with your applications please email or call the Employability and Skills team on 0800 707 6384 or and we can help you with CV, interviews and application advice. We are a free service and our aim is to help as many school leavers secure an apprenticeship as possible so don’t be afraid to contact us!


How to prepare for an interview

Preparation is key!

✓ Research the company (values, what they do, turnover etc.)

✓ Dress appropriately

✓ Read the job description

✓ Prepare some questions

✓ Plan your journey

✓ Check the name and job title of the person interviewing you


“What are your skills?”

During your interview you have the opportunity to highlight your key skills. These can be things such as…

✓ Communication skills

✓ Teamwork

✓ Leadership

✓ Influencing

✓ Problem solving

✓ Achieving results

“Can you give an example of when you worked well within a team”

The Employer is most likely going to ask you to elaborate on your skills with a question like “Can you give an example of when you worked well within a team?”. This is where we like to recommend the STAR technique.

STAR technique-

✓ Situation (Describe the event or situation that you were in)

✓ Task (Explain the task you had to complete)

✓ Action (Describe the specific actions you took to complete the task)

✓ Result (Close with the result of your efforts)