SMCC Careers

Click below for information surrounding the many aspects of careers advice and guidance at St Mary’s Catholic College

If you would like to give feedback or feel you could help with our careers programme in terms of opportunities such as work experience, or in being a guest speaker with respect to your own career experiences, please do not hesitate to contact Associate Deputy Headteacher, Mrs E Parry (Careers Lead) or Les Wellens (HFCMAT Careers Lead).

Telephone: 0151 639 7531 or email: or [email protected]

The Date of the Next Review of Careers Information on this page is August 2023

At St Mary’s, we understand that high quality careers education and advice is a critical part of our role in enabling our students to prepare for life beyond their statutory education. It is our duty to prepare them for the workplace by providing them with a clear and accurate  understanding of what the ‘world of work’ looks like. This includes exploring the pathways open to them and empowering them to choose the ones that they will find the most engaging and rewarding. Our aim is to develop their education and skills; to provide them with the tools to create successful futures in which they maximise their life opportunities.


Our strategic careers objectives (see ‘Our Careers Programme/How We Measure Impact’) are based on and built around:
  • The Gatsby Benchmarks (first established by Sir John Holman in 2014)
  • The Careers Development Institute (CDI) framework
  • Our Catholic ethos and our culture


Our careers programme includes dedicated lessons as part of our Personal Development curriculum, residential experience trips, experience days, ‘one to one’ careers guidance, Options Evenings, multiple encounters with employees/employers/guest speakers/further and higher education establishments, work experience and experience of work, mock interview days, assessment centres, apprenticeship assemblies, careers fairs, the National Careers Challenge, National Apprenticeship Week, National Careers Week and more.

We work within the Liverpool City Region (LCR) Careers Hub. This provides us with the opportunity to collaborate with the Careers and Enterprise Company (CEC), who support us in both the delivery of our programme and on-going evaluation of our progress via Compass+.

The Gatsby Benchmarks, included in the school ‘pledge’ to our pupils, the key points of the CDI framework and our detailed careers programme (outlined for each year group) are all included on this website.

Student Careers Passports

Unifrog is an online platform that allows students to explore different careers, from Year 7 to 9, post-16 and post-18 options. Unifrog brings all the available information into one, impartial, user-friendly platform to help students to make the best choices, provide appropriate information, and support with the submission of the strongest applications when applying for the next steps.

  •   Exploring Pathways – personality quizzes, career and subject profiles, MOOCs and webinars
  •   Recording – self-reflection about extracurricular activities and key employability skills
  •   Opportunities – search tools showing live vacancies/courses/placements for apprenticeships, universities (in the UK and abroad), FE, virtual work experience and much more
  •   Applications – tools to help students build applications for a range of pathways (e.g., CVs, Personal Statements, Common App Essays)

Students access the platform by clicking a link in their welcome email, where they create a password and can begin using the platform. They login to Unifrog using their email address and password and they can do so from any computer, tablet or smartphone. We would encourage you to use the platform with your child so you can support them through the process of deciding their next step.

More information 


Apprentices earn a wage and work alongside experienced staff to gain job-specific skills, whilst studying for a nationally recognised qualification with a training provider or local college. Apprenticeships can be complete in one year or some will last for a total of four years. Apprenticeships are designed with the help of the employers in the industry, so they offer a structured programme that takes you through the skills you need.


Apprenticeships are increasingly recognised as the gold standard for work-based training.

  1. Intermediate Level Apprenticeships (equivalent of getting 5 GCSEs at grade 9-4)
  2. Advanced Level Apprenticeships (equivalent to 2 A-level passes)
  3. Higher Apprenticeships (equivalent to a foundation degree)


‘The National Minimum Wage rate for 16-17 year olds is (as at April 2023) £5.28 per hour, rising to £7.49 for 18-20 year olds and then £10.18 for 21-22 year olds.
Please note, for those employees who are 23 or older, the National Living Wage Rate applies: this is (as at April 2023) £10.42.
These rates are decided by the government and as such are subject to change over time, depending on economic factors – however, they are very unlikely to go down in the foreseeable future.’

Applying for an Apprenticeship

Apprenticeships are open to all age groups above 16 years-old whether you are just leaving school, have been working for years or are seeking to start a new career. There may be different entry requirements depending on the Apprenticeship and the industry sector. However competition for places with employers can be fierce, so you will need to show that you are committed, and aware of your responsibilities to both yourself and the company who would employ you.

All apprenticeships will be advertised @

You will need to register on the site and search for apprenticeships using keywords, job roles and location. If you see any of interest you need to apply on line and you can apply for up to 10 vacancies at any one time. On the site you will complete an application and you will need to complete this to the best of your ability as this may be sent straight to employers. Some vacancies may direct you direct to the employers website to follow their application process.

For other helpful websites please see links below;

What is a degree apprenticeship? Please see the attached PDF below


The Higher and Degree Apprenticeship Listing is currently produced twice a Year. This is the latest edition as at February 2023 and includes a range of start dates. The listing details hundreds of apprenticeship vacancies from a diverse mix of employers for 2023 and 2024.
PLEASE NOTE – the next edition is due for publication in November 2023 and will be available on the website at this time.

Apprenticeships – Higher-Degree Listing

If you have a particular interest in subjects or a certain career in mind then studying at St Mary’s Sixth Form could be the option for you. When considering your A-Levels it is important to note there will be entry grade requirements you need to achieve at GCSE.

It is also a good idea to look at your potential future career ideas and map them out looking at potential subject requirements, particularly if you are considering university post-18.  For example, to study engineering at degree level, Maths will be an essential A-Level alongside at least one other science-based subject.  Medicine will require you to study Chemistry and Biology at A-Level and one from either Physics or Maths.

Have an idea of your future ideal career(s) and where you would like to be in ten years’ time and work backwards. Consider qualifications and experience you would need to gain to make that transition possible.

For more information on A-Level subject combinations and facilitating subjects please see the link below.

We are thrilled to announce that St Mary’s Catholic College in Wallasey has received official approval to deliver the highly anticipated T Level Technical qualification in Education and Early Years (Level 3). As an institution committed to academic excellence and preparing students for successful futures, we are proud to be at the forefront of this educational initiative.

T Levels are a new type of qualification developed in collaboration with employers, universities, and other educational institutions. They are equivalent to 3 A Levels and offer students a unique blend of classroom learning and industry placement, ensuring they are fully equipped with the skills and knowledge needed to excel in their chosen career.

Find out more here

The T Level Technical qualification in Education and Early Years (Level 3) at St Mary’s Catholic College is designed to provide a comprehensive and in-depth understanding of the education sector. Students will study a range of subjects, including child development, pedagogy, safeguarding, special educational needs, and curriculum planning. This robust curriculum ensures that students develop a strong foundation of knowledge and skills necessary for future academic pursuits.


Why choose St Mary’s Catholic College for your T Level journey? Here are just a few reasons:


Great Teaching: Our college boasts a team of highly qualified and experienced educators who are passionate about their subjects. They are dedicated to nurturing talent, inspiring creativity, and supporting every student to reach their full potential.

Strong Industry Connections: St Mary’s Catholic College has strong partnerships within our HFCM Academy Trust and with local educational institutions. These connections provide our students with unparalleled opportunities for hands-on experience and industry placements, ensuring they develop the practical skills employers are looking for.

Holistic Development: We believe that education is not just about academics but also about personal growth and character development. Our college offers a wide range of extracurricular activities, sports programs, and community service opportunities to help students become well-rounded individuals.

University Progression: The T Level in Education and Early Years is highly regarded by universities and is considered an excellent pathway for students aspiring to continue their studies in related fields. Successful completion of this T Level opens doors to a wide range of higher education opportunities, such as degrees in education, early childhood studies, psychology, or sociology. The solid theoretical grounding and practical experience gained during the T Level will provide a strong foundation for university-level studies.

Enhanced Employability: The T Level in Education and Early Years equips students with a range of transferable skills highly valued by employers and universities alike. These include communication, teamwork, problem-solving, critical thinking, and the ability to work effectively with children and young people. The practical nature of the qualification ensures that students develop the necessary skills to thrive in a variety of educational settings, making them highly employable and sought after by educational institutions.

Pathway to Becoming a Teacher or Early Years practitioner: For students aspiring to become teachers, the T Level in Education and Early Years serves as an excellent stepping stone. It provides a solid foundation of knowledge and practical experience in the field of education, allowing students to explore different teaching methodologies and gain valuable insights into the profession. The T Level can serve as a precursor to further teacher training, such as a Bachelor of Education (B.Ed) degree or a Postgraduate Certificate in Education (PGCE), enabling students to progress towards a fulfilling teaching career.

By choosing St Mary’s Catholic College for your T Level in Education and Early Years, you are embarking on a journey that will lay the foundation for a rewarding and fulfilling career.


Students who are considering university courses are strongly advised to visit a number of universities. Visits on Open Days or at other times may provide a student with a clear idea of where to go or where not to go. The buildings – campus or not – and, in particular, the location of student accommodation is better experienced first hand.

Each student will usually be allowed a maximum of 3 Open Day visits.

Students can request the opportunity to practice their interview techniques prior to attending university interviews. Similarly, students seeking employment may request interview preparation training sessions. This should be arranged via Les Wellens (Careers Lead)

St Mary’s Catholic College appreciate and welcome all businesses and employers to get involved. 
If you are looking at recruiting an apprentice please visit the Apprenticeship Hub.

If you are looking to connect with schools in your area have a look at the Growth Platform Careers Hub for further details.
If you are willing to contribute to our Careers, Work Related Learning and Enterprise programme in school in any of the following areas. Please get in touch with our Careers Leader all notes above regarding our schools provider access policy:

Les Wellens
[email protected]

Can you help with any of the following: We need you!

We have Twitter and Facebook  if you wish to connect through them platforms also.
All our social media channels use the username: @Stmaryswallasey

Useful Websites


National Careers Service

  • The National Careers Service can help you with your career,learning and training choices.
  • Also provides you with the opportunity to speak directly to an adviser or use their ‘webchat’ option to talk online (for 13+ only)


  • Everything you need to know about becoming an apprentice (post 16)
  • Includes a ‘browsing’ option based on your interests and location
Informed Choices

Informed Choices

  • All about choosing the right subjects to study post 16
  • Get the help you need in deciding what to do after GCSEs


  • Learn all about T levels, an alternative to A levels
  • Focusing on vocational skills (and equivalent to 3 A levels), designed to help you into skilled employment, higher study or apprenticeships
uni guide


  • A comprehensive listing of universities and colleges in the U.K.
  • Includes all courses available at each establishment
uni guide


  • All about choosing the right subjects to study post 16
  • Get the help you need in deciding what to do after GCSEs


  • The University and Clearing Service (UCAS) provides sixth form students with information on ‘next steps’
  • Includes an ‘A-Z’ of universities and an exploration of UK regions
  • Also has useful information on apprenticeships and student accommodation


  • Allows you to search, by course (e.g. Economics) where you can study at undergraduate level
  • Includes a ‘career’ section giving advice on CVs, cover letters, preparing for interviews and assessment centres

From Idea to Career

  • An insight into 12 key areas of engineering
  • Includes guidance on different types of engineering and the relevant subjects to study

Health Careers

  • Helps you to explore the huge variety of roles within the National Health Service (NHS)
  • 350 careers with one organisation


  • Information on over 170 roles available in the construction sector
  • Includes information on qualifications, salary ranges and training


  •  Entry route checker tool

Royal Navy – A Day in the Life



BRITISH ARMY – find your role


On behalf of our students, we would like to thank all the organisations who work with us to provide careers guidance, information and advice.