A new online resource, launched by higher education institutions in the South West, will help parents and carers support young people in making the right decisions about study and work.

Parent Zone is a new addition to the Careerpilot website aimed at 13 to 19 year olds, which provides information on all study choices available at 14, 16 and 18 - including apprenticeships, A levels and the many routes to Higher Education.

The website links to education and training providers in the South West, gives information on funding and money matters, and key facts on 20 job sectors.

Now Parents and carers can get answers to careers questions related to the study choices and pathways available to young people including:

How to help with GCSE options - What funding support is available for a course at university? - What are vocational qualifications and where do they lead? - Careerpilot is funded by a consortium of twelve university partners across the South West and managed by the Western Vocational Progression Consortium based at the University.

Sue Lewis, Support for Learners Co-ordinator at Bath, said: “We are delighted to be launching the new Parent Zone. Parents and carers have significant influence on young people’s decisions but it’s difficult for them to get access to information about all the possible options available at 14, 16 and 18. The new Parent Zone provides jargon-free answers to help parents understand the details and the implications of different choices.

“Giving parents and carers information about the many pathways leading to work and further study, including to higher education level study, will enable them to help their children make informed choices and stretch and fulfil their aspirations.”

The Western Vocational Progression Consortium aims to encourage the progression of a broad range of learners into higher level education.

The development of the Parent Zone has been co-funded by four National Networks for Collaborative Outreach in the South West: Western Outreach Network (including four universities in Bath and Bristol; CUC ON (Combined Universities in Cornwall Outreach Network; Devon Collaborative Outreach Network; and GROWS (Gloucestershire network).

Further information about the project is available from Sue Lewis.