About the Greater Manchester Apprenticeship & Careers Service

Find out the context and background of GMACS and how young people in Greater Manchester can benefit from it.

GMACS response to COVID-19

GMACS will give you information and tools to help you plan your future. A Task Force, including young people, is researching and writing a Young Person’s Guarantee to make sure you don't miss out on any opportunities because of COVID-19. The Guarantee could include promises to you about education, employment, training, apprenticeships, health, well-being and access to the internet.

GMACS will play a big part in the Young Person’s Guarantee because we’ll make sure you have the best advice and information to help you choose your next steps and take action to create your brilliant future.

More about GMACS

The Greater Manchester Apprenticeship & Careers Service (GMACS) helps young people explore and design their next steps before leaving school.

The site brings together different stages of the career planning process, helping students navigate the choices open to them and develop the tools to start working life. It showcases what Greater Manchester can offer and provides a direct way to apply for courses, jobs and apprenticeships.

GMACS is part of the Mayor’s commitment to ensure every young person has access to opportunities and no-one is left behind. By presenting apprenticeships and all other options for post-16 study and training in one place, GMACS helps give all students a clear line of sight for their futures.

The site is also the gateway to Xello, a service for schools which helps personalise learning at scale, and equip students with the knowledge and skills to get ahead in today’s labour market.

GMACS was one of the Mayor’s manifesto pledges, along with free bus travel for all 16-18 year-olds, and is part of a careers programme which supports schools, colleges and students, across Greater Manchester.

GMACS is provided by the Greater Manchester Combined Authority (GMCA) and delivered in partnership with CASCAID LTD.

How can GMACS help you?

The Benefits of an Apprenticeship

Studying for an apprenticeship gives you an insight into that line of work whilst working towards a qualification at the end. A lot of the time, apprentices are kept on by their employers after the program has ended, this means that there is lots of potential to progress in your career quickly.

Find out more

Not only will you be able to search for live apprenticeships on GMACS, you can also:

  • Explore what an apprenticeship is and how they work.
  • Understand what it means to be an apprentice.
  • Discover different apprenticeship types, get application hints and tips, and apply for vacancies.

Careers Planning

It is important not only to think about short and long term goals, but also to explore other avenues of work, reflect on your progress and create an online action plan. This is where a careers plan can be extremely beneficial.

Find out more

Xello is an engaging online program that prepares young people for post- secondary success in academics, careers and life. On Xello, young people will be able to:

  • Devise your own action plan to kickstart your career.
  • Create an online portfolio that showcases interests, skills and abilities.
  • Review and adapt plan to reflect progress.

Education & Training

There are three main things to consider when applying for courses – what you want to do, what’s available, and your approach to learning. Colleges, sixth forms, and training providers are all different so the experience of studying the same qualification varies, depending where you go.

Find out more

Xello can help you explore and compare different pathways using information gathered about you from interactive assessments. You will also be able to:

  • Complete interactive careers, personality and learning style assessments.
  • Explore careers, college and university options that match assessment results.
  • Discover pathways you may not have considered and learn more about them.


Activities can be described as enrichment opportunities that fall outside of your school or college commitments. Activities are something you would chose to do voluntarily and in your spare time, e.g. after school/college, at the weekend and/or in the school/college holidays.

Find out more

Find out more about the different types of activities that are available to you in your local area, the benefits of taking part and how to apply. Benefits include:

  • Stand out from the crowd. Activities give you something to talk about and look great on Job, college and university applications.
  • Explore your passions and interests by trying out something new.
  • Gain new experiences and develop your skills. Activities can help you develop essential life skills and build your confidence and self-esteem.

What are the top 5 career sectors in
Greater Manchester?

Finance Officer

Job Description

Finance officers help to manage the finances of an organisation by keeping track of its income and controlling its spending. This may include recording financial transactions and producing financial forecasts, arranging payroll, invoices and expenses. Finance officers may also create regular financial reports and budgets.

Explore this sector All sectors
Salary Range

£18,500 - £40,000

Working environment

Most finance officers work in an office environment, but you can work in any industry, from banking to creative and media organisations.


Minimum 35 hours a week


The skills and experience you build as a finance officer could enable you to work in many different industries. With experience, finance officers could train to become an accountant or move up to a senior officer role or finance manager.

Marketing Executive

Job Description

Marketing executives promote a company's products, services or brand. They do this through researching customer thoughts and feelings and market trends to inform campaigns. They write content for print, such as adverts and magazines, they organise and promote events and marketing campaigns online and via social media.

Explore this sector All sectors
Salary Range

£18,000- £35,000

Working environment

Usually office based.


Minimum 37 hours with evening and weekend work


Marketing executives could progress into management and also cross into online and digital marketing. Other opportunities may include freelancing, advertising, or public relations and communications.

Community Nurse

Job Description

District or community nurses mainly visit patients at home. They can be assisted by nursing auxiliaries who may visit to assist with tasks which need two workers. Their role involves things such as: support for patient and carer after hospital discharge, assist in coordinating care needs and ensuring equality of health care for vulnerable people.

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Salary Range

£23,213- £30,178

Working environment

You could work in a variety of different environments such as clinics and health centres, residential accommodation and patients’ homes.


Minimum 37 hours usually in shifts.


Some nurses feel so at home in a community nurse job that they apply there as a newly qualified nurse. Whichever you choose, there are so many different nursing specialities to explore and career paths to choose from, you will never run out of options.

CNC Machinist

Job Description

Computer numerically controlled (CNC) machinists make precision parts for the engineering and manufacturing industries. Programming the CNC machine tool with data taken from technical drawings, working out the most efficient order to carry out machining tasks, choosing the right tools for each stage, setting the cutting speeds and tolerance levels, operating the machine, checking the work meets quality and technical standards, maintaining equipment.

Explore this sector All sectors
Salary Range


Working environment

You could work in a factory


42-44 hours per week, you could work evening/ weekends and shifts


With experience and further training, you could move into a supervisory role. You could also move into quality inspection or become an engineering technician.

Software Developer

Job Description

A software developer talks through requirements with the client and the development team. They take part in technical design and progress meetings, writing or amending computer code, testing software and fixing problems, keeping accurate records of the development process, changes and results, carrying out trials and quality checks before release, maintaining and supporting systems once they're up and running.

Alternative titles for this job include Programmer Software developers design, build and test computer programs for business, education and leisure services.

Explore this sector All sectors
Salary Range

£20,000 - £70,000

Working environment

You could work at a client's business or in an office.


37 to 40 hours per week including evenings and weekends


With experience, you could become a senior developer or a project manager, with planning or research responsibilities. You could move into related areas like systems design, IT architecture and business systems analysis.

You could also set up your own business or work as a consultant in most areas of the economy, for example business services, finance, cyber security, telecommunications and healthcare.

Contact us

If you would like your child to benefit from all the tools available through GMACS, then get in touch with their school today.

Apprenticeships across Greater Manchester

Discover different apprenticeship types, get application hints and tips, and apply for vacancies.

Explore & Apply


Discover new ways to develop your interests and extra skills to help you get ahead.

Search Activities

Are you an employer?

Find out how your business could be more involved.

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