when i was 15, in '81, and attended the obligatory schools career interview, the career's specialist being the PE teacher, he said what do you want to do. i said i'm good at english, best subject, i love windsurfing, and i want to write for a magazine. i can still remember the guy being stumped, his best advice was a-levels which really was not much use to me because i really was not academically talented and just wanted to get on a plane and go to hawaii.
so i did 2 years catering college, the rationale being that i would be able to get a job anywhere in the world. and i did all through the 80's.
years later its the late 90's, i've grown up, went to uni as a mature student, have a well paid job with an upcoming agency in london. so i'm on a plane coming back from the states and a few hours out of heathrow wake up with a stinking hangover and realise that i had what would have been my dream job when i was at school (press and media for the pro windsurfing tour, basically making tv shows and writing for mags around the world) and i hated it.
less than a year later i'm in cornwall doing marketing for an fe college, 2nd largest one in the UK. traded a pressure cooker london job for easy work, regular 08.30-5pm/4.30 on fri, hours, never ever working on weekends.
i have done many many careers events, and my advice, based on my own life experience and also seeing first hand hundereds if not thousands of kids leave schhol and go to college, their experiences, challenges and where they end up, is this...
unless you are specifically dead set on a certain career path, or your goal at 18 is university, seriously consider vocational courses.
the range these days is phenomenal, far from the catering/plumbing/building only option when i was 16, and, when you leave it will have prepared you to get a job. if you do a-levels, and you decide at 18 enough education is enough, you will not have a specific skill.
in a few years time, should you decide you want a degree, there are great options to get on as a mature student either with direct entry dependent on what vocational qualification you have or via a pre-entry course.
op, trust me i have spoken to tons of parents and kids like you and your daughter, in fact the vast majority of people who attend a college open session are just like you its actually rare to get a kid come forward and say exactly what he wants to do.
i would say go to your local colleges, all of them are now starting to have open sessions, and see what they are offering. be wary of academics 'selling' you 'their' course, you do get many who just care about hitting their unit quota, but there are also some great people in FE who really do want to help kids get on.
main point is though, the days of jobs for life are long gone. i truly believe that 16 is way too young to be setting a course, great if you are dead set on a path, but for most its better to be fluid. get some work skills, get some cash, see what the big bad world is about, then if you want to change down the line you can.