Thinking of applying for an apprenticeship? Not sure what they are or how to apply? Fear not, we’re here to help.
As it’s National Apprenticeship Week, we wanted to let you know exactly what to expect from an apprenticeship – starting from the application process to actually showing up at work every day!
Here is everything you need to know if you’re applying for an apprenticeship, or thinking about what’s next after school or college.
What is an apprenticeship?
An apprenticeship is a genuine job which combines practical work and study.
As well as gaining experience of the workplace, you will study for a formal qualification alongside your job. Apprenticeships are a great opportunity to get paid while gaining useful skills, and at the end of an apprenticeship you will be qualified and ready to begin a career in the role you have trained for.
Where can I find an apprenticeship?
There are so many apprenticeship opportunities out there, and you can find them in several places:
With these resources, you can search for an apprenticeship based on your interests, qualifications, and location. These sites also offer an insight into life as an apprentice (or you can check out our blog from none other than apprentice Owen Smith – LINK), and more information about the types of apprenticeships that are offered by some of the UK’s most well-known companies.
It is also worth researching the companies you are interested in working for, and visiting their recruitment pages as they might run their own scheme.
You can also contact the National Apprenticeship Helpdesk for further support on 0800 015 0400 or by email: firstname.lastname@example.org.
How do I apply? What are the entry requirements?
Apprenticeships are available to anyone over the age of 16, and there is no upper age limit. Entry requirements vary depending on job role, industry and level, but generally to begin an intermediate apprenticeship at the age of 16, the entry requirements can range from no formal qualifications to a number of GCSEs. For higher and advanced internships, more formal qualifications are required.
Once you’ve found an apprenticeship to apply for, the application process is just like applying for a job; you will need a CV and cover letter. Applicants will then be shortlisted for interviews, and candidates are selected. This process can take a while, so it’s a good idea to apply for more than one.
I have secured an apprenticeship – what’s next?
Apprentices work at least 30 hours per week, with time allocated for studying, equivalent to one day per week.
If you’re under the age of 19, the national minimum wage for an apprentice in the first year is £3.90 per hour, but many companies pay more. Pay also rises depending on how many years you have been an apprentice, and if you progress onto a higher or advanced apprenticeship.
On your apprenticeship, you will be surrounded by industry professionals who are there to offer guidance and help. Your training provider will help you to set targets and host regular feedback sessions to make sure your apprenticeship is going to plan.
What happens after my apprenticeship?
After completing your apprenticeship, there’s a good chance your employer will keep you on and offer you full-time work. Don’t worry if this doesn’t happen though – the skills you gain from your apprenticeship will make you an ideal prospect for employers, who will know that you are fully equipped to start your career.
All that remains is for us to wish you good luck!