What is an Apprenticeship?
Apprenticeships are an excellent way of gaining qualifications and workplace experience. As an employee, you can earn as you learn and you gain practical skills from the workplace. There are up to 25,000 quality apprenticeship vacancies available at any one time here in the UK, did you know that there are apprenticeships in more than 280 industries and 1500 job roles, from graphic design to nursing?
How will I do the training part if I'm working?
Every apprenticeship is different but two phrases that you’ll hear mentioned a lot are: on-the-job training and off-the-job training.
- On-the-job training will see you learn in the workplace. You’ll be developing your skills by working with colleagues who will show you how to carry out certain tasks – either in formal, structured sessions or informal and unplanned learning.
- Off-the-job training will allow you to learn and develop your skills and knowledge away from your immediate place of work. You might need to access a computer to do some online learning or maybe go to a training centre where you will learn in a classroom or workshop.
There are different ways to complete the training that forms part of your apprenticeship and your employer will decide the best route for you and their business. Here are some different ways you might learn:
- Release-based training: One day a week or fortnight you attend a training centre to learn in a classroom or workshop.
- Workplace-based training: Some of your learning is completed on the job with an assessor / tutor visiting you in the workplace
- E-learning: You access learning materials online and gradually work through them.
- One year up-front: Some industries, such as Engineering, prefer their apprentices to learn a lot of skills before entering the workplace. With this model, you may spend your first year being paid to attend a training centre.
- Blended learning: Your learning may take a combination of the approaches we’ve already mentioned.
Why should I become an apprentice?
Helping you gain all the skills you need to succeed in your career, an apprenticeship gives you real insight into your chosen industry – and you’ll get paid!
And when you consider that 90% of apprentices remain in employment and almost 20% progress to higher level of training and education, it’s looking like a pretty tempting prospect, isn’t it?
The key benefits:
- You gain valuable workplace skills and experience
- You work in a real job for a real employer
- You are paid a salary and have a contract of employment
- You achieve an apprenticeship recognised by employers
- You get support from your colleagues and training organisation
- It’s a carer pathway that helps you achieve your goals
- It’s something for your CV to show skills, achievements and work experience
There are more perks. For instance, you’ll also be entitled to a National Union of Students (NUS) Apprentice Extra Card, giving you discounts at more than 120 shops and online sites – result!
What makes a good apprentice?
Being an apprentice is the same as working as an employee in a business. There are different skills and attributes that each company will be looking for in candidates which will also be linked to job role. Your ability to fit in, as well as your personality, will go a long way to determining whether you’re right for an apprenticeship too.
Apprenticeships have moved on a lot in the last decade or so. If you have the drive and determination to succeed – and you’d like to earn a wage while working towards a rewarding, lifelong career – you’re likely to be a good apprenticeship candidate.
Do I need to English and Maths to be an apprentice?
This varies because each employer will look for a different set of qualifications. While some company directors feel that asking for English and Maths GCSEs will help them to attract the right candidate for their role, others will allow you to work towards Functional Skills (English, Maths and ICT) as part of your apprenticeship.
Why not just get a job?
An apprenticeship offers lots of additional benefits to simply having a job – but in short, it allows you to earn while you learn!
Your qualification and experience gained will be based on the skills and knowledge that you require for the job you’re doing – and you can progress further up the career ladder while taking home a wage at the end of the week or month.
Also, with an apprenticeship you’ll set yourself up for the future – apprentices enjoy marked salary increases when they complete their training.
Advertised throughout the year, apprenticeships can start in any month and can be in almost any job sector.
When it comes to locating the right opportunity, we’ll do a lot of the hard work so you don’t have to. Once we understand what you’re hoping for, we’ll provide you with a list of relevant apprenticeships, giving you the opportunity to select which you like the sound of. We’ll then refer you to the relevant training provider...and voila – you’ll soon be on the road to an exciting career.
What will I get paid?
This depends on the employer and how much they pay their apprentices. Of course, your salary will depend on the job, its location, the sector it’s in and how much responsibility you’ll be given. This information should all be set out in the job description
You will be pleased to know, however, that there’s a National Minimum Wage for apprentices (for those under 19 or in their first year of an apprenticeship) of £3.70 per hour.
How can I progress afterwards?
Once you’ve finished your apprenticeship, you’ll be in a much better position to progress in your career.
With a qualification under your belt, you can use this experience to work your way up the career ladder. You may even decide to embark on a degree level apprenticeship.
Do I get a job at the end of an apprenticeship?
A survey conducted by the National Apprenticeship Service revealed that 90% of apprentices either stay on with the employer they have completed their apprenticeship with, or go on to find a similar job with another employer. Some apprentices decide at the end of their apprenticeship that they want to go on to further study, perhaps to do a degree.
You can find apprenticeships using the website www.findapprenticeship.service.gov.uk/apprenticeshipsearch
You can use the Apprentices vacancy system to:
- Search for Apprenticeship vacancies and save your search results
- Log your areas of interest (e.g. business administration)
- Manage your applications
You’ll be able to see:
- detailed information about the job
- the employer
- pay and the qualifications you will be working towards
Once you've found the job you want, applying is easy. The application form is simple, secure and reusable, so you can respond to as many vacancies as you like, and save your application forms. You can view the status of your applications and manage them online.