Sept. 15, 2021, 10:56 a.m.
Securing an apprenticeship, or any new job role, can be a challenging process. From figuring out which career path you want to take, to attending your first interview, our team are here to support you with the entire journey of your apprenticeship search.
Below, we have listed 5 key milestones which are going to help guide you through the full process of securing an apprenticeship role. Whether you’re fresh out of school and looking to dive straight into employment, or if you’ve decided you’re up for a career change and want to retrain to widen your job prospects, our team are on hand to make the process easier.
Before we begin, let’s establish why you’ve chosen an Apprenticeship route for your career. With Apprenticeship opportunities covering over 170 job industries in the UK, now is the perfect time to benefit from the ‘earn as you learn’ career route. Apprenticeships are perfect for people who want to gain real work experience whilst learning on the job and they offer the benefit of learning in a practical work environment, all whilst gaining accredited qualifications that ensure you’ve gained the same level of knowledge and skill that you would if you took a traditional educational route. Whilst completing an Apprenticeship, you’ll also have access to tailored 1 to 1 support and guidance from your training provider and employer. It’s important to keep in mind that a lot of Apprenticeship employers recruit all year round, and don’t follow the traditional academic year time frame. Additionally, Apprenticeships are suitable for all entry levels, meaning you can continue your educational journey in your chosen sector at any level, and you don’t have to start from the beginning if you already have the relevant knowledge, skills and experience.
So an Apprenticeship is definitely something you’d like to do? Let’s dive into our first stage of the journey to securing an Apprenticeship role.
1. Determine your career choice
Before you begin your search for an ideal job vacancy, it’s vital that you have a clear idea on which career sector you’d like to pursue. Without determining a career choice, it will be hard to narrow down your search, and you may end up completing an Apprenticeship in a sector that you don’t enjoy or want to progress in.
We understand that making this decision is really difficult, and there’s a lot of pressure that comes with choosing the right direction to go in. To help, we recommend completing a Career Quiz; this will help you analyse your strengths and weaknesses, as well as what you enjoy doing, to match you with career choices that suit your personality and characteristics the most.
Try this one: https://www.ucas.com/careers/buzz-quiz
Once you have a few ideas on the direction you’d like to take. You can then complete further research on those job roles and their industry by looking on the National Careers Service - Job Profiles resource. This will guide you through the ins and outs of each option, helping you to confirm whether the job choice would be the right fit for you.
Try this: https://nationalcareers.service.gov.uk/explore-careers
If you’re still struggling, it may be useful to speak directly with our Careers Team, who will be able to support you with suggestions on career options.
You can access this support via our Careers Hub: https://www.wearegft.co.uk/1-1-iag/
We also offer an option at GFT for school leavers (Ages 16 to 18) to benefit from our Access To Employment Programme. This aims to provide you with the skills and development required before beginning your apprenticeship search, as well as helping you to determine a futureproof career choice. For more information, visit: https://www.wearegft.co.uk/programmes/access-to-employment-2/
2. Understand the journey towards your final goal
After making the decision on which career choice you’d like to progress towards, it is then crucial that you set some long-term goals that you’d like to achieve. This is similar to when you were younger and someone would ask ‘What would you like to be when you’re older?’
Start by asking yourself…
‘In 5 years time, I would like to be working as ____________’
‘In 10 years time, I would like to have achieved _________________ with my career’
These questions will start to set a marker for a milestone in your career journey, and will help you to then think about how you’re going to get there. With every milestone, you can then start to develop an ‘ideal’ path for how you could work towards achieving your career goals. For example, if you would like to be working as an accountant in 5 years time, you would need to plan out the relevant training and qualifications that you’d need to achieve to get there.
The National Careers Service - Job Profiles resource will help you understand the requirements for each job role.
Carrying out this step will also help you to understand whether this career choice is realistic. It’s great to aim high, but you also want to make sure that the time, dedication and academic ability is all achievable, as well as enjoyable. Think about if you wanted to be an accountant, but you hated studying maths at school, would this be a realistic career choice for you?
3. Breakdown the qualification you’ll be completing
This also leads on to the contents of the apprenticeship that you’d ideally like to complete. Whilst carrying out the Apprenticeship journey, you’ll be balancing the learning phase with the working phase. This means that during your job role, you’ll be receiving on-the-job training to help you gain the right skills and knowledge to meet the qualification (or Standard) criteria.
Apprenticeships with GFT, will then require you to be assessed as you go along, with some apprenticeships ending with an ‘End-Point Assessment’ to confirm that you’re qualified at the standard which meets the level of the qualification you’re being awarded for. Other Apprenticeships in different industries may require you to complete examinations, or coursework along the way.
It’s vital that you take a look at the learning contents of the Apprenticeship, as well as what will be required from you when completing the job role with the employer. Whilst doing this, have a think whether these learning points are going to be enjoyable, achievable and interesting.
4. Search apprenticeship vacancies online
At this point, you’ve chosen your ideal job role and industry, you’ve looked into what it’s going to take to get there, and you’ve broken down what’s involved within the Apprenticeship…
Now you can begin your job search!
A few things to keep in mind whilst looking online for Apprenticeship vacancies:
Be open-minded to opportunities available
Make sure you’ve research the right entry level that you’ll be starting at
With every role, consider the progression routes after completion
Dig deeper into the Employer, are they the right fit for you?
Research the Training Provider (Who will be providing the training alongside your apprenticeship)
We recommend using the National Apprenticeship Service - Find an Apprenticeship tool online. This website is where all apprenticeship opportunities in the UK will be listed. Visit: https://www.gov.uk/apply-apprenticeship
If you have a specific apprenticeship employer or job role in mind, you can also search on the employers website directly for career openings within the company. This may be suitable for larger corporations.
If you’re looking for an Apprenticeship within Childcare, Business Administration or Customer Service; you can view all of our Level 2 and Level 3 vacancies on our ‘Find an Apprenticeship’ page.
5. Prepare your application
Once you’ve found the ideal apprenticeship opportunities online, you’ll need to prepare an application. This can be vital for securing an interview with the employer, and it’s important to prepare your application in advance to make sure you’re giving the best version of yourself in the initial stages.
Keep in mind that although previous experience is important for all job roles, most Apprenticeship employers want to see that the candidate has potential to grow within their company, and will benefit from their training investment.
Focus on your current skills, knowledge and interest in the role, and provide examples of when you’ve made the most of an opportunity to progress.
If you need support with an application, you can access 1 to 1 guidance from our Careers Team or utilise resources available on our Careers Hub.