How to find an apprenticeship

When looking to get into a new career, either as a school leaver or an experienced professional, it can be difficult to know where to get started. One avenue you may not have explored is that of apprenticeships. 

While not as readily available as they once were, apprenticeships- now referred to as Modern Apprenticeships- remain highly sought after by those looking to become skilled in a particular area. 

Apprenticeships can be an excellent option for those who want to gain real-world experience in a specific skill. A good apprenticeship can set you up for life, providing you with the skills you need to excel in your chosen job, and perhaps one day even start your own business. 

In this article, we will discuss what an apprenticeship is, the benefits of an apprenticeship, where to find apprenticeship vacancies and how to go about applying for an apprenticeship.

For even more helpful information on apprenticeships, visit the e-Careers guide to apprenticeships.   

What is an apprenticeship?          

If you are wondering what an apprenticeship is, you are in the right place! Simply put, apprenticeships provide you with the opportunity to learn a skill while working, meaning you can earn qualifications while gaining real-world work experience. Apprenticeships are a great option for anyone looking to earn a salary while learning without taking on college or university debt. 

Modern Apprenticeships are not just for school leavers. They can also be a solid choice for anyone looking to change careers. Visit our guide on how to make a successful career change for more tips.  

How do you find out what apprenticeships are available? 

If you are looking for an apprenticeship, the best option for getting started is to look for relevant apprenticeships available in your area. Visit www.apprenticeships.gov.uk to search for apprenticeships that fit your interests and are located nearby to you. 

Finding the right one for you           

When considering which apprenticeship is right for you, it’s important to consider your interests, skills, and the future career you are considering. For example, if you are interested in Data and Business Analysis, a Business Analysis apprenticeship would be your best option. 

Maybe you have excellent IT skills and are looking to put these to good use in an apprenticeship to become a software developer. Many apprenticeships offer recognised qualifications such as honours degrees or SVQs without the cost of university fees and student debt.   

Apprenticeship application process            

Once you have found your ideal apprenticeship, you will need to check the application process to take the next step towards achieving your goal. Some apprenticeships will require you to apply directly to the company in question, while others will ask you to apply via an application portal. 

You might also need to fill out an application form, where you must provide some personal details and show why you are a suitable candidate for the apprenticeship. Finally, you might need to submit a Cover Letter and CV to highlight any relevant skills and experience to support your application. 

How much is the average apprenticeship wage?               

Your earning potential on an apprenticeship varies by location and the industry you're working in. There are also key differences in pay between foundation level apprenticeships and higher or degree apprenticeships. 

While pay for foundation level apprenticeships starts at around £8,000 to £12,000 per annum, higher or degree apprenticeships can pay closer to £20,000 or more. Salary for apprenticeships should always reflect the minimum wage or higher. 

One of the primary benefits of undertaking an apprenticeship is the lack of training fees, as you will receive on-the-job training, making apprenticeships a good opportunity for both school leavers and those looking to embark on a career change without the cost of college or university fees. 

Preparing for your apprenticeship interview          

If you have applied for an apprenticeship and are successful in being selected for an interview, congratulations! Apprenticeship opportunities can be in high demand, so being selected for an interview is an achievement. 

Preparing for an apprenticeship interview is much like an interview for any other role. Preparation is key to impressing at an interview. Try practising some common interview questions ahead of time to appear as confident as possible. 

Make sure you dress smartly and choose an outfit that is professional and appropriate for the workplace. Researching the company beforehand gives you some idea about the company culture and provides you with knowledge about the company that you can use to impress your interviewer. 

Employers will be keen to know that you can balance your on-the-job training with the formal qualifications you will study. Therefore, it's important to let them know you're focused and able to cope with the demands. Finally, remember to prepare relevant questions ahead of time to let the employer know that you are interested in the company.