Mission: Become An Apprentice10th Feb 2020
There’s a lot of noise and misinformation surrounding apprenticeships. A simple Google search can send you tumbling down a rabbit hole and can leave you scratching your head over complex stuff like the apprenticeship levy.
After the recent and rather exciting conversations surrounding National Apprenticeship Week, we are going to use this blog post to shed some light on the subject, putting together what you could call a ‘round up’ of all things apprenticeship related, shake off the stigma attached to them and give apprenticeships the platform they truly deserve.
So, let’s get started…
What are the benefits of doing an apprenticeship?
There are so many reasons why you would embark on an apprenticeship.
Here are just three of them:
- Earn while you learn
You will have most likely come across this expression on all apprenticeship websites out there. But, it’s true, really. As well as gaining sector-specific qualifications - be it NVQs, HNCs or a bachelor’s degree - apprentices get paid. The National Minimum Wage for an apprentice in 2021 is £4.15 an hour (going up to £4.30 in April), with many employers paying much more. With some companies, you could even be earning up to £25,000 a year on a degree apprenticeship programme! You’ll also receive exciting employee perks like paid holidays (at least 20 days a year, sometimes more) and enrolment on a pension scheme.
- Swap classrooms for the workplace
When it comes to education, some learn by doing, some by reading, others by listening. There’s no one-size-fits-all solution. If you are someone who is keen to get climbing the career ladder, rather than studying in a classroom, in an apprenticeship you’ll get to work with industry experts on projects that have an impact on the world around you. This invaluable experience will ensure you gain the knowledge, skills and self-confidence needed to thrive in a professional environment.
- Watch your career skyrocket
On average, 90% of apprentices stay in employment after finishing their apprenticeship, with many working their way up to senior levels in the company. Even if you don’t stay at your apprenticeship place of employment, you’ll be very employable with the few years of industry relevant experience under your belt and those professional qualifications.
Where do I start in finding an apprenticeship?
There are so many places you can search for apprenticeships, from online to offline, to speculative approaches, to filling out multiple applications in response to company adverts. The list is endless for places to search, but we’ve put together a list of the main routes into an apprenticeship below:
- Register for vacancies and alerts at www.apprenticeships.gov.uk and use job search engines such as Indeed, Monster and Get My First Job.
- Directly approach a company you would like to work for either by calling them or sending your CV by email. Larger companies will most likely have their vacancies online, while smaller companies may not.
- Keep an eye on company websites, some start advertising as early as September for school leavers. Some university websites list degree apprenticeships.
- Use social media. It would benefit you to set up your own professional LinkedIn account, as you can connect directly with employers on this platform.
- Apply to Training Providers who can help you find an apprenticeship. Go to college websites and search “apprenticeships” and find other Training Providers at www.dstpn.co.uk, or if you are more local to Bournemouth and Poole, you can check out Paragon Skills, Aspire Training Team and SWRAC.
Is there anything else you need to consider before applying to an apprenticeship?
- Concentrate on the application – Make sure you don’t rush it! Include your work experience, any part time jobs and extracurricular activities you have been involved in. Be aware that sloppy mistakes like spelling or poor punctuation can quickly make you stand out, but for all the wrong reasons!
- Include all your details – There is nothing more frustrating for an employer than receiving a promising application that does not include relevant contact details. Make sure that your phone number and email address is on every application. If you are providing an email address, consider setting one up that is professional, using just your name if that is possible. Similarly, make sure that you have an appropriate message set up on your voicemail.
- Sell your strengths – Have a think through the following questions and make sure these are all addressed on your application: What skills did you pick up from previous work experience or part time jobs that are relevant or useful? Why are you the best suited person to the role? What is it that makes you unique? Why are you interested in working for that company?
- Think about how you use social networking sites – Facebook, Instagram and other social media sites are not just used by you and your friends. Employers use social networking information to check out job applicants. Research shows that young people aged 16-24 sometimes lose potential job offers because of comments or pictures on their online and social media profiles. It’s always a good idea to have appropriate privacy settings on your personal social media accounts.
And finally, this could well be the new ‘dinner table discussion’ out there: Are you on team Degree Apprenticeship or team University?!
Whilst university remains a sought-after route for school and college leavers, the rising cost of university tuition fees, and the difficulty a lot of graduates have in securing relevant jobs after completing their university courses, have caused many to reconsider their options.
This explains why more and more young people are turning towards apprenticeships. Today, with the competitive pay, top qualifications and amount of experience you gain, they are recognised as a springboard to success, not a safety net for those who don’t achieve academically. So why not start your research into the amazing apprenticeship opportunities out there today!
Do you still have questions?
Ansbury Guidance provide Independent Careers Advice and Guidance for Adults, so if you’d like extra guidance regarding apprenticeships, then do not hesitate to contact us. We have a team of professionals waiting to help you. Contact us online here.