Working as a Career Coach in a college, more and more students talk about the opportunity to secure an apprenticeship to achieve their career goals. But what is an apprenticeship?

An apprenticeship is a great way to continue learning, gain hands on experience while working alongside staff with lots of experience. You have the opportunity to develop job specific skills and knowledge, while earning a wage.

Apprenticeships range from level 2 all the way up to degree level 6 and 7 and have entry requirements just like other educational opportunities. GCSEs are the starting point and a good foundation to show a potential employer your versatility and capability. English and maths are particularly important with most entry requirements looking for grade 4 or higher in these subjects.

There may be some opportunities where it is possible to start with grade 3 but you must be prepared to study maths and English as part of the apprenticeship to build your grades up to 4 or higher.

I’m sure most would agree that this sounds ideal to gain such a high qualification, whilst working. So where do I start to search for an apprenticeship?

Researching apprenticeships!

It’s in the subheading RESEARCH. When you start thinking about apprenticeships, it’s really important that you do your research. The more research into your career, the well informed choices you make, and it’s never too early to start searching for the apprenticeship you want.

So, what are you waiting for? For a great place to start searching for that apprenticeship, take a look at The National Apprenticeship website:

You’ll be able to read real stories about real people who decided that this was the best pathway to their career. You can also find out about the benefits of an apprenticeship and create an account to allow you to search and apply for that dream apprenticeship.

If it’s a particular industry or company that you want to work for, have a look on the company websites in their ‘careers’ or ‘work with us’ section. While researching an apprenticeship, take a good look at the day to day duties you’ll be expected to do, important skills that you’ll need to have and most importantly, what are the entry requirements?

Once you’re sure that you’ll match the job description – apply, but make sure that your application will make you stand out from other applicants. These vacancies are very competitive and you need to take a pro-active approach when trying to secure one.

The waiting game

Now here’s something you need to know. It’s not just as simple as applying for an apprenticeship, receiving an interview and starting – that would be lovely if it was. But the apprenticeship application process could be a lengthy process depending on the level you’ve applied for.

Don’t feel that your application has been dismissed, the employer will be looking for that one application that stands out from the others. If you’ve applied for a higher or degree apprenticeship, then there will be lots of different stages involved, which could include psychometric testing, telephone interviews, face to face interviews and other relevant challenges before you’re offered the apprenticeship.

For more information on higher and degree apprenticeships, take a look at the guide from amazing apprenticeships: Higher_and_degree_apprenticeship_fact_sheet.

As National Apprenticeship Week approaches, from the 7th to 13th February 2022, this is a great time to shout out and celebrate apprenticeships. It showcases how employers have helped people of all backgrounds to achieve their careers through hands on experience. Here’s the link to look further at what this week means to some people:

To celebrate National Apprenticeship Week 2022, UCAS are currently sharing webinars for students to engage with employer and apprentices. Here’s where to find these links and register to take part: .

Check out the College VLE – FAB Futures for links to activities that will be taking place during the week that you can get involved in. We are hosting a Creative and Digital Careers Fair at Parsons Walk on Tuesday 8th February with a wide range of employers from these sectors. Pop into FAB Futures for more information.

Help them find the right career path

So, to summarise, apprenticeships are exciting and an engaging way to learn and achieve that dream career. Parents, guardians, teachers and advisers can all help to support you to find the best option. Higher and degree apprenticeships are an alternative option to progress on to university. Other useful websites with apprenticeship information are: ucas apprenticeships, notgoingtouni and rate my apprenticeship.

So what are you waiting for, get researching and find that perfect opportunity. Good luck!!

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