HOW TO APPLY FOR AN APPRENTICESHIP?

Is an apprenticeship the right option for you? 

Check out my latest blog post here to understand whether an apprenticeship is the right option for you. Do you have a dream career in mind? What qualifications do you already have? Do you still want to be in education? Are you ready for a full time job? Make sure you have thought of all of these things before applying as it will make the search a lot more efficient.

CV 

Do you have an up to date CV to provide organisations with when you are applying for apprenticeships? Chances are if you are a school/college leaver this will be your first full time job and you will need to start your CV from scratch. Your school or college may have facilities that will help you write a CV or alternatively look online. I recommend the UCAS website when creating your CV https://www.ucas.com/understanding-apprenticeships/how-apply-apprenticeship/prepare-cv-for-apprenticeship-interview

Employers will not be expecting you to have loads of experience and qualifications (depending on which level apprenticeship you are applying for – Appendix A) as this will come to you over time throughout your employment within an apprenticeship. They will be looking for skills and behaviours that you can already demonstrate and to improve on throughout the course of the apprenticeship. 

My top tips for your apprenticeship CV:

  • Sell yourself in the introduction 
  • Include the skills you already have 
  • Explain your goals for the future and what you would like to gain from the apprenticeship
  • Tailor your CV to the job role of the apprenticeship 
  • Add qualifications
  • Keep it to only 1 page long – (if you run out of space, do not include a section for references as the company can just request these from you if they are required!) 
  • Keep it professional 

Company in mind?

Is there a specific company you would like to work for? 

I would suggest looking at their site directly and going to their ‘career’ page, most organisations have these. All of the available roles will be listed here and you can look directly for apprenticeships. 

If your desired organisation does not offer an apprenticeship or has no jobs listed on their website, I suggest emailing them, with your CV attached, to let them know that you are interested in completing an apprenticeship through their organisation. Once they have received your email they will either get back to you to let you know if they have anything available or they can keep it on their records to update you if suitable apprenticeship roles become available in the future.

The search begins…

If there is not a specific organisation in mind, then your search based on the apprenticeship job role begins! It’s best to have an idea of the type of apprenticeship you would like to complete, however, it’s always good to keep your options open as an apprenticeship is designed for you to learn on-the job. So if there is something that you are unsure about or don’t know a lot about, that’s okay as you will learn about it and become passionate about it when you are completing the apprenticeship!

1. Government- Find an apprenticeship https://www.gov.uk/apply-apprenticeship 

This site allows you to enter any key words such as a specific job title or employer if you already have one in mind. Next, you can put in your area and how far you are willing to travel to your apprenticeship.  Thirdly, it allows you to choose what apprenticeship you are looking for, Appendix A shows the levels of apprenticeships against the equivalent full-time education qualifications. Finally, there is an option which allows you to only see Disability Confident* apprenticeships if required. 

On this site there is an option to be able to see more or less details. I recommend selecting ‘wage’ and ‘apprenticeship level’, so when you are searching it makes this process a lot quicker. 

*Disability Confident: The disability confident scheme supports employers to make the most of the talents disabled people can bring to your workplace.

2. Not going to uni – https://www.notgoingtouni.co.uk/  

This site gives you the option to select what type of apprenticeship, where, and what distance you are willing to travel in the search bar.

If you are not sure on what type of apprenticeship you are looking for, just leave that section out and it will show you all of the apprenticeships in your area and in the distance zone you have set. 

On this site I would be careful as once you click search it will still show you jobs that are in completely different cities, as advertisements. Sometimes this isn’t clear so make sure you double check the location before applying. 

3. Colleges/Universities 

Apprenticeships are also advertised through colleges and universities as this is how you usually gain the apprenticeship qualification. You will work for an organisation doing on-the-job training, however, for the 20% of work required for the apprenticeship qualification this is done through a college or university. 

For levels 2 to 4 look at colleges for apprenticeships available and for levels 5 to 7 look on university websites. College and university open days will also allow you to see what apprenticeships they have to offer in your area.

4. Find Apprenticeships – https://www.findapprenticeships.co.uk 

Very similar to ‘not going to uni’. However, something to note on this site, is that not all of the jobs listed will be apprenticeships, so make sure that the apprenticeship qualification is included.

5. CV Bay – https://cvbay.com

On this website you can search through the current vacancies to find apprenticeships available, but also if you set up an account and upload your CV and clarify that you are looking for an apprenticeship, CV Bay will contact you when they find available, suitable jobs for you. 

6. Get my first job – https://www.getmyfirstjob.co.uk/#

Type in your postcode and the industry you want to work within (select show all, if you are unsure) and press search. All apprenticeships in your area will be displayed. 

Preparing for interviews

Apply for as many suitable apprenticeships as you can. I would also suggest that you apply for apprenticeships you are unsure about or ones that are further away and/or offering lower wages as you may land an interview which is always good for experience whether you want that particular apprenticeship or not. The interview stage will also allow you to ask questions about what you can expect from the apprenticeship if you are unsure. 

When preparing for apprenticeship interviews it is important to understand the job role and the employer. I’m planning on creating a specific blog post about apprenticeship interviews, so please stay tuned for that!

Appendix A:

How I found my apprenticeship 

I plan on writing a separate blog post regarding this, however, I found my apprenticeship through CV bay. I had completely forgot that I had signed up to CV BAY, but after a few months I had a phone call from them offering the apprenticeship I eventually went for. I also had many other interviews organised through the websites I have listed in this blog.

-Young Business Woman

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