Choosing the right apprenticeship
So you’ve decided that an apprenticeship is the way forward. You can’t wait to get hands-on experience in a field you’re interested in and earn a wage while you’re learning. But there are so many different apprenticeship opportunities out there – how do you know where to start?
There are several things to consider when choosing an apprenticeship that’s right for you. You’ll need to make sure the training you get is pitched at the right level and equips you with the skills and experience you’ll need to prepare for the career path you’ve chosen.
To help with your apprenticeship search, we’ve highlighted some of the things you might want to consider while you search for that perfect opportunity!
Selecting the right level for you
There are different levels of apprenticeship to choose from, depending on your prior attainment:
- Intermediate apprenticeships: These are perfect if you're just starting out or have less than 5 GCSEs at grades A*-C (grades 9-4).
- Advanced apprenticeships: If you've already got 5 GCSEs at grades A*-C (grades 9-4) you'll be able to jump straight to this stage.
- Higher apprenticeships: Equivalent to a foundation degree, these are for applicants who already have 2 or more A-levels.
- Degree apprenticeships: These are equivalent to a full batchelor's degree (level 6) or master's degree (level 7) - so you'll be as qualified as a university graduate without the debt!
Working out what you're interested in
You’ll want to apply for an apprenticeship in a sector that interests you. If you’re a ‘people’ person and have great communication skills then an apprenticeship in customer service could be perfect for you. If you’re on top of new online trends, enjoy exploring new ways to connect and have a passion for technology, then you might want to consider a career in IT & digital.
If you’re not quite sure what to choose, or what path you should take, speaking to a careers adviser or using an online careers guide can help you work out which jobs and industries interest you the most. Start by taking a look at the types of apprenticeship opportunities available in different business sectors.
Finding an employer
While your apprenticeship search may be restricted by the number of apprenticeship opportunities in your chosen sector – or by the competition for these vacancies – it’s worth considering the type of employer you’d prefer to work for. Are you better suited to working for a smaller, more local company where you’ll get to know and build relationships with your colleagues quickly? Or have you always dreamed of working for a large national or international organisation where you’ll often see new faces and might regularly have to travel to different locations?
The first step towards your future
Once you have a firm idea about the type of apprenticeship you’d like to pursue it’s time to think about the bigger picture. Will the apprenticeship you’ve chosen ultimately help you meet your career goals? Where do you want to be in 5 years’ time and will your apprenticeship programme help you gain the skills, knowledge and experience you’ll need to get there?
Perhaps you’re keen to choose an apprenticeship in a growth sector, with great opportunities for career development. Maybe you feel it’s more important to gain transferable skills that can be used across a broad range of industries. These are all factors that will influence your choice of apprenticeship.
Need more information about choosing the right apprenticeship? Our friendly team of advisors can answer any questions you have and will help to match you with vacancies in your area. Leave us your details and we’ll be in touch.