What Is an Apprenticeship?
You have been looking at university or A level courses and they seem that they don’t suit you. An alternative route that you could choose is an Apprenticeship – but how do you actually apply?
Apprenticeships are training schemes that allow you to learn and become qualified on-the-job, while earning real pay. This post will look at the different Apprenticeships that are available, and how to apply for one.
There are lots of different types of Apprenticeships. Some are at a higher qualification level than others, but everyone achieves the same goal of gaining skills and qualifications that you may not get from university!
What Sectors Offer Apprenticeships?
The different sectors which offer Apprenticeships include:
- Agriculture, Horticulture and Animal Care
- Arts, Media and Publishing
- Business, Administration and Law
- Construction, Planning and The Built Environment
- Education and Training
- Engineering and Manufacturing Technologies
- Health, Public Services and Care
- Information and Communication Technology
- Leisure, Travel and Tourism
- Financial Services
- Public Relations
- Retail and Commercial Enterprises
- Traffic Office
As you can see nearly all the sectors offer Apprenticeships to people who are aged 16 and above. However, some of these sectors need the relevant experience and you need to be a certain age to get onto some of these apprenticeships.
Types of Apprenticeships
The different types, levels and equivalents are given below:
- Pre-Apprenticeships: Level 1
- Access to Apprenticeships: Level 1
- Intermediate Level Apprenticeships: Level 2, equivalent to GCSE level.
- Advanced Level Apprenticeships: Level 3, equivalent to A level.
- Higher Apprenticeships: Level 4, 5, 6 and 7, equivalent to foundation degrees and above.
- Degree Apprenticeships: Level 6 and 7, equivalent to a Bachelor’s or master’s degree.
These Apprenticeships range in experience, qualifications and age. For example, you will need to have the right A levels to get onto a degree course but you can access an Intermediate or Advanced Level Apprenticeship with just GCSE’s.
Apprenticeships in Wales
Apprenticeships are slightly different to those in the UK.
While Apprentices receive the same minimum wage as in the UK of £3.50 per hour, the funding is agreed specifically for each employer but your employer may also be required to contribute to some of the training costs.
This funding is entitled to Apprentices ages 16 – 18 and adults who are aged 19 and over in the first year of training.
Apprenticeships in Wales are studied in English, Welsh or bilingual. Speaking bilingual will be a big benefit to your employer as it could improve the customer service of the company!
If you would like to become an Apprentice in Wales, then you will need to apply to the Welsh Government at www.cymru.gov.uk.
Top Tips Before You Apply
Look at these top tips before you apply for an Apprenticeship:
- Research thoroughly: You need to do a lot of research into the company and the vacancy to make sure that it is right for you! If there is an email or telephone number, you could contact the company to ask some more in-depth questions about the role.
- Look at your CV: Take a look at your CV and make sure it is the most up to date as possible with your qualifications, experience and contact details. If you don’t have a CV – don’t worry, there are lots of templates and websites you could use to help you.
- Make your application eye-catching: If your application is not relevant and you have not used the company’s terms and its name, then it will not look personal and may look rushed.
- Spellcheck your application: This is really important – you do not want to have your application declined if you have spelling or grammar errors! So read everything you put on your application and maybe get a friend or relative to also look at your application, as they may see errors you might have missed.
How Do I Apply?
If you are interested in becoming an Apprentice, then great! It is an excellent alternative to traditional routes.
You could apply through the GOV.uk website, recruitment websites, your local college or the employer that you want to work for.
If you decide to apply though the GOV.uk website, you will need to search for an apprenticeship, sign in or create an account and then complete and submit your application.
If you get stuck, then the National Careers Service offer lots of useful tools and advise on writing your applications and interview preparation.
This is the usual route of how your application will be processed:
- After you have completed your application, it will be sent directly to the employer or the college/university that you will be training with.
- The applications will then be shortlisted and the people who did not get through will be contacted.
- The shortlisted applicants may be invited to a Preparation Event at your training centre. This will include a short test on your maths and English if you have not got GCSE’s in these subjects. If you have got your proof of GCSE’s then the training centre may take a photo-copy for their records.
- A short interview with an assessor will then be conducted to see if you are right for the role – don’t worry this is very informal.
- When the event has finished, the assessor will give you some feedback and then send your application to the employer.
- The employer will then look at the applications and see whether they want to interview.
- You will be notified either way and if you get an interview then you will have to carry out some more research and know your CV inside and out!
- After your interview, the employer will let the training centre know who got the role and you will be contacted.
- If you get the job, then great! Your new adventure as an Apprentice will start after you receive your contract.
- If you are unsuccessful, then you can ask for feedback and try again with another Apprenticeship.
As a new Apprentice here at CASCAID, I wished I had an article to look at for when I was applying!
I was very confused at the end of completing my A levels on which level of Apprenticeship would be right for me. I had to do a lot of research into the different levels and actually how to apply for one.
Apprenticeships are still very much of a buzz word, and hopefully this post shows you what is involved in an Apprenticeship and some top tips that helped me to apply!
If you would like any more information on Apprenticeships, we have previous blogs on Degree Apprenticeships that you could look if you are interested!