Link to National Apprenticeship Service
Finding the right employer for you
To start an Apprenticeship you will need an employer and this should be your number one priority.
With an Apprenticeship you start working for an employer from day one. You will be supported by a training provider for the learning element of the programme. As an Apprentice you will develop your skills on the job with your employer as well as receive off the job learning through your training provider, this could be one day a week at college or a more flexible model with your training provider.
One of the most effective ways of securing an employer for your Apprenticeship is through registration with the National Apprenticeship Service. This website is home to all Apprenticeship job vacancies in the area. This is a great way to search for positions in sectors that are of interest to you.
- To search for LIVE Apprenticeship vacancies visit the Apprenticeship Vacancy Service
- Click ‘I’m looking for an Apprenticeship’ and ‘Register Now’
- Choose a familiar username and password that you will easily remember
- Complete all fields – when entering personal information use correct grammar including capitals and always check spelling
- Always include a telephone number, and ensure that you have an appropriate voicemail greeting
- Always include a suitable email address
- Once registered, an email will be sent direct to the email account given. You will need to open this email and click the link to activate your account
- Once activated, complete all fields in the ‘My Profile’ section
- When searching for vacancies please read the vacancy carefully to ensure the job role is suitable for you. Consider: Location – how would you get there? Deadline for application and wage
- If you are interested in a vacancy, you have 3 options 1) print , 2) save vacancy (to apply at a later date) or 3) apply now
- Include all qualifications and achievements
- Answer all questions and expand on your answers by providing examples, think about all of your experiences and personal achievements, for example jobs, hobbies and work experience
- Check and double check your application for spelling and grammar, ask family or friends to read through it for you
- Always remember the employer will see your application so be formal and sell yourself!
- Make sure once completed your application click Send
- Follow up and manage your applications regularly – you can apply for up to ten vacancies at a time
- If you cannot find a vacancy which interests you right now, keep checking other opportunities will become available
It is likely that you will be asked to attend an interview for the job vacancy that you have applied for – remember an Apprenticeship is a job so you will go through a recruitment process with the employer.
This guidance will help you prepare for your interview.
Prepare – after applying, it’s important to prepare so you’re ready for an interview or assessment. You need to dress appropriately for the job role and look ready to start work. It is always better to be too smart than too casual.
Research – try to find out about the employer and what the Apprenticeship will entail, have a look on the employers website etc. It will help you create a list of questions that you could ask in an interview and it shows you’re keen. Make sure you read any information sent to you, so you know what the interview or assessment might entail and ask questions if you are unsure of anything.
Before the interview check the following
- Location -make sure you know exactly where you’re going – print out a map. Work out the best transport options a few days before.
- Confirm attendance – let the named contact on the vacancy know that you will be attending the interview or assessment. If you do need to change, they may be able to rearrange the date and time for you.
- Check date and time – make sure you know when you’re meant to be attending and who to ask for.
On the day
- Arrive early – it’s really important to turn up: if you are unable to make the interview or you’re going to be late get in touch with the named contact on the vacancy as soon as you know. Arriving early will give you time to gather yourself for a few minutes in reception and it makes a good impression.
- Bring relevant information with you – always take a copy of the vacancy and your application form to the interview or assessment, it’s good practice to take a Record of Achievement or similar with you.
During the interview
- Be polite – initially an interviewer will probably shake hands and say ‘Nice to meet you’. At the end, shake hands and thank the interviewer for their time.
- Body language – it’s good to look upright, alert and keen rather than slumped. Eye contact is good too. It’s natural to feel nervous so take a few deep breaths to help calm yourself.
- Think first – after each interview question, it’s OK to pause and think before you answer. Feel free to ask an employer to repeat a question or clarify if you don’t understand it.
- Be positive – be positive in the examples that you give in your answers, it’s about what you say and how you say it.
Things to expect
- The interview panel could be any size from one to four people asking you questions.
- You may be asked to tell the panel about yourself – think of hobbies, personal qualities. This is your time to sell yourself to the employer, don’t be shy!
- You may be required to complete a short task or test but would always be informed about this prior to interview.
Ask for feedback
If you’re not successful on your first application, keep applying and don’t take it personally. Competition can be strong for Apprenticeships in certain industry sectors. There are plenty of Apprenticeship opportunities being added to the system all the time. Don’t limit yourself to one application.
If your application was unsuccessful, ask for feedback. It will help you work out what areas you can improve on, whether it’s interview technique or new skills you need to acquire.
Are you currently in paid employment?
If you are already in paid employment and you would like to explore the possibility of completing an Apprenticeship you can contact your local training provider who will be able to support you. Many training providers have dedicated teams of specialist staff who will speak to you and your employer in detail to determine if an Apprenticeship is the right choice for you.
Are you unsure if an Apprenticeship is for you?
Some people know which job they would like to do to complete their Apprenticeship but others need additional help and guidance to make the right choice. If you are undecided about Apprenticeships or would like to talk to specialist staff to choose the right job role many learning providers attend careers events and host open evenings. The events are a great way for you to speak to training providers about the areas that interest you and receive guidance and support on your next steps.