Are you planning on taking an apprenticeship? Applying for an apprenticeship is much like applying for a regular job, there is no UCAS for apprenticeships which means that you will need to look for opportunities to apply for. You can look for apprenticeships by location and industry right here on NotGoingtoUni, and you may be surprised at the growing range of openings on offer (hint: they’re not just for those wanting to get into manual work!).
Different apprenticeships and employers have application requirements – some will want an application form, others a C.V. and others asking for an interview with you too. Each apprenticeship will give you details on how to apply. To apply for apprenticeships here on NotGoingtoUni, for example, you will need to set up a user account.
While there are differences in how to apply for different apprenticeships, there are a few general tips that will help you make the most of your application.
- Be Professional
When you make contact with your apprenticeship provider, even if you are just giving them a telephone call to check something, remember to be professional and polite. You don’t get another chance to make a good first impression. If you are a bit nervous about speaking on the phone write down what you want to say, so that you don’t forget anything you want to ask.
- Do Your Research
Take some time to research the role you are applying for, as well as the employer themselves. Check out the company website and look at their ‘about us’ section (most will have one, or something similar). This will tell you a bit about the culture and outlook of the company. The same apprenticeship or job can be quite different depending on who you work for – whether it is a small or large company, for example.
- Dress To Impress
If you are called in for an interview, dress to impress. Wearing smart ‘business’ clothes may feel odd, but it is best to play it safe and possibly be over-dressed for this first meeting than arrive not looking smart enough. Unlike applying for university it is not all just about your grades, you will also need to impress enough to be accepted onto the apprenticeship.
- What Can You Offer?
When making your application or going to an interview it is not all about what you hope to get from the apprenticeship, but also what you may be able to offer in return. Showing that you are dedicated, genuinely interested in the career or employer will certainly help make a better impression. An employer will be wondering why they should employ you and pay for your training – so show them that you won’t waste their time, effort, or money.
- Understanding Expectations
For all of this advice, most employers will take account of the fact that you may be making your first steps into the world of work, and so won’t expect you to be an expert already. Understand what is expected of you (the apprenticeship details will probably tell you), and meet the criteria. This will also help you make sure that you have found an apprenticeship that is at the right level for you.
Applying for an apprenticeship, like landing any regular job, is not an exact science but, with on-the-job training, genuine work experience, and the chance to earn a wage (rather than paying out on tuition), it is worth the effort. No longer a second-best option compared to university, an apprenticeship could really open up your career path – right away and without the debts associated with going to uni!