Applying for apprenticeships is completely different to the application process any other form of education. This is why lots of young people looking to become apprentices find the process of researching, choosing, and applying to an employer daunting. The unfamiliarity of applying to different companies without going through UCAS, as with university, can be scary. However, finding your own apprenticeship employer allows you to develop your independence.
Finding an apprenticeship is remarkably similar to trying to find a job. There are several ways to find a programme in your preferred subject which suits your learning and working style. These techniques include everything from looking on the National Careers Service website to contacting an employer directly. There is no “right way” to find an apprenticeship, but you should definitely consider making a list of personal requirements. This way you can find an apprenticeship that suits your needs as a student.
This answer will have given you a brief overview but there is so much more to know! Continue reading for more on finding an apprenticeship employer, what is involved and the things you should consider.
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What is the best way to find an apprenticeship employer?
Unlike with sixth form college and university, there is no set way to find an apprenticeship. There are several ways to find employers who offer apprenticeships. It takes a little bit of time and effort, but by using one of the paths suggested below, you should be able to find a suitable program.
Before starting to look into the actual employers themselves, you should make a small list of requirements to help filter your search. For example, there are both large corporations and small businesses willing to supply apprenticeships, offering very different working environments.
When you feel ready to start looking for an actual employer, you should use the following methods to hunt down the right course for you. Read this article from the government’s apprenticeships website for more tips on how to narrow down your search.
Are there any websites that can help with finding an apprenticeship?
The process of finding an apprenticeship is comparable to that of researching jobs. The most popular way to find an apprenticeship programme is through a simple Google search. Most students start the process of finding a suitable apprenticeship through online search engines which then lead them to other websites.
However, if you want to look at a specific site, then searching job vacancy websites for apprentice roles is a clever idea. There are several apprenticeship-specific search engines which allow you to do just that. Click here to visit the findapprenticeships.co.uk website for a good range of opportunities. Alternatively, you can have a look at the government website for their apprenticeship search engine.
Alternatively, you can click here to explore the National Careers Service website. Not only does this have great links to apprenticeship employment opportunities, but it also has useful quizzes assessing your strengths and weaknesses. It can suggest competencies to add to you CV and give you advice on which career path to take.
Are there any offline services for finding apprenticeship employers?
Whilst browsing the internet for apprenticeship opportunities is the quickest and easiest way to find an employer, there are several other ways of doing this. One of these is by simply contacting employers directly.
You may have to do an internet search to find the names of some employers in the field you are interested. Alternatively, you may have a family member or friend who knows someone useful. Either way, if you can find the name and contact details of a member of human resources, there is no reason you shouldn’t contact them asking for an apprenticeship.
Realistically, most employers won’t be able to offer you anything if there are no provisions in place for an apprenticeship. However, it is still worth a try in case they do.
Other than directly contacting employers, the other option is to contact your local employment agency. This is very similar to checking the National Careers Service website but is done over the phone rather than through a simple internet search.
For a full run down of all the different methods to find an apprenticeship employer, read this governmental guide.
What should you look for in an apprenticeship employer?
When starting the process of apprenticeship, there are several things you should take into consideration. For example, the location of the employer will be important to your decision as you may need to move away from home. In this case, you would then need to find suitable student accommodation.
Think about the structure of apprenticeships offered by the employer. 20% of the course is always made up of educational work, but the employer can decide how and when you receive this. This can be a major deciding factor on whether you will end up applying to the employer, so do some research.
What is the main outcome when working with the employer? Despite being in the same industry, the ethos will vary from company to company in your chosen area of work. The attention could be on teamwork and building skills or on attitude in the workplace and independence.
You may want to choose a suitable apprenticeship employer depending on the competencies you would like to gain to aid you in the future. Equally, the apprenticeships you apply for could be based on the skills the employers require that you already have.
For more details on what to look for in an apprenticeship and how to find the right employer for you, click here and view this UCAS.com page.
How hard is it to find an apprenticeship?
Finding an apprenticeship follows a completely different process to applying for university, college, or any other form of education, as mentioned before. This is because the course is made up of both education and work.
The process is both easier in some respects and more difficult in others. However, and this depends on where you apply, finding an apprenticeship employer isn’t massively difficult.
Starting the process of finding an apprenticeship employer is possibly the most difficult element. There are so many opportunities out there, all with different requirements and outcomes. Even for a very specific subject area, there are hundreds of different apprenticeships available to find if you use the right research resources.
This can make choosing which apprenticeships to apply for very difficult. However, unlike with university, where you can only apply for a maximum of five schools, there is no limit to the number of apprenticeships you can apply for. You can read more about the concept in this article.
The only other difficulty in finding an apprenticeship employer is the same difficulty found by adults with finding a job. Unlike university, where the courses offered each year are the same, apprenticeships vary each year.
The perfect company may only run the apprenticeship programme for a single year before packing it in. This means that, when looking for an apprenticeship, you should aim to find an employer who has offered their apprenticeship course for several years, if possible.
How long does it take to find an apprenticeship?
Depending on the method you choose, it could take anywhere between a week and a few months to find an apprenticeship employer. If you are looking for a notable company which has offered apprenticeships to lots of people before, and are searching through the internet, it should take no time at all.
On the other hand, if you are looking for an apprenticeship by contacting employers directly, it will take much longer. There may even be several email chains back and forth between multiple people in the company before you’re even given an application. It’s worth spending the extra time if you are sure it’s the perfect company for you though.
Once you’ve put in a formal application for the apprenticeship, it should take a matter of weeks before you hear a response. By reading this guide, you will be able to fully understand the apprenticeship applications process and how long it should take to hear a response.
If and when you receive a successful application confirmation, you have officially found an apprenticeship employer!
Does your age matter when finding an apprenticeship employer?
Apprenticeships are not just post-18 qualifications and can also be taken as Level 3s as part of further education. This article goes into more detail about what further education is and the age groups it is designed for.
When looking for an apprenticeship employer, factoring in your own age is vitally important. This is because some employers will only be looking to take on higher apprentices and vice versa.
When contacting employers directly looking for apprenticeships, you should be careful to specify your age. This can save time on both your parts if they do not provide apprenticeships at the level of education you wish to study at.
This article goes further into the various apprenticeships levels that are available at in the UK. Alternatively, you can check out this article to see which age groups apprenticeships are generally offered to.