The Parents' Guide to finding an apprenticeship
If your teen's decided that an apprenticeship could be the right choice for them, it's time to start looking to see what's available. Apprenticeships are real jobs with training, so at the time of starting one, they need to be:
16 years or over
living in the UK
not in full-time education
Depending on their age, experience and qualifications, there are different entry levels for apprenticeships, ranging from Level 2 (straight after GCSE) to Level 6/7 (degree level). The apprenticeship level will be clearly noted on the advertisement.
Apprenticeships used to be associated with trade industries (such as electricians, mechanics or plumbers). Nowadays, apprenticeships can be taken in a wide range of industry sectors and provide entry to all types of careers, including accountancy, banking, IT, law, management and television. Taking an apprenticeship is not an easy option and competition can be fierce. It takes organisation and dedication to balance work (where your child will be expected to contribute to the same standards as everyone else) and study. However, if they have a more practical, work-related bias towards learning this will suit them well and they will obtain valuable experience which will strengthen opportunities in finding rewarding work when the apprenticeship is over. There’s a wide range of ways to seek out apprenticeships and we recommend using a selection of options rather than relying on one.
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Most apprenticeships are posted on the Government’s website. By creating an account, your child can set up alerts and filters to see opportunities that are of most interest to them and to be emailed when new opportunities arise. However, not all apprenticeships will appear. To visit the Government’s Find an Apprenticeship website, click here
It’s smart to check apprenticeships directly on company, university or college websites. If your child doesn’t know which of these sites to select, then they should first do some research on which industry sector may be of interest, and then find companies within this sector. Your child’s school or college career advisor will be able to help them with this research.
Another alternative is for them to identify companies that are of interest and check those websites for apprenticeships. Be warned! Applications to well-known international companies (such as Amazon, Coca-Cola, Facebook, Google, Virgin) will be highly competitive; however, it might be a good starting point for identifying what’s included in the apprenticeship and seeking out other companies that provide similar content. The descriptor names can then be used in search functions on the government website or job boards. Not all companies offer apprenticeships. Some examples of well-known apprenticeship providers include: Accenture: As a top 100 employer, Accenture currently provide a Technology degree Apprenticeship in five locations including London, Edinburgh and Manchester. The apprenticeship lasts for 3 or 4 years and enables its apprentices to obtain a BSc degree in Digital and Technology Solutions. BT: A top ten apprentice employer, BT offers an impressive array of apprenticeships including degree apprenticeships in Technology, IT, Cyber Security, Business Management, Engineering, Logistics and Digital Development. Apprenticeships are likely to be highly competitive. CGI: Offering apprenticeships in Digital Technology and Business, apprentices have the opportunity to gain degrees in Software Development, Digital and Technology Solutions or IT Management at one of CGI’s four partner universities. Nestle: In partnership with Sheffield Hallam University, the Nestle Academy offers a vast range of apprenticeship options at all levels, including three degree apprenticeships in Chartered Management, Digital Marketing and Operations. Apprenticeships last for one to three years. Santander Santander offer degree apprenticeships in Digital Engineering, Data Science and Corporate and Commercial Banking and are designed to lead to permanent roles within the business. Entry requirements range from 104 to 112 UCAS points and a grade 4 or above is required in maths.
National job agencies will also advertise apprenticeships and options can be narrowed to review within local distances from home or specific job types. This might be a particularly good way to seek out apprenticeships in level 3-5 range.
School careers advisor
If your child is still at school or college, then getting them to speak with their careers adviser is a good move. Careers advisors are often the first to hear from companies advertising new apprenticeships
To find out what other students have thought about an apprenticeship and how they rate them, there are reviews on Rate my Apprenticeship.
Is your child currently looking for an apprenticeship?
For more information on apprenticeships and how you can help your child apply for one, you may be interested in The Parents’ Guide to Apprenticeships
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