Finding an apprenticeship

You can search for a place on an apprenticeship as you would look for a job opportunity – trawl the web for advertised apprenticeships and details, then send your CV and an application to the employer directly.

It is a good idea to set yourself up an account on National Apprenticeships Service website and search for vacancies in your local area or field.

Once you’ve applied, recruitment works differently for different employers – some go straight to interview, some larger organisations run assessments of maths and English beforehand. Shortlists might be put together through online testing, telephone or online interviews or even an assessment day.

Smaller companies will most likely have a shorter, less formal decision-making process.

When to apply

If you find an interesting apprenticeship, it’s best to get moving. Even if the deadline is some distance away, companies might close the vacancy if they receive enough applications.

Timing is also something to consider. If a large firm has a vacancy they want to fill in September, they may advertise from as early as January.

Application tips

In a word: research. Don’t just look up the details of the role you’re looking at online, but arrange to have an informal phone call with someone to get more information on what the job is. And make sure you ask questions.

Ask your friends and family about your qualities to give you a starting point for writing about yourself. And don’t be afraid to blow your own trumpet as hard as you can.

Don’t just use spellcheck – it will miss mistakes if they are spelt correctly – but ask someone to take a look at your application for you, preferably someone with experience in that field or of hiring. As well as spotting any potentially embarrassing errors, they may be able to offer advice on how best to sell yourself.

Make sure that you shape your application to meet the requirements in the job description, using examples of what you have done