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Finding the right apprenticeship

Thousands of employers offer apprenticeships, from large corporations to small businesses and it is important to consider all career options to ensure that the apprentice’s decision is an informed one. 

Choosing the right career path

Career options that combine work and studies for young people after school include: 

  • apprenticeships which offer individuals the opportunity to constantly develop new skills and apply classroom learning in a real-world environment 
  • traineeships provide unpaid work experience and additional training to prepare the individual for an apprenticeship or work 
  • T levels offer young people classroom training alongside an industry placement and offers the equivalent of 3 A levels 

For more information about post-16 career options, visit the National Careers Service website or speak to a career adviser using the webchat or call 0800 100 900.

Choosing the right employer 

All apprenticeships offer bespoke training and study programmes, making the apprenticeship a highly personal experience, regardless of whether the apprentice is the only one in the business or one of many. 

Benefits of an apprenticeship with a small employer include:

  • a personalised experience 
  • a smaller team which can create stronger working relationships with colleagues, line managers and mentors  
  • hands on experience across different roles 
  • the opportunity to stand out and progress quickly 

Benefits of an apprenticeship with a large employer include:

  • opportunities to relocate 
  • advanced recruitment processes 
  • the opportunity to work closely with other apprentices 
  • a range of career progression opportunities 
  • a recognised employer on a CV
  • rotation programmes to gain experience in different roles 

Things to consider when researching apprenticeship vacancies could include:

  • read the job description and job advert to see what experience the apprenticeship will offer 
  • research the training provider that will be offering the classroom based learning, such as reviewing their Ofsted rating
  • research the employee benefits  
  • speak to the employer and/or the training provider about how 20% off-the-job training will be delivered as employers take different approaches

Applying for more than one apprenticeship 

Submitting applications to more than one employer increases the chance of securing an apprenticeship. 

Employers often advertise at different times of the year, so it’s important to understand that finding an apprenticeship can sometimes be more complicated than applying for full-time education (e.g. university). 

Supporting a young person who has changed their mind 

If a young person applies for full-time education and changes their mind, they are still able to apply for an apprenticeship. 

If a young person applies for an apprenticeship and changes their mind, they will need to hand in their notice and their training provider will help support them in finding employment or further study. 

Employee benefits as an apprentice

As well as paid work experience and a recognised qualification, an apprenticeship offers a range of other benefits. 

These can include: 

  •  networking opportunities 
  • ongoing and personalised support from the employer and training provider
  • peer-to-peer support 
  • social benefits 
  • student benefits such as discounts 
  • paid annual leave
  • employee perks
  • no tuition fees or learning costs 

A guide to apprenticeship applications

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Find out more about the application process and access hints and tips on what to expect and how to prepare.


A guide to apprenticeship interviews

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Find out more about the interview process and read our hints and tips on what to expect and how to prepare.


Degree apprenticeships: an open day guide

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More and more universities are beginning to work with employers to deliver degree apprenticeships. This guide provides advice on the key things to consider when attending university open days if you are considering a degree apprenticeship as a career option.


More on apprenticeships

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The apprenticeship application process differs for each employer. It could involve a CV, online application, telephone interview, panel interview or assessment centre.

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