building apprentice
Bekah Leonard

Making the most of your apprenticeship

How to make your apprenticeship work for you

First published date September 25 2014 Amended date September 26 2014

You’ve found it: the apprenticeship of your dreams. But after you’ve filled in the applications, started the interview process and finally found the time to stop to catch your breath, you realise that there’s still a way to go before you’re hacking it on your own in your field of choice. Bekah Leonard at Uni’s Not for Me gave us the lowdown on how you can make the most of your time as an apprentice and why you should never take anything for granted.


Deciding to do an apprenticeship is a big step; it’s an incredible opportunity, and you’ll soon be getting experience and pay before your uni-going chums. If you are lucky enough to get a place on one, you need to work this opportunity for all it’s worth…and I’m going to tell you how.


Stay Late!

Don’t be pedantic about home time – it’s probable that you’re going to have to spend more than one evening a week in the office to get stuff done to a deadline. Even if you aren’t specifically asked to by your employer, volunteer. Prove that you want to work, prove you’re passionate, and prove that you will always go the extra mile. Your employer will adore you, and you’ll get a few hours extra learning.



Treat every day on the job as the first – you need to be ready for it before it happens. The night before, you need to know exactly what needs to be done the next day. Have everything you’ll be needing ready to go and tick off what you’ve done as you go. You’ll be surprised at how such a simple thing will enhance your productivity, and impress your employer.



No, not at work. Napping on your desk will be thoroughly frowned upon. However, getting a good rest the night before will make the world of difference to your day. If you’re used to staying up all night, an early bed time may well make you feel worse for a few days – stick with it. Eventually your body will become accustomed to the new pattern and you’ll start to feel much better for it. Mid-afternoon drowsiness will become a thing of the past while you plough on through the day like a Duracell bunny!



You need to erase the term half-hearted from your brain. It can’t be a thing. There can be no days where you let yourself take it easy, no slacking, and no napping on your desk. Everything you do has be done to the best of your ability which means it needs 100% of your focus. If you need to refresh, take a walk, get some fresh air and re-group. Your employer will be looking for dedication and drive, so you absolutely must focus!



This might seem the less important point of this blog, but honestly – it is just as key to holding the job. If you don’t get on with your colleagues and employer, not only will they not want to work with you but you won’t want to work with them. Try and create a relationship that is friendly and comfortable while also professional. There’s no reason to work in silence all day – chat, laugh and ask questions. They’ll be more likely to hire someone they get on with than a stone faced silent apprentice.

These are my top tips for making the most of your apprenticeship. Not only will following these rules help you learn and gain as much as you can from the opportunity, but it will give you a nudge towards permanent employment at the end of the programme.


To hear stories from former of current apprentices, visit the Success Story page at Uni’s not for me! Maybe one day we’ll be interviewing you...

Bekah Leonard

Unis not for me is an organisation with one aim – to educate the young people across the UK about all their post school options. We want school leavers to make an informed decision that suits them personally when it comes to university, and they may well be alternative routes into their chosen career paths.