The dos and don'ts of choosing an apprenticeship
Hotcourses Editor

The dos and don'ts of choosing an apprenticeship

The dos and do nots of choosing an apprenticeship

First published date September 17 2012 Amended date August 16 2013

Making the decision of whether to do an apprenticeship can be tricky and trying to decide on the right one, even harder. Here are a few things to think about while you’re browsing our apprenticeship pages to ensure you’re making the right choice:


Do check the entry requirements – these will differ depending on what area you are hoping to go into and the type of apprenticeship you’d like to do. For example, higher apprenticeships might ask for more.


Don’t be put off by the number of hours you will have to put in – you will be employed for at least 30 hours a week – though this might seem like a long time, it’s not much different from being in school every day except you are learning skills which you will use in your career. Plus, you’re getting paid!


Do weigh up the option of doing an apprenticeship against other qualifications at the same level to work out which are going to benefit you most. Though the attraction of earning wages might be strong, it might be that A Levels will be more use in guiding you towards your chosen career.


Don’t forget that you need both a college and an employer in order to do an apprenticeship – once you’ve found one, it’s worth chatting to them about how to find the other as they’ve probably worked with people like you before and will be able to give good advice.


Do research your prospects on finishing your apprenticeship – this is applicable for most further education qualifications – you are making an investment into your future so will need to know what return you can expect.


Don’t apply if you’re not prepared to work hard over a long period of time – most apprenticeships run from 2 to 4 years so you will need a high level of commitment.


Do find out more about the college you’re considering before you start applying. If you’ve found one that looks great here on Hotcourses, use the ‘Request info’ button next to the details to contact them directly and ask any questions you might have.


Don’t be afraid to choose a subject you haven’t yet studied. Many vocational subjects aren’t taught at school, so it’s likely you won’t have any academic experience in the area you choose to go into. Colleges and employers are aware of this and you will learn loads on the job, by doing.


Do find out about other people’s experiences of apprenticeships. You’ll find some you can read about here on Hotcourses, but it’s also good to speak to friends or family who have done an apprenticeship to find out what they’re like.


Don’t be put off if you are not in the 16-18 age range. This doesn’t mean you can’t do an apprenticeship. It does mean that the government won’t pay your employer for all of your training, they might only pay some, but many employers are happy to fit the bill themselves.


Check out our apprenticeship vacancies (covering young apprenticeships, higher apprenticeships and advanced apprenticeships) across the UK e.g. apprenticeships in BirminghamBradfordBristolCardiffCoventryGlasgowLeedsLeicester
Liverpool, LondonManchesterNottinghamWakefieldScotland and Wales.


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