March 13, 2018

Making an apprenticeship work for you

If you are looking for a job that offers the opportunity to learn new skills and gain qualifications, an apprenticeship could be for you.

Modern apprenticeships can provide a uniquely valuable opportunity

Apprenticeships provide on-the-job practical learning, using the tools and technology that employees need experience of for their chosen career. In some industries, such as construction or IT, this type of daily practice is the only way to become skilled at the job. This means that apprentices have an advantage over job seekers looking for entry-level jobs who have not been through an apprenticeship programme.

In addition to hands-on experience, apprenticeships offer an opportunity to gain qualifications on the job with formal training. Some apprenticeships even offer the opportunity to earn a degree.

This combination of training allows apprentices to start earning while they are still learning. As well as offering valuable learning opportunities, an apprenticeship can immerse you in a profession so you get a good feel for the practices and expectations of the job.

So how can you benefit most from your apprenticeship programme?

Much like any job, a little effort can reap great rewards:

Show enthusiasm

You don’t need formal training or qualifications to start an apprenticeship. Instead, potential employers look for people who are passionate about the role they are applying for. Talk about any hobbies or interests you have that relate to the programme you would like to join. Talk about anything you’ve done that demonstrates teamwork, reliability or willingness to try new things.

Start strong

With many different apprenticeships to choose from, make sure you choose the one that’s right for you. BASE has a variety of positions available so search our database, or speak to one of our advisors for a position that suits you best.

Pay attention on the job

Once you get an apprenticeship, one of the greatest opportunities it offers is the chance to learn directly from skilled tradespeople in the industry. Listen to your colleagues, use the opportunity to learn from them and do your best to be a valued member of the team. Colleagues can be very valuable during your career. You never know where your next job is or who you will run into again so be a team player and be nice!

It’s OK to ask for help

If someone asks you to do something you don’t understand or don’t know how to do, don’t be afraid to ask for help.  The purpose of an apprenticeship is to learn on the job so don’t try to fake it if you don’t know what you’re doing. Above all, don’t try to hide any mistakes you make, or blame others. Remember, you never know when you will run into former colleagues again.

Be positive

Generally, the more positive you are about an experience the more you get out of it. If you don’t like something, try your best to find a solution to whatever is troubling you. Perhaps you lack confidence in a particular task? Difficult tasks often become more enjoyable as your skill improves. Perhaps a co-worker is getting you down? Teamwork is important to all jobs so try to think about why this person is bothering you. Often, opening up communication can help. Overall, have confidence in your ability, try your best and your employer will most likely see your potential. If they don’t it’s time to move on to a different position. An apprenticeship is the perfect time to try new things before you settle on a career.

Battersea Power Station anticipates that its current development will create 17,000 long-term jobs in retail, hospitality, leisure and estate management. Many of these will start with apprenticeships.