January 20, 2020

Three questions you need to ask before applying for an apprenticeship

Apprenticeships offer a unique blend of work and study that can boost your earnings and catapult you up the career ladder – but they’re not all created equally.

If you’re considering starting an apprenticeship there are three key questions you must ask to make sure it’s the right route for you.

What is a typical day like?

Depending on the level of your apprenticeship you’ll be in this role for 1 to 5 years, so you’ll need to make sure it’s the sort of thing you’ll be excited about for a while.

Find out what a typical day would involve and reduce the chance of any surprises if you are offered the job. Will you be in an office or outside? Working at a computer or with your hands? Working 9-5 or different hours? Neither is right or wrong, but it’s important to get a good fit with your skills and preferences if you want to enjoy your job, and your future career.

Search online for the company running the apprenticeship. Do they have a good reputation in the industry, and do they sound like somewhere you’d like to work?

Finally, consider the wage on offer. The current minimum wage rate for an apprentice is £3.90 per hour for both your working and training hours. This rate applies to apprentices under 19 and those aged 19 or over who are in their first year. If you’re older than this, you must be paid at least the minimum wage rate for your age.

What qualification will I achieve?

An apprenticeship is not just a job – it’s primarily a way to get education and training in your chosen field. To get the most out of your apprenticeship, make sure you understand the qualifications you can get and the doors they can unlock in your future career.

If you’ve already done GCSEs or A levels, an apprenticeship might not necessarily be a step up in terms of educational level but it could give you a more targeted route to your dream job.

Name Level Equivalent educational level
Intermediate 2 GCSE
Advanced 3 A level
Higher 4,5,6 and 7 Foundation degree and above
Degree 6 and 7 Bachelor’s or master’s degree

What will I do afterwards?

It might seem early days to start thinking about life after an apprenticeship before you’ve even applied, but it’s important to consider what your plans and options are after your training ends.

Try to find out what previous apprentices went on to do. Are you likely to be offered a job at the same organisation?

You might find out that the apprenticeship you had your eye on is not actually the best way to get where you want to be after all – and if this is the case it’s best to figure it out now instead of in six months time once you’ve started.

The more knowledgeable you are about a potential apprenticeship, the more confident you can be that it’s the right choice to help you achieve your ambitions.

And last but not least – don’t forget to register with us.

Once you’ve registered your details on BASE’s Talent Pool, we can connect you all the latest jobs from our outstanding employers.