Considering an apprenticeship? Read these 4 tips first  

Andrew Thomas, a recruitment manager at Lloyds Banking Group, is part of the team who hires apprentices into our organisation. Here are his top application tips to help you find, choose and secure the right apprenticeship

Tip 1: think about what really interests you

There are plenty of apprenticeships available, so think about what matters to you in a career, such as having opportunities to develop, being part of an innovative organisation, or somewhere we you can get involved in activities that give back to communities.  Write down your strengths and your interests – what you enjoy doing and what you are good at. This will help you decide the apprenticeship and company that might be a fit for you. If you need help deciding, to match your personality and skills with a potential career path.

Tip 2: pick the level that suits your background

There are opportunities to progress, shape your career and develop your strengths, no matter what level you’re at. The level that you can apply for will largely depend on your existing qualifications e.g. what you got at school, as well as apprenticeships on offer in the area you’re interested in.

THE DIFFERENT LEVELS OF APPRENTICESHIPS ARE:

  • LEVEL 2: intermediate apprenticeships are open to all ages, as long as you're proficient in maths and english. Once completed, you'll have a qualification equivalent to 5 GCSEs.

 

  • LEVEL 3: advanced apprenticeships are open to all ages, as long as you're proficient in maths and english. Once completed, you'll have a qualification equivalent to 2 A level passes.

 

  • LEVELS 4, 5, 6, 7: higher apprenticeships are open to people who have GCSEs, A Levels, or who have completed an apprenticeship already. Once completed, you'll have a qualification equivalent to a foundation degree or above. At Lloyds Banking Group these enable you to get into marketing, project management, finance, IT and more.

 

  • LEVELS 6 & 7: degree apprenticeships mean you study for a degree alongside work. Completed one of these will get you on the path to management. 

Tip 3: find an apprenticeship that is right for you:

Once you know what interests you and the level of apprenticeship that suits your qualifications, start researching what’s on offer. Determine whether you meet the entry requirements, which qualifications your apprenticeship will lead to, the pay on offer and the support that you will receive. Think about what you enjoyed at school, in past roles  or in your current job and see if there’s an apprenticeship that will develop these skills. You should also factor in the hours you’ll need to work and how much time you’re given to study.

Tip 4: make sure your application stands out

The first step is to produce an amazing CV and application. The best candidates stand out because they’ve put in extra effort.

Apprenticeships are fun, but they’re also hard work. You’re essentially working and learning at the same time, so we also look for candidates who can demonstrate that they can commit to hard work. This shows through projects they’ve done outside of class, volunteer work, organising a school event, having a part-time job or being part of a sports team. 

Once you’ve figured out your transferrable skills, do your research. Know why you want to work for a particular organisation. By researching the company and apprenticeship, you’ll show that you are curious, interested and have initiative. At the same time, while you research, you can make sure apprenticeship is truly right for you.

Don’t worry, employers won’t expect you to know everything about the job itself, so don’t feel you need all the knowledge straight away. If you’re curious, ask questions.

Do:

✓ Research the organisation and apprenticeship role

✓ Only apply for roles that really interest you

✓ Get someone to read over your application and CV to check there are no mistakes

Demonstrate that you have the skills and attributes for the role you are applying for – and that it is right for you

Don't:

X Apply for lots of apprenticeships whether you are interested in them or not – it’s better to put your energy into something you’re interested in.

X Assume that apprenticeships are the easy option – it can be harder to get a place on an apprenticeship than it is to get into uni.

X Apply if you are not prepared to commit – unlike jobs you can leave at any time, apprenticeships need to be fully completed to gain your qualification.