Embarking on an apprenticeship can be a fulfilling and rewarding way to kickstart your career, where you can learn and develop new skills in a hands-on environment whilst being paid to do so. If you or someone you know is interested in finding out more about the process of starting an apprenticeship, equipping yourself with the necessary knowledge and resources to pursue a career in the sector of your choice is crucial.
Research career paths
When looking at taking on an apprenticeship, it’s important to remember that there are often various pathways to get into a field of your choosing. When beginning your apprenticeship search, it’s a good idea to start by researching these various paths available – read into the different roles, technologies, and industries that align with your interests and skills to help you identify the specific apprenticeship programmes or opportunities that are most suitable for your desired career trajectory.
You should also try to check with local trade associations, community colleges and vocational schools to find out if they are aware of any apprenticeship programmes currently being run with open opportunities to get involved.
Apply and prepare for your apprenticeship position
Once you have identified the apprenticeship programmes you are interested in, it's time to apply. Prepare a well-crafted CV highlighting your relevant skills, education, and any prior experience or certifications. Tailor your CV and cover letter to emphasise your passion for the role and your commitment to building a successful career.
If your application is successful, you may be invited for an interview as part of the selection process. Research common interview questions and prepare thoughtful responses that demonstrate your knowledge of the industry you are looking to enter, your enthusiasm for it, and your willingness to learn and grow within the field. Practicing mock interviews with friends or family is an invaluable way to boost your confidence and improve your presentation skills.
Starting your career and beyond
Once accepted into an apprenticeship programme, prepare yourself for a hands-on learning experience. Absorb as much knowledge as possible from industry professionals, asking questions and seeking guidance along the way. Take advantage of the practical training provided during the apprenticeship period to develop technical skills and gain real-world experience.
While participating in your apprenticeship, make an effort to network and build connections within your sector. Ask your employer if it is possible to attend industry events, join professional organisations and connect with industry experts through online platforms like LinkedIn. Networking can open doors to future job opportunities past your apprenticeship and provide valuable insights and mentorship from experienced professionals.
It’s also important to stay updated on the latest industry trends, technological advancements, and policy changes that are impacting your sector. Attend workshops, conferences, and webinars to expand your knowledge about advancements taking place – or consider signing up to online newsletters to stay informed on the latest changes and opportunities that could impact your career.
Throughout your apprenticeship, document your achievements and keep a record of the skills you have acquired, any certifications earned and the projects you have contributed to. Create a portfolio of your work, including photographs, case studies, and any measurable impact you have made on projects.
Starting your apprenticeship is an exciting step towards building a rewarding career. By conducting thorough research, applying to suitable apprenticeship programmes, and embracing hands-on learning, you can gain the knowledge and skills needed to succeed.
At NRL, we’re proud to support projects across the UK and internationally. If you’d like to find out more about the exciting roles we’re currently recruiting for or would like to discuss your own career ambitions further, please feel free to connect with me.