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Case Study

Monday - Day 1 – Thinking about the right Apprenticeship for you!

If you are 16 and over, not in full time education and live in England you are eligible to apply for an Apprenticeship. 
How do you choose between Apprenticeships? Are you better suited to a Business Administration Apprenticeship, Plumbing Apprenticeship or maybe a Childcare Apprenticeship?
Here are three things to think about:
  1. The level of Apprenticeship
  2. The type of Apprenticeship
  3. Entry requirements for your chosen Apprenticeship
1. What level of Apprenticeship?
There are different levels of Apprenticeships:
  • Intermediate (Level 2 – equivalent to 5 GCSE passes at grades A* to C)
  • Advanced (Level 3 - equivalent to 2 A level passes)
  • Higher (Levels 4, 5, 6 & 7 - equivalent to Foundation degree and above)
  • Degree Apprenticeships (Levels 6 & 7 - Bachelor’s or master’s degree)
The level of Apprenticeship that you start on is based on experience and qualifications in your chosen sector, not just academic achievement. 
An Apprenticeship will take between 1 and 4 years to complete depending on the chosen sector and the chosen framework within that sector, also the level of your Apprenticeship.
During your Apprenticeship you will be required to work a minimum of 30 hours a week and will receive at least the national minimum wage for Apprentices, although we find that most employers will pay more than the minimum wage.
Whilst doing your Apprenticeship most of your training will be delivered in the workplace. This enables you to learn all of the necessary skills to do the job well whilst having the support of your workplace around you. The remainder of your training may take place either at college or via e-learning. This will be carried out by a training organisation.
2. The type of Apprenticeship
Some people will have a clear idea about what they want to do, while others will still be looking at their options. 
There are currently 170+ different Apprenticeship frameworks across 13 different broad sectors. This ranges from Engineering and Construction to Business and Finance. 
Below is a list of current Apprenticeship Sectors
  • Agriculture, horticulture and animal care Apprenticeships
  • Arts, media and publishing Apprenticeships
  • Business, administration and law Apprenticeships
  • Construction, planning and the built environment Apprenticeships
  • Education and training Apprenticeships
  • Engineering and manufacturing technologies Apprenticeships
  • Health, public services and care Apprenticeships
  • Information and communication technology (ICT) Apprenticeships
  • Leisure, travel and tourism Apprenticeships
  • Retail and commercial enterprise Apprenticeships
It is also worth thinking about your own interests and skills. What are you good at? 
Are you more interested in a hands-on Apprenticeship? Or would you be better suited to an office based role? Do you have the patience to work in a childcare environment? Or are your math skills good enough for an Accountancy role?
It’s good to keep an open mind and explore Apprenticeships that you might not have considered. Do you know anyone that has done or may be doing an Apprenticeship? Having a chat with them may give you a good idea of what to expect and how to prepare.
3. Entry requirements for your chosen Apprenticeship
Whilst you are researching different Apprenticeship roles, be sure to have a look at the entry requirements for the job. These include the required GCSE and sometimes A Level results (or equivalent) for that individual job. They may need you to have had experience within the sector; this can be in the form of work experience or maybe a weekend job whilst at school. 
If you are still at school, now is a good time to start putting things into place ready for when you start applying for Apprenticeships. Find a weekend job or look to do some work experience in the sector you have chosen.
Still to come…
Over the next 4 days the South West Apprenticeship Company will posting more days of guidance, tips and Apprentice case studies for you all to share. So be sure to check out the SWAC Website, Facebook and Twitter to keep up to date.
Tuesday (Day 2) – CV 
Does your CV give the right impression of you and the Apprenticeship that you are applying for?
Wednesday (Day 3) – Applying for Apprenticeships
The best places to search and how to apply for Apprenticeships.
Thursday (Day 4) – Interviews
 Interview tips and techniques
Friday (Day 5) – Progression
Where can your chosen Apprenticeship take you? Future progression routes.