Our resident apprentice, Vaughn, shares his thoughts on why apprenticeships are an amazing way to kick start your journey in the wonderful world of work or to simply improve your skills.
So, a little bit about me, after I waved my GCSE’s goodbye, I decided to stay on at my high school’s sixth form to do A-levels, but after a while I decided that it was not the path I wanted to continue. That’s when I decided to start the search for an apprenticeship.
It did not take me long to find Hatch and I decided to apply for an A-level equivalent Level 3 Business Administration role. Since then, I have been immersed in everything across the business – from purchase orders to exciting video shoots in the office and even Spartying hard in Budapest for my 18th birthday. What I am saying is that while an apprenticeship will require hard work and dedication, it will also provide you with many rewards.
What is an apprenticeship?
An apprenticeship is a great way to fast-track your career, it is paid employment with holiday leave – a way to gain work experience whilst learning skills for life and it is a fantastic way to meet new people but enough about what it says on the tin… What do you actually do?
During your apprenticeship you will be working towards a qualification which are graded as follows: ‘Intermediate – Level 2’ which is equivalent to GCSE level, ‘Advanced – Level 3’ which is equivalent to A-levels, ‘Higher – ‘Level 4/5’ which is equivalent to a foundation degree and above, and finally ‘Degree – level 6/7’ which is equivalent to a Bachelor’s or Master’s degree.
You will be required to record 20% of your time completing ‘off the job’ training set by your training provider. Your employer is required to give you this time to complete it, alongside your other workload. ‘Off the job’ training is either completed in university/college or in your office. The tasks can be worksheets, videos, or simply shadowing and learning from someone in your workplace.
At the end of your apprenticeship, you will take part in an end-point assessment which will determine your final grade. It works on the basis of the pass, merit, and distinction grading system.
How do you get an apprenticeship?
To get an apprenticeship you first need to find and apply for one! I got mine through my past job at Elland Road so you could say I got lucky, and it goes back to the old saying “’t’s not what you know, but who you know.” However, apprenticeship roles are also listed online on websites such as, gov.uk, Indeed, and LinkedIn. An amazing place to look is recruitment fairs that take place all across the UK and throughout the year. Once you find an apprenticeship in the career you’re passionate about, apply! Be positive, hold yourself to high standards and always ask for feedback on ways to improve yourself, an employer will love that.
To get an apprenticeship you need to be 16 or over before the start date of your placement but you are able to apply before then. Unlike full-time jobs, experience is not needed for apprenticeships, however if a job role is completely new to you it’s better to start on an entry level apprenticeship (level 2/3). Companies in the UK often advertise new apprenticeships during National Apprenticeship Week however this does not mean that it is the only time they are released.
If you feel like you’re not ready for an apprenticeship it’s not the end of the world! You can apply for a traineeship which can last from 6 weeks up to 1 year, however most traineeships last for 6 months. A traineeship will help you with getting work such as writing a CV, finding a job, and will assist with english, maths, and basic digital skills if needed.
How has an apprenticeship benefited me?
Doing an apprenticeship has definitely helped me mature as a whole and is giving me valuable work experience. The whole appeal for me was to fast-track my career and it has done exactly that so far. I’ve taken part in video production shoots, the general day-to-day life of a Business Admin, and probably the best 18th birthday ever and this is all down to me making the jump to an apprenticeship. So, what are you waiting for? Get applying now!