Where to look
The best place to start your search for Apprenticeships is the government’s Find an Apprenticeship Service: www.findapprenticeship.service.gov.uk/apprenticeshipsearch, where most Apprenticeship vacancies are listed. You can search by location or keyword to find the sorts of Apprenticeships that you’re interested in.
Local website for young people Oxme.info lists opportunities and you can sign up for weekly Apprenticeship and job vacancy bulletins here too. This is a great way to get ideas if you’re not sure what you want to do yet.
Keep an eye out for Apprenticeship adverts, for example in shop windows, job sections of newspapers, on social media and recruitment websites.
Tell your friends and family that you re on the lookout for an Apprenticeship and they can help you search too. They might know an organisation that’s looking for Apprentices.
If you know of a company that you might be interested in working for, introduce yourself and ask if they have any Apprenticeship vacancies. If the company doesn’t currently do Apprenticeships but are interested in offering them, put them in touch with us - we can help them get started.
If you have an idea of the sort of Apprenticeship you’d like to do, find out which training organisations do them and get in touch. They’ll be happy to talk to you about the training and current opportunities.
Go to careers evenings at your school – you’ll be able to chat to lots of different employers and training organisations all in one place.
Lots of businesses and training providers hold open events - look out for those too and go along to get a feel for the company and meet staff and Apprentices.
It’s never too early to start researching Apprenticeships that might interest you and finding out what the role involves.
Some companies such as BMW MINI Plant Oxford recruit groups of Apprentices at certain times of the year. Some start recruiting early too, as early as November in some cases, so find out when their recruitment window is open.
Find something you enjoy
Doing something you enjoy and are good at is important as you’ll spend a lot of time doing it!
Don’t be too narrow in what you’re searching for and look carefully at job descriptions - the job may be more interesting or relevant to you than it first sounds.
Remember - most people don’t go into their dream job or a job for life at the start of their career. It’s about making the right choice for you now.
If you know where you want to get to in your career, think about the best thing to do now to take you a step nearer that goal.
Get some experience
Getting work experience is always helpful as it shows an employer that you’re keen to work and have already gained some skills and experience. It will also make you feel more confident when you start in the world of work. Getting a part time job doing something linked to the career you want is great for gaining relevant experience and it can sometimes lead to an Apprenticeship.
Keep your options open
Don’t just apply for one Apprenticeship, apply for lots and give yourself choices. It’s also a good idea to keep your options open by applying for sixth form college or university too so that you’ve got alternative plans should one not work out.
Have an up to date CV ready and make sure you’ve checked grammar and spelling. This is important for applications too, as employers will be looking for care and attention to detail.
If you’re going for an interview, do some research into the company before you go. Think of a couple of questions to ask too, it will show the interviewer that you’re interested and keen.
Apprenticeships can be competitive and you might not get the first few you apply for, which can be disappointing. But you’ll learn from the experience and feel better prepared for the next application or interview. Going for interviews is great experience, even if you don’t get the job or decide it’s not for you. It helps you feel more prepared and less nervous next time.
See these top tips shared by students, Apprentices, employers and training providers on Twitter: https://storify.com/OxonApprentice/how-to-get-an-apprenticeship-top-tips.
Harriet is in Year 13 at Henry Box School and will be starting an Apprenticeship with BMW as a Finance Technician in August. Read about Harriet's experience of getting an Apprenticeship.
These students at Faringdon Community College have got some top tips for you on finding and applying for Apprenticeships. Check out their stories below…
I'm Chloe in Year 11 and I'm starting a
Hairdressing Apprenticeship when I finish my
GCSEs. Find out how I got my Apprenticeship
I'm Toby in Year 11 and I'm starting a
Greenkeeping Apprenticeship in July. Read
about how I got my Apprenticeship
I'm Kira in Year 13 and I'm planning to do an
Apprenticeship when I finish my A Levels.
Find out how I'm looking for Apprenticeships
I'm Harry in Year 13 and I'm planning to do a
Finance Apprenticeship after my A Levels. Read
about what I'm doing to find one
Links to other web resources
Find an Apprenticeship Service: www.findapprenticeship.service.gov.uk/apprenticeshipsearch
Lots of careers advice & opportunity to sign up for regular Apprenticeship vacancy e-newsletters.
How to write a winning Apprenticeship application: https://www.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/442593/How-to-write-winning-application.pdf
Hints & tips from the National Apprenticeship Service on registering, searching & applying for Apprenticeships.
Careers advice for parents: www.careersadviceforparents.org/p/apprenticeship.html
Amazing Apprenticeships: www.amazingapprenticeships.com
Apprenticeships: How to find the right one for you: http://www.yeuk.org.uk/apprenticeships-find-right-one
Blog by UK Youth Employment Ambassador Patrick Cantellow.
Not Going To Uni: www.notgoingtouni.co.uk