How to get an Apprenticeship… Faringdon Community College students share their top tips

How do you find your perfect Apprenticeship? We chatted to five students at Faringdon Community College (FCC) who are planning to start an Apprenticeship when they leave school this year, who wanted to share their experiences with you to help you find your Apprenticeship! Find out how George got his Joinery Apprenticeship and check out Chloe, Toby, Kira and Harry’s stories for top tips on how to search for Apprenticeships, the value of work experience and why you should keep your options open...

Chloe, Year 11 at FCC
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
Toby, Year 11 at FCC
I'm Toby in Year 11 and I'm starting a
Greenkeeping Apprenticeship in July. Read
about how I got my Apprenticeship
Kira, Year 13 at FCC
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
Harry, Year 13 at FCC
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

Some top tips for Apprenticeship hunting from FCC students...

  • Don’t leave it too late! Start looking sooner rather than later and give yourself time.
  • Ask around - word of mouth can be a great way to find out about opportunities.
  • Don’t be too narrow in what you’re searching for, you might miss something interesting.
  • Look carefully at job descriptions – the job may be more interesting than it sounds!
  • Keep your options open. Don’t just apply for one thing, give yourself choices.
  • Be prepared - have your CV ready and up to date.
  • Getting work experience is always helpful, 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.
  • Get a part time job doing something linked to the career you want - it can lead to an Apprenticeship.
  • 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.
  • Be persistent. 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.
  • Most people don’t go straight into their dream job or a job for life, it’s about being realistic and finding the right thing for you now to help you get started in your career.

Students at Faringdon Community College receive expert advice and support from Careers Adviser Tina Belcher, who guides them towards the right career path for them, investigating options and choices along the way. In addition to providing 1:1 support, the school holds an annual careers fair, where students can chat to organisations offering Apprenticeships, including local employers. They also run workshops in partnership with Oxfordshire Apprenticeships for interested groups of students to help them with the application process.

Tina says: “More and more I see students both after Year 11 and after sixth form who are discovering that an Apprenticeship can not only give them practical experience and an income but can provide them with training up to a high level – in some cases equivalent to a degree. I think that over the next few years we will see a further shift towards the Apprenticeships route as the route of choice for our bright young people.”

David Wilson, Faringdon Academy of Schools Executive Head says: “At FCC we value each student as an individual and it is very important to us that every young person gets individualised careers guidance throughout their time with us. We recognise that post 16 full time study is not for everyone and encourage our students to look at all options including Apprenticeships.”