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How to Choose the Right Apprenticeship for You

Choosing to take up an apprenticeship is a popular and wise career move, one which you’ll find people are full of encouragement for. The hardest part of taking on an apprenticeship is sifting through the myriad of options and finding the right one for you. With various levels and types of apprenticeship on offer, and many different companies bringing it into their employment offering, it can feel like there’s a lot to cover. Here are some tips from professional training providers DPG on picking the right apprenticeship for you.

Choosing an Industry

There are apprenticeships available in a whole manner of different sectors, so it can often feel overwhelming when choosing the right one for you. Before you make such a big commitment, consider some of the following things:

  • Think about your own interests – What are you passionate about and what kind of job would get you out of bed in the morning?
  • What are you good at? – What do you really excel at? If you’ve already got a transferable skill or talent, this could easily be translated across to an apprenticeship.
  • Online career tests – If you’re still unsure on an industry, consider trying a career placement test. Here you’ll answer a series of questions and be matched with some suggested roles.

Top Tip: Apprenticeships are now incredibly popular, meaning that there are lots of options available across countless industries. Take your time to pick something that you’re truly sure you want to do for years to come.

Choosing a Level

Once you’ve picked your industry, you’ve overcome the trickiest part of your journey. Choosing the level of apprenticeship you want to pursue is the next, much easier, task. Usually dependent on your experience, you’ll find the one that’s right for you relatively easily.

There are four types to choose from:

  • Intermediate – This is the perfect beginner’s level of apprenticeship if you’re just starting out.
  • Advanced – For those with at least five GCSE’s, jumping straight to an advanced apprenticeship could be the best option.
  • Higher – A higher apprenticeship can be the ideal starting block for someone with at least two A-levels.
  • Degree – The highest level of apprenticeship. Completing a higher apprenticeship can lead to qualifications equivalent to an undergraduate or master’s degree.

Top Tip: When choosing your level, your previous experience and qualifications will pretty much make the decision for you. If in doubt, seek out advice on the best place to start your journey.

Choosing the Right Employer

So, you’ve picked the right industry and level of apprenticeship; now it’s time to find the right employer for you. Some things to think about include:

  • Size – The size of the company will make a big difference. Big organisations often take on large numbers of apprentices as well as an in-house training academy. With smaller employers, you’re likely to be on your own and attending college for some of the week.
  • Environment – This is all down to your personal preference. If you want the fast-paced life, then a big company is the way to go. Alternatively, if you prefer a modest, more intimate working environment, then look to small company apprenticeships.
  • Pay – The minimum wage for an apprentice under the age of 19 is £3.50 an hour (over 19’s start at the national minimum wage). Big companies may offer more money than smaller ones, so consider your personal financial situation when choosing an apprenticeship.

Top Tip: Don’t be drawn in by the place that’ll pay you the most money. Look for the all round feel of the company and make sure it matches with the type of place you’d like to start your career.

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Last updated: 29 Mar 2019

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