How to get the most out of an apprenticeship

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You’ve submitted your CV, applied for a role and landed yourself your dream apprenticeship. Now it’s time to make sure you get the most out of your experience.

It’s normal to feel like you want to maximise your experience, so we’re here to help with some handy tips on what you can do to get the most out of an apprenticeship.

From X to Y, this guide will explore how to make sure your apprenticeship is a success.

Improve your apprenticeship success and kickstart your career

To ensure you have the best apprenticeship success rate it’s important to make the most of the opportunity an apprenticeship can offer you.

Apprenticeships provide the chance to learn important skills that can be applied directly to in-demand jobs. That doesn’t mean you’re limited to just learning the operational skills of your selected role – you can also build transferrable soft skills too. Unlike university, apprenticeship programmes enable people to earn whilst they learn, offering an affordable way to develop new skills and build a career for the future.

If you adopt the following advice, you’ll be on your way to apprenticeship success and securing a future career:

Adopt a can-do attitude

Apprenticeships are a learning experience. But unlike school or university, you get on-the-job training. Being in a real-world job environment can sometimes be daunting, but your programme has been designed to help introduce you to all the skills you’ll need to have a successful career in your industry of choice. So embrace the opportunity! Be enthusiastic about the tasks you’ve been set, and show a passion for your work. Demonstrate that you’re willing to learn and take on new challenges and your employer will soon take notice. 

Don’t be afraid to ask for help

This is a new role to learn a new skillset. Nobody expects you to have all the answers, and asking for help will not only lead you to learn more but also shows willingness to learn, feeding further into the can-do attitude already mentioned.

Asking for help at the right time in the right way is also important. If your colleagues are busy, you could make a note of questions to ask when you get that chance to sit down with your mentor or manager. If there’s something you need to know in order to do the job, however, make sure you ask early on to save time lost on the task. Another tip could be to ask for website links or books on useful information that can help you in your training and give you resources to refer back to as you go.

Do your research

Do you know people who work in your desired industry? If so, it is certainly worth asking them for their perspective on the job and getting some first-hand insight into what the day-to-day looks like and what qualities make a good candidate for the role. Social media has also become a way to gain insights into different jobs in ways we have never had available before. TikTok and Instagram both feature users sharing their everyday in a number of different industries so this could be a great place to start to see if your expectations of an industry match up to reality.

For your apprenticeship, don’t be afraid to ask for as much information as needed to help you set your expectations. Can you ask to visit your new place of employment beforehand and meet colleagues to ease anxiety and see what the environment will look like?  

Lean on your peers

If you are working with other apprentices or juniors, you should absolutely help each other out and offer support. Chatting about your learning experiences and low-level peer coaching actually helps you learn as you share knowledge with others. This works the opposite way for your peers. If they are answering questions for you, they will learn too.

Sometimes just having moral support from people in similar situations can help. This comes back to speaking up and asking for help. If you are finding any aspects of your apprenticeship challenging you should speak to your manager or mentor, but additionally don’t be afraid lean on your peers to talk things through and gain some perspective.

Build connections

You’re in a unique situation where you have direct access to people a few years ahead of you in your chosen career. Whether it’s keeping in touch with managers or peers on a middle experience level, you never know where these people’s careers will take them in future and how useful a connection they may be.

Social networks like LinkedIn are perfect for this. You can even ask people you worked with to leave recommendations on your page to help show future employers your competency and the good impression you made during your apprenticeship.

Be proactive

One piece of advice applicable to any young person going into a career for the first time is to be as proactive as possible. If you try to find answers to questions yourself first, make use of your training and resources to try something before asking someone else to do it. Doing so will not only make it easier for your manager or mentor but you’ll also learn through trial and error which will ensure information sticks more in your mind.

Don’t be afraid to share your ideas

Never assume that people with more experience hold all the answers. If you have an idea to improve a process or change something for the better, you should absolutely put this forward to be considered. This will demonstrate a willingness to engage in your chosen career and an aptitude for initiative.

Each person has their own way of thinking and working, those who have been in a career for years may never have thought of what you are suggesting. You have a fresh perspective that is an asset to your employer. Putting forward ideas and showing this initiative could lead to a job offer at the end of your apprenticeship and let you stand out amongst other candidates.

Ask for opportunities

If you see an opportunity to learn, take on a project or do something new that you are interested in, you should ask to do it. Just because you aren’t offered an opportunity doesn’t mean it isn’t available.

Showing a willingness to take on new skills, learn and grow is all going to make you look great to your employer. Additionally, you are in an apprenticeship to learn skills so why not take every opportunity available to make the most of your time?

Taking this advice on board and applying to your apprenticeship will no doubt positively impact your experience and allow you to get the most out of your time.

Not yet applied but interested in apprenticeships? Visit our Jobs Board to find an apprenticeship that’s perfect for you.


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