If you’re considering doing an apprenticeship but are not totally sure which industry or type of role you want to pursue a career in long-term, the good news is that there are plenty of skills that you can gain during a gas apprenticeship, which could help you in many different ways in the future.
Government research shows that around 90 per cent of apprentices stay in employment once their programme is successfully completed, and seven in 10 stay with the same employer after they have finished their apprenticeship.
Gaining skills during this time that can be transferred to different jobs, workplaces or assist you in many areas of your life and career is a great benefit of apprenticeships that can prove invaluable going forward.
What are soft skills and why are they important?
Soft skills are related to the way in which you work but are not the same as the technical skills that you use in your job. Examples of soft skills include:
- The ways in which you interact with colleagues and/or customers
- How you manage the work you do
- How you solve problems that crop up when working
Soft skills are important because they are used on a daily basis in any workplace, as well as outside of work too, and help you be as successful as possible in your job. Someone can have great technical skills, but if they are poor at communicating to colleagues or customers or can’t manage their time very well, it can mean that they aren’t as successful or productive at some parts of their role.
Most people won’t have the technical and soft skills needed for an apprenticeship qualification from the start of the programme; these are learned and improved over time, during the apprenticeship and beyond.
The great thing about soft skills that you gain during your early career and improve on over time is that they can be transferred to any future job roles that you might have, even across different industries or types of role.
What kind of soft skills could a gas apprenticeship give you?
As you progress through a gas engineering apprenticeship, you learn lots of technical skills that enable you to do the job, but you also learn many other soft skills that you might not even realise you’re picking up at the time.
Simply being in a work environment, working alongside colleagues, speaking to customers and organising and prioritising your work tasks will naturally give you skills in these areas the more you do them.
Unlike other kinds of 100% practical plumbing and gas courses, with a gas apprenticeship, at the same time as the practical job you’re doing, you are also studying and receiving off-the-job training, which can also provide you with opportunities to gain more soft skills.
A gas apprenticeship could help you gain soft skills in areas including:
- Communication – in the ways you communicate with your colleagues at work, any customers you deal with, those involved in your training and in any presentations or projects you do as part of your study.
- Organisation – in learning how to prioritise and order the tasks you do, which can be in both the work and training parts of your apprenticeship.
- Time management – in everything from getting to work on time to ensuring that you give yourself enough time to complete your studying and work tasks.
- Teamwork – in working with colleagues of different ages, backgrounds and experience levels to achieve a goal of completing the work task.
- Problem-solving – in coming up against problems in a work task or as part of your on and off-the-job training, being able to troubleshoot issues, work out how to fix them and persevere until you find a solution is a very useful skill.
- Work ethic – in learning from more experienced colleagues and seeing that your hard work directly affects the outcomes both in work and study, you can develop a strong work ethic that serves you well throughout your career.
- Adaptability and flexibility – in being challenged in different settings and situations with work tasks, as well as balancing work and study at the same time, you can learn to adapt quickly to whatever circumstances you find yourself in.
- Conflict resolution – in work situations it’s inevitable that there are sometimes disagreements or conflict and learning how to deal appropriately with this during your apprenticeship can be invaluable.
- Dependability – in becoming someone that your employer can rely on to get a job done and working well with your colleagues to help out whenever possible, you can gain a great reputation for being dependable.
How can soft skills gained on a gas apprenticeship be useful in the future?
The soft skills you gain and practice throughout your gas apprenticeship can be useful in a number of different ways in your future. These include:
- Being able to communicate clearly and effectively with those around you, even if you work in a totally different role.
- Having a strong work ethic helps to ensure that you’re pulling your weight and become known as someone who works hard in any job that you do throughout your career.
- Being able to list the most critical transferable soft skills on your CV when you apply for other jobs in the future, and incorporate them into your cover letter, as well as mentioning them and how they have helped you, in any job interviews you’re invited to attend.
- Being able to manage your time and organise your tasks effectively so you can get the most important things done at work.
- Being able to work well with a range of people who might be quite different to you and deal appropriately with conflict if it arises.
Not only can soft skills gained during a gas apprenticeship help you with your future career, they can also help with every area of life, whether that’s your friendships, with hobbies, helping others or just your everyday interactions with people.