If you have a clear career idea, you could consider an apprenticeship.
An apprenticeship combines on-the-job training with study. It's a way of training for a trade or profession. You learn, work towards qualifications, gain work experience and get paid.
Apprenticeships are available across a wide range of industry sectors. These include: business administration, ICT, motor vehicle, engineering, childcare and hairdressing.
For additional information and guidance please visit the government's become an apprentice page.
How long does an apprenticeship last?
Apprenticeships vary in length. They normally last between 1 – 4 years.
Applying for an apprenticeship
You must be 16 or over. There is no upper age limit.
Employers look for:
- Good record of attendance
- Good timekeeping
- Willingness to work towards a qualification
- Ability to work as part of a team and independently
Entry requirements depend on the apprenticeship. Employers may ask for two or more GCSE (grades 4 -9) or equivalent. Some intermediate apprenticeships don't ask for any formal qualifications.
Advantages of apprenticeships
- Earn while you learn
- Training for recognised qualifications
- Gaining practical experience in the work place
- Build confidence
- Develop skills
- Paid holidays
- No student loan
Apprenticeship advice services
If you don’t have a clear idea as to which vocational area you want a career in, there are websites that can help you decide what is right for you:
National Careers Service - Career platform with quizzes and help to explore careers
Barclays - Find out how your skills, interests and personality traits match up with a range of job roles
UCAS - Job profiles to explore by subject or by job family, and help with job ideas
PS16 - Positive Steps offers jobs, full-time courses, apprenticeships and training programmes, and holds a number of careers events
Start - Career platform with quizzes and information on a whole range of options
Careers Wales - Plan your career, prepare to get a job, and find and apply for the right apprenticeships, courses and training
Traineeships aim to help you get an apprenticeship or job if you don’t yet have the appropriate skills or experience. Most are unpaid, but improve your confidence, skills, qualifications and work experience to enable you to compete in the job market.
They can last up to 6 months. Progression routes include apprenticeships, employment or further education.
Although voluntary work is unpaid, it has many benefits:
- Improve your employability skills
- Build your work experience
- Improve your confidence
- Make a difference
- Meet new people
- Be part of a community
- Take on a challenge
- Improve your CV
Many employers will ask you for your CV (Curriculum Vitae). This should start with your contact details, then talk about your skills and abilities as well as your education and work experience. Include your hobbies, interests and references.
- Your CV should be word processed
- Keep it short – no more than two side of A4
- Keep it simple
- Be positive about yourself
There are plenty of reasons to consider self-employment, such as:
- You can be your own boss
- Work more flexibly
- You may have a higher salary
But there are downsides too, including:
- Lack of employee benefits such as sick pay and holiday pay
- Possible long working hours
- Responsibility for your own tax returns
- Unpredictable finances
Prince's Trust offers support to people aged 18-30 for starting a business.
If you aren’t ready for a job, a traineeship or an apprenticeship (e.g. you may lack the right level in English and Maths), you can enrol on the Study Programme. Providers currently include Trans4m and YEP. The programme includes work experience, employability skills, English and Maths. They are available in Leicester and Leicestershire and you can start at any time of the year.
There are also a range of other part-time and full-time employability programmes, these currently include:
Prince’s Trust - Get into - for 16-30 year-olds
Prince’s Trust - Team programmes - for 16-25 year-olds
YES Project - for 15-24 year-olds
Great Project - for over 18 year-olds
The Skills Toolkit - a government online learning platform that offers a variety of courses, all free and available online with no long-term commitments, so you can choose to dip in and out at your leisure, choosing to learn wherever and whenever suits you best.
If you think that this would be a good option for you, get in touch to find out more, our telephone number is 0116 305 2071.