Finding and applying for apprenticeships
You can find the right apprenticeship opportunity for you in a number of ways.
Searching on GOV.UK
If you want to find out what apprenticeships are available nationally, have a look at the A-Z of apprenticeships. You can then search for available opportunities on GOV.UK - Find an apprenticeship. You can search without signing up, but you will need to create an account to:
- apply for apprenticeships
- get email and text alerts about new apprenticeships and your applications
- track your applications
N.B. Although at any one time between 12-20,000 apprenticeship vacancies are on the Find an apprenticeship website, not all are advertised on there, so you may need to search elsewhere to find the right one for you.
Finding an apprenticeship through a provider
Most apprenticeship providers (colleges, universities and training providers) advertise apprenticeship vacancies on their websites, so this can be a good source of information about vacancies.
Other ways to find an apprenticeship
Employers and learning providers might also use other means to find their ideal apprentice. You could try:
- looking in local and national newspapers
- searching for vacancies on major national recruitment sites – try entering ‘apprentice’ in the search box and also consider signing up for alerts
- checking employer websites (particularly useful if you have an employer in mind)
- approaching employers directly to ask if they might consider making a job vacancy into an apprenticeship
- asking family and friends whether they are aware of any apprenticeship opportunities
- viewing the Amazing Apprenticeships website for details on opportunities available with a selection of well-known employers
Making your application
- There are no fixed deadlines for apprenticeship applications – vacancies appear throughout the year. However, many start being advertised from January or February. Particularly for Higher and Degree Apprenticeships, you are likely to have to apply several months before the start date.
- The application process will vary depending on the employer – smaller organisations may have less formal processes than large ones. You will have to complete an application form or submit a CV, and you may have to do some online tests and even have an online or phone interview before any face-to-face interviews or other assessments.
- Once you spot an opportunity, apply as soon as possible just in case the employer shuts down their recruitment once they have enough applicants.
- Applying for an apprenticeship is very similar to applying for a job, but you will need to demonstrate that you’re prepared to study alongside your job.
- Entry for some apprenticeships is very competitive so make sure you submit a good quality application and ‘sell yourself’. It should show your enthusiasm for the role and explain why you are suitable. Write it carefully and get someone to check it through.
- A few well-targeted applications may be better than lots of mediocre ones.
- When you get an interview, make sure that you’re prepared – research the employer, think about the kinds of questions you may be asked and what answers to give, and make a list of anything you want to find out.
- The National Apprenticeship Service publication, 'Don't dream it. Do it.' has lots of information and tips on finding and applying for apprenticeships.