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Posted by Izzy Chambers
11th January 2022
Apprenticeships: probably not what you think
Are you unsure which path to take?
For job seekers and career-path-hunters, the world has finally started to open. As the world begins to return to normality and the previously hibernating job sectors awaken, doors are starting to open, shutters rolling up and apprenticeship roles filling up the job posting websites. Meaning people like me, and maybe you, who at one time didn’t take a second look at apprenticeships, are finding them a perfect opportunity to dive into new industries.
The days of apprenticeships being strictly for secondary school leavers wanting to get into a physical trade are far behind us. Of course, if you aspire to don a high vis jacket and get started on your bricklaying apprenticeship with an appearance on Homes Under the Hammer in the near future, that is a perfectly respectable option still widely available to you. However, the doors into industries previously closed for anyone without a degree or a well-placed connection are opening, eager to welcome individuals that want to carve out a new path for themselves.
I was on the unlucky side and graduated right into the middle of lockdown, so I, along with a lot of people in the same boat, had to pull my boots up and work in an industry that had no links to my actual interests and skills just so I could afford to get by. Thankfully, that changed, and I decided to put all my effort into making the switch. After a bit of hunting, I found Niche. With the help and support of Green Labyrinth (an excellent Wiltshire apprentice training provider), I can happily say that my days of slogging through my workdays are over, and since December I am now the proud Digital Marketing Apprentice of Niche Recruitment.
No company shirt? No experienced shoes? No problem!
Don’t despair if you haven’t got industry experience, hiring managers are looking for their perfect candidate rather than perfect CVs. Having qualifications or experience of any small kind will always help, but a lot of hiring managers are looking out for the perfect catch of their own descriptions.
So don’t panic if you feel like your resume doesn’t have much padding, apprenticeship roles are the first step of that specific industry’s ladder, so someone who fits into a company’s desires of type of person has more of an impact than fitting the blanket statements often churned out in job postings you sigh over while scrolling through LinkedIn. For example, your creative flair and ability to bounce around a difficult conversation with ease could be the exact things that get you noticed, so put yourself out there!
Hiring managers won’t expect an expert in the field to be applying for these roles, they are looking for people that want to get both feet firmly in the door. You don’t need bank loads of experience, just bag loads of dedication.
What are the specifics?
Now, apprenticeships do differ from your standard entry job. The main benefit over an internship, of course, is that you earn while you learn. The training side of things will come from your apprenticeship provider, who will carry out assessments and a minimum of 20% off-the-job training. Completing assessments throughout your apprenticeship to track your progress, it will all then cumulate in an endpoint assessment, which is basically what it says on its tin. It varies to fit the specific role to accurately assess your gained skills, knowledge and competence for your occupation, but normally includes a practical task, project, interview/presentation and written or multiple-choice tests.
Still on the fence?
If, like me, you felt stuck in the sector you’re in now, apprenticeships shouldn’t be written off while you’re looking to re-join the piranha pool of jobseekers. There are an increasing number of roles that cater to adults rather than school leavers, and by that, I mean, with wages that you can live on comfortably while still being able to pay your rent.
They take a bit more searching for, but your perfect position isn’t out of reach. I took on a role during lockdown due to necessity. Now that the world is opening again and hopefully staying that way (touch wood, throw salt over your shoulder and other various good luck charms), I decided to start living again rather than just surviving, putting my everything into finding a way into an industry I wanted, rather than felt obligated to. If that sounds familiar to you, an apprentice role combines industry experience and learning, crafting you into a perfect package for the industry you’re interested in.
There’s never been a better time to set sail for new horizons, so which apprenticeship will you choose?
If you’re Wiltshire-based, get in touch with Green Labyrinth from Swindon to get your apprenticeship kickstarted.
You can also read a little bit more about me here!
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