Applying to Apprenticeships After A-Levels

From 2015 to 2016, over half a million people started an apprenticeship in England alone. Apprenticeships are becoming hugely popular among young people, giving them the chance to develop skills in their chosen industry and work alongside professionals in the field. If you’re interested in applying for a Higher Apprenticeship after completing your A levels, there are several things you need to be aware of when completing the application process.    

Firstly, you need to find an apprenticeship. Websites such as Get In Go Far, have hundreds of positions to browse through. Simply enter a postcode and keywords to get started. Once you’ve found a position you’re interested in, find out everything there is to know about the vacancy and the company offering it. What does the position entail? Will it be challenging enough? If it sounds good, then bite the bullet and apply.  

When to apply

Each vacancy will have its own deadline. Although you’ll want lots of time to research and prepare for an interview, don’t leave it until the last few days to get your application in. You may encounter setbacks during the process and some companies take down their offer once they have a certain number of candidates, so don’t miss the opportunity just for being idle. 

The majority of firms begin recruiting from January and February onwards, though this varies from company to company. Check the start dates to ensure you’ll have finished school and your exams by the time the apprenticeship begins. Another good reason to start your research as early as possible is to identify any gaps in your experience. This may give you enough time to carry out some work in the relevant field to strengthen your CV in time for application.

How to apply

Apprenticeships will differ on how they want candidates to apply. This may be through the apprenticeship site you found the vacancy on, or directly through the employer. Depending on the position, you might need to fill out an application form, or the employer could request a CV and accompanying covering letter. For guidance on writing a strong cover letter, have a look at Reed.  

Tips for a good application

Research is essential. It may seem like hearing a broken record but finding out as much as you can before application will only help your chances of being successful. Ring up the company to fill any gaps in your knowledge about your employer and the way the business operates. This will only show initiative and that you’re not afraid to ask questions. 

Make sure you’ve prepared thoroughly in case you are successful. There’s no point applying, then being asked back for an interview weeks later and you haven’t begun to plan your interview technique. List all your experience, skills and appropriate interests and tailor them to the position. For every skill you identify, think of relevant examples that back up your statements. Demonstrate you’ve got the necessary qualities to be a successful candidate. Useful skills to include are communication, organisation, teamwork and initiative. 

Most important of all: triple check your spelling and grammar. It would be awful to have loads of experience and excellent interview skills, just to throw it all away on shabby writing. Typos are easily done, but are unforgivable in most applications. Have multiple people read through your documents before you send them. If you’ve already read through numerous times it’s easy to skim over grammar mistakes that could be the decider between you and another candidate.  

For a comprehensive guide on applying for apprenticeships, see

- By Rebecca Gibson

Fri 04 Aug 2017