Spring: Now is the time to…

The Spring term (January – April) is time to start taking real action. Hopefully the autumn term will have been used to inspire your students, and their families, to explore their options. Spring is often when we see the majority of apprenticeship vacancies advertised.

Use this term to work with your students to apply for vacancies, know what to expect from the different apprenticeship recruitment processes and continue to build their resilience.

We have selected our top activities to help your students get ready this term:

1. GET INVOLVED IN NATIONAL APPRENTICESHIP WEEK

National Apprenticeship Week is usually held in February each year. For 2022 it will run from Monday 7th – Sunday 13th February 2022. It is a national celebration of all that is good and positive about Apprenticeships and the perfect time to continue to inspire your students, staff and families to consider apprenticeships as a good option.

  • Visit the National Apprenticeship Week page to access free resources and ideas for activities that you could undertake in your school or college.
  • Plan out schedule of activities for your school, including activities for students, staff and parents and carers.
    Top tip: The ASK Programme can provide fully-funded support to your school to deliver a range of activities.
  • Linking a student’s favourite subjects to the world of work is a brilliant way for them to see how their passions can link to future careers. Work with your curriculum staff to consider how you can bring the discussion about apprenticeships into the classroom.
    Top tip: The Careers & Enterprise Company have created some fantastic subject guides through their My Learning, My Future resources

2. READY, STEADY, APPLY!

The Spring term tends to be when the majority of students will submit their apprenticeship applications and really get started with the recruitment process. Having multiple applications in the pipeline is an important strategy to ensure that students are keeping their options open and giving themselves the best chance of securing an apprenticeship. There is no limit on the number of apprenticeship applications that someone can submit.

  • Ensure that students understand that apprenticeship application processes will often vary between different employers. Some will ask for a CV and covering letter, others will use the government’s Find an Apprenticeship system whilst others will have their own in-house processes.
  • Help students to be ready for the apprenticeship application process by having some pre-prepared text and responses that they can tweak and adapt. If your students have also been working on their personal statement, this can often be used as a starting point.
  • Provide training and awareness for the staff and teachers that are guiding and advising your students with their apprenticeship applications. Help them to know what a ‘good’ apprenticeship application should include.
  • Encourage students to submit their applications as soon as they are ready and not to wait for the deadline. If an employer is overwhelmed with applications, they may decide to close their recruitment window early, meaning that students could miss out.

3. KNOW WHAT TO EXPECT FROM THE RECRUITMENT PROCESS

The apprenticeship application process will vary between different employers. Some employers that run large recruitment campaigns will have fairly complex recruitment processes that will involve many stages of assessment and interview. For other employers, the recruitment process will be much shorter and simpler, perhaps involving an application form, CV and covering letter. It is really important that students are ready for whichever recruitment processes they may encounter and feel confident in knowing what is expected of them.

  • Assessment centres, whether online or in person, are a common way that employers with large-scale recruitment programmes will shortlist candidates.
    Top tip: The ASK Programme can provide fully-funded support to your school to deliver mock-assessment-centre and mock-interview sessions for your students.
  • There are many other different recruitment methods used by employers, including telephone interviews, video interviews, competency tests and assessments.
    Use this short 5 minute film to help students to understand the different methods.

4. Build resilience

Applying for an apprenticeship is just like applying for a real job. Students may need to make multiple applications before they are successful in securing a job offer. Handling the disappointment of rejection can be hard, and so the school will have a crucial role in helping students and their families to stay motivated and to keep on trying.

  • Encourage students to make multiple apprenticeship applications simultaneously. Although this may feel difficult for them to be juggling different applications and recruitment processes (especially deadlines for responses), it is a really useful strategy in helping them to keep their options open and to remain optimistic about the recruitment process. 
  • Setting up a support group amongst the students that are applying for apprenticeships is a model that many schools find is successful. Every week, they bring the students together to share their experiences. This is particularly relevant as students start to attend interviews and assessment centres as they can directly share their experiences with others, and also reflect upon what they might do differently next time.
  • If unsuccessful, students may wish to ask the employer for some feedback about why they were unsuccessful and to seek guidance on how they might improve their performance for the next time. Please prepare your students that not all employers will have the capacity to provide this level of feedback though.

Sign up to stay informed

Look out for brilliant resources from Amazing Apprenticeships to help you to celebrate and recognise key events and campaigns during the term. Some of our favourite campaigns in the Spring term that we will be releasing resources for include:

  • National Apprenticeship Week
  • National Careers Week
  • International Women’s Day
  • British Science Week and
  • Autism Awareness Week

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