2020 has taught us all that we need to be prepared for our plans to change. This year at Amazing Apprenticeships, our team has engaged with thousands of young people, employers and training providers to ensure that we are gathering the very latest news about apprenticeships and that we are passing this on through our networks and resources.
We know that there are many brilliant schools and colleges who are utilising the support of Amazing Apprenticeships and the ASK programme to ensure that students and their families are kept up to date with the latest apprenticeship news. In the past five years we have supported more than 4,200 schools and colleges and over 1.2 million students to explore apprenticeships!
No matter what you think you know about apprenticeships…..there is always more to learn.
It is really important that anyone researching and applying for apprenticeships understands how the apprenticeship landscape has changed over the past few months, and that they are aware of the new processes and methods that they need to be prepared for.
Here are our top tips:
1. There are still apprenticeship jobs being advertised, but there are less than we would typically see at this point in the year.
If you are researching apprenticeship vacancies, you will need to think about how, where and when you search for jobs. You will need to be clued-up about using technology to enable your search techniques by signing up to vacancy alerts, following companies on social media, speaking with family and friends, visiting Vacancy Snapshot and being proactive in approaching companies and asking for work experience or attending virtual open days to get yourself noticed by employers.
2. Don’t wait for the closing date to submit your application
We are trained from a fairly early age when managing our workloads to look at the closing date or deadline, and to work backwards. The same used to be true for job applications, but some employers and recruiters have explained to us that they may decide to close recruitment windows early if they feel that they have received a sufficient volume of applications. You need to be aware that competition for jobs is likely to be increasing, so you should try to submit your application as soon as you are ready, rather than waiting for the deadline. Don’t rush it though – it’s important that you check your spelling, grammar, accuracy and take time to get it right.
3. Most recruitment is now online (and we expect this trend to continue).
A lot of employers have told us that they have replaced traditional face-to-face recruitment with the use of telephone and video interviews and also online assessment centres. You will need to be ready for ‘virtual recruitment’ processes and ensure that you have looked into what to expect so that you stand the best chance of being successful. There are lots of resources out there to help you to prepare for these processes and the ASK programme can even run practical sessions to explain everything in detail.
4. New apprentices are starting – but the induction process might look and feel a bit different.
It’s great news for everyone that many employers are finding ways to start new apprentices. You will need to be prepared that you may not be in the workplace immediately, or even full-time. For example, you may find yourself working from home one week, in the workplace the following week (in work bubbles) or you might be working 100% from home. Equally, you might be 100% in the workplace from the beginning. Your employer will be able to explain more about their arrangements (and you will need to be prepared that it may change too).
5. Have a plan A, B, C and D…..keep your options open
One of the best ways to be resilient when plans change is to have other options lined up.
At Amazing Apprenticeships we always encourage individuals who are considering applying for apprenticeships to explore multiple options simultaneously at both post-16 and post-18, without judgement or prejudice. The range of options is now vast and really exciting!
It is important that as well as the more traditional options, you also make sure that you understand apprenticeships, traineeships, T Levels and FE College. Keeping options open and making the decision that is right for you at the time you need to decide, will be hugely empowering.
6. Make use of the support networks around you
At some point you will need to make a decision about which path you want to follow, but remember that it’s ok to change your mind too. Whatever path you decide to follow, you will want to know that you’ve given it your best shot. If you’re struggling or not enjoying it, don’t be afraid to ask for help. Talk to other individuals that are following that option and make use of the support networks around you too. Your school/college will have a Careers Leader who you could speak to. There are also services such as the National Careers Service who offer free of charge information, advice and guidance. If you are an apprentice, you will be able to speak to your employer and your training provider too who will want to help you to be successful.
7. Apprenticeships are still amazing!
Apprenticeships can change lives. The positive benefits for both apprentices and the businesses that they work for have been researched and documented countless times. Apprenticeships are also completely different to studying full time and as they are real jobs, we may still see more subtle changes in the coming months. Keep checking back in with us on social media, sign up to our newsletter and remember to have regular conversations with your friends, teachers, families and anyone else who is helping you to line up options for your future.
To keep up to date with the latest apprenticeship news, sign up to our newsletter at www.amazingapprenticeships.com and follow us on social media @AmazingAppsUK
We have also created a short PowerPoint presentation for you to use with your students. Click here to download.