National Apprenticeship Week – a week-long celebration focusing on apprenticeship success stories across the UK – will take place on 8th-14th February 2021. Many employers use this week to highlight the benefits of being an apprentice and promote the work they do with young people, so if you’re interested, it’s worth looking at.
Apprenticeship week will see events take place in schools and colleges that introduce students to the idea of being an apprentice and highlight the options available. During this time, you may see some familiar faces, as some schools invite old students back to talk about the route they took as an apprentice and their career so far.
Is an apprenticeship for you?
Apprenticeships offer a brilliant route to skilled employment. Some people think apprenticeships are only offered to those looking for jobs in trade, but there are options in numerous careers, like fashion, law and engineering.
If the thought of going to university isn’t appealing, an apprenticeship is a great alternative. Being an apprentice is an opportunity to earn whilst you learn, combining training in a workplace to gain experience, alongside classroom-based studying. One of the most appealing elements is that you’ll be earning a salary at the same time!
If you’re thinking about applying for an apprenticeship but aren’t sure whether it’s the right thing for you, seeking career advice is a good move. Most schools offer advice of some kind, and National Apprenticeship Week may provide further opportunity to speak to someone who can help.
Qualities of a good apprentice
If you have the qualities listed below, you are likely to make a great apprentice. If you feel like you don’t have these skills yet – don’t worry – there are ways to gain them. Plus, you probably have more than you think! These qualities are:
- Self-confidence – Sometimes, believing in yourself can be difficult, but once you do, you’ll be shooting for the stars. Everyone has what it takes to succeed, and it is a bonus if you can show your potential to an employer.
- Willingness to learn – As an apprentice, you aren’t expected to have had much (or any!) experience in your field. However, being prepared and willing to learn and develop your skills is what employers are looking for.
- Motivation – Being an apprentice isn’t easy, and it could take a lot of motivation. Having the right attitude is important, as you may need positivity, commitment, and discipline to stay motivated.
- Effective communication – Having personable qualities is a transferable skill that can help in your career and personal life. Being able to communicate effectively with potential colleagues and managers is a great skill to have. It can be challenging, but practice makes perfect.
- Passion – Having a passion for the industry you want to enter is a great quality to show prospective employers. Completing an apprenticeship will be a lot easier if you enjoy going to work every day and are passionate about what you’re doing. If you aren’t sure what your passion is yet, speaking to a career adviser may help.
How the Army Cadet Force can help you secure an apprenticeship
Joining the Army Cadet Force (ACF) is one way you can master the qualities above and become more employable. You can even gain qualifications that may put you one step ahead of others applying for the same role, whether that’s as a plumber, paediatric nurse or photographer.
The ACF is an environment where our cadets are constantly learning. There is a lot of exposure to high-pressure situations that can help build resilience and teaches our cadets how to work effectively with one another.
It also introduces young people to a hierarchical environment that is different to school. In most jobs, a hierarchy of some sort is required and in place to run the business. Our cadets are exposed to this from the get-go, and they know the importance of respecting that hierarchy. In turn, this shows discipline and respect in an ever-changing environment – something that is admired by employers.
If you’re interested in becoming an apprentice, the government website has a lot more information. If you want to find out more about becoming a cadet and learning skills that can prepare you for employment, see the benefits of joining and check out the fun activities you could also be doing if you sign up.