You may have your own opinion on apprenticeships already before you read this blog. However, we hope that it gives an insight into how helpful and worthwhile they are. Laura is taking you through her apprenticeship journey so you have an idea of what to expect, some helpful tips and challenges you may face.
Would I recommend an apprenticeship?
Yes, definitely if you are looking for a new career path that can lead to many opportunities and experiences. I truly believe the world is your oyster if you put the hard work in to gain experience and skills. If you hit the ground running then you will be successful in your role, I also highly recommend doing a lot of research into the industry and carry out training.
How the apprenticeship came about:
I have been with Lighthouse Personnel for well over a year now, and I still remember my first day so clearly ready to kickstart a new career in something that fascinated me. I started my journey at 18, fresh out of A levels, unsure on the path I was going. I always knew of apprenticeships, and it was more that the apprenticeship chose me rather than me choosing it. I was in a role previous to working at Lighthouse which did not work out for me, so I was on the government apprenticeship website daily. When the Lighthouse position came up, I applied straight away after reading the job description. Prior to my role, I was a store assistant as this was my part-time job along with my A levels, so the career shift was a lot to take in at first but I did get my bearings quickly. I am currently working towards a Level 3 Business Admin apprenticeship.
What have I learnt so far?
As well as all of the below, I have gained a lot more confidence since starting Lighthouse Personnel. I have gone from someone who was scared to answer the phone to someone that looks forward to getting out there meeting new people.
- Email marketing
- The fundamental elements of SEO and understanding of the Google algorithm
- Targeted content
- Effective social media
- Website alterations
- Data insights including analytics
- Video editing
- Creative thinking to generate new ideas
- Keeping up to date with marketing trends
Challenges you may face:
I find that the balance of work and apprenticeship work can be difficult to keep on top of, especially as I want to balance them both and not get brain ache thinking about one more than the other. My advice would be to schedule in time for your apprenticeship work and make sure your employer is in the loop of what you are doing too. If you attend college and get the work done there, this will not be as much of a concern. At first, the role may seem completely out of your comfort zone, but give it a chance as you will make mistakes but it’s important that you learn from them.
- Choose an apprenticeship provider that is right for you and an employer that is right for you, ask all the questions you want and voice any concerns. It’s very important you get it right.
- Ask about training and progression
- Carry out research and get some experience by volunteering
- Create a portfolio role (especially if your role is creative)
- Research the company, this is so important to show you want to work for them. Look at their values, their mission statement, how long they have been running and more. The website is a great place for this.
- If you have not done so already, get a LinkedIn profile. You can connect with people at the company you are applying for, look at what they do and is a great tool if you want to get yourself out there.
- Company culture is everything
- Make sure your values align
- Ask at the interview stage what your day to day duties look like
Apprenticeships don’t always receive the best reviews and I often wonder why, but I do think it’s truly down to you to get it right. You may have an interview with three different companies and you will slowly figure out which one is right for you and what you begin to like. There are so many new apprenticeships that are unique and relatively new. I’d recommend viewing your options on the government website which I will link here https://www.gov.uk/apply-apprenticeship. There is so much more I can write but I hope that this has given you a flavour of what to expect if you are thinking that an apprenticeship is the right route for you.