Choosing an apprenticeship
It's important to do thorough research and make sure you find the perfect apprenticeship for you You’ll be starting a challenging job and trying to prove yourself in the workplace, while getting to grips with studying for a higher or degree level qualification.
You’ll be expected to achieve academically and at work, managing your time and adjusting to longer hours, with fewer holidays than at school, college, or uni.
You might have to travel or relocate to find the right opportunity for you.
It’s an important decision, and getting it right will kick-start your career. If you think an apprenticeship might be right for you, no matter what career path you want to follow, you need to do your research and find out if there’s a way to get to the career or job role you want through an apprenticeship.
How to find the right apprenticeship for you
- Draw up a list of the sorts of apprenticeship roles you’re looking for: so you can focus on the sort of work and career path you want to follow. See the range of apprenticeships available in Scotland
- Research the job role: it’s important to find out as much as you can about the job role, industries, and employers offering apprenticeships, as well as the career path it could lead to. Find out more about different careers or take a look at the job profiles section on My World of Work. Take note of the entry requirements, and confirm that an apprenticeship is a valid pathway into your chosen career.
- Find two or three vacancies for the kind of apprenticeships you’re interested in: browse Apprenticeships.Scot vacancies and then find details of the apprenticeship frameworks you’re considering.
Key points to investigate
- What is the apprenticeship and job role – does it fit what you’re looking for?
- Find out about the employer – is it the type of company you want to work for?
- Find out about the training provider, college, or university where you could be studying.
- What qualifications, subjects, and grades are they looking for?
- What essential and desirable skills and experience do they ask for, and what qualities are they are looking for in applicants?
- Does the job require you to work in different locations, or would you need to move away from home?
- What is the pay/salary, and do they offer any other benefits or facilities?
- For you, what are the three most and least positive aspects of this apprenticeship or job opportunity?
Check out the employer’s website for any details and information you need. Remember, you can contact the employer, university, college, or training provider, if you’re considering an apprenticeship, to ask any questions you have.
Advantages and disadvantages
|Apprenticeships offer a direct alternative to full-time further or higher education for those who would prefer to start employment.||It can be difficult to balance academic study with work commitments — you need to be well organised!|
|You can earn a wage while completing a higher education qualification, and you won't have to pay tuition or course fees.||Although you will study a higher education qualification, your experience of student life will be limited compared to those attending full-time courses at university or college.|
|You will gain real knowledge, skills, and experience required for specific careers, and possibly professional accreditation.||You need to have a clear idea of the type of career you wish to pursue, as this is a vocational qualification.|
|Your investment in high level training and study can provide a long term career path and increase your earning potential.||There is the possibility you may have to pay back your course fees if you decide to leave your apprenticeship early.|
|Your work experience, transferable skills, and high level qualifications may leave you well placed to obtain employment in a number of related careers.||The initial apprenticeship wage you start on may be quite low compared to other employment, and you'll need to cover your day-to-day living costs, rent, travel costs, equipment, and materials. Tax and National Insurance contributions will come out of your salary.|