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#GCTopTips 2: 4 tips on choosing the right apprenticeship for you

3 October 2017

If you are already sure which career path you would like to follow, or the industry you would like to work for, an apprenticeship can offer you a unique learning experience where you can earn at the same time as gaining valuable work experience and qualifications. In fact, 83% of apprentices say their career prospects improved following the completion of their apprenticeship. Plus, employers say that apprentices are 15% more employable than those with other qualifications in a number of sectors.

At Gloucestershire College, we have a wide range of apprenticeships in a number of business sectors, from IT, construction and engineering, to hairdressing, care and hospitality. On average, 90% of GC apprentices stay with the same employer upon completion of their apprenticeship and nearly all are awarded with pay rises, promotions or other benefits, compared to the national average of 70%.

Tip #1: Choosing the Right Level of Apprenticeship

The first decision you will have to make when choosing an apprenticeship is which level you should be applying for. There are a number of different levels of apprenticeship: intermediate apprenticeships are great for those starting out, however if you have five or more GCSEs at grades A* - C (or 9 - 4) you may want to consider an advanced apprenticeship.

If you have already completed your A Levels or a Level 3 course, you may want to consider applying for a higher apprenticeship. Some types of higher apprenticeship are offered at degree level and can result in qualifications that are equivalent to an undergraduate degree. 

Tip #2: Choosing the Right Type of Apprenticeship

As well as choosing the level of apprenticeship that's right for you, you will also have to decide which type of apprenticeship you would like to do. There are hundreds of different types of apprenticeship out there, from a number of different industries - at Gloucestershire College we work with hundreds of local businesses to offer apprenticeships in 19 different industries.

If you know exactly what industry you would like to work in, this decision will be much simpler. But, it doesn't mean that if you don't know what you'd like to do you can't do an apprenticeship. Matching an apprenticeship to your own skills and interests can help you discover something you love but may have never considered before. For example, if you love social media why not try a digital marketing apprenticeship. Or if you love crating or working with your hands, why not try an apprenticeship in construction.

Keeping an open mind and exploring the different apprenticeships that are on offer - and even applying to more than one - can help you find the perfect opportunity for you. The most important thing to remember is that an apprenticeship is your first foot on the career ladder, so make sure you take your time and choose an apprenticeship that sounds interesting to you, and one that matches your career goals.

As well as working with hundreds of businesses across intermediate and advanced apprenticeships, Gloucestershire College also offer higher apprenticeships and Level 4 and 5 across a broad range of career areas, including engineering, accounting, business, catering, care and leadership. Not only do higher apprenticeships offer the opportunity to gain experience at a higher level, but they can also help you gain professional accreditation and memberships.

Tip #3: Choosing the Right Employer

Every employer - even those in the same industry as each other - is different. Finding the right employer and working environment for you can have a big impact on how much you enjoy your work and how much you will get out of your time with the company. Workplaces also differ outside the office, with larger companies having offices dotted about the country (and some even abroad), whereas smaller companies may only have one building, or even one room for the team to work from.

Deciding whether you would prefer to work in a smaller more intimate working environment, or a large, often faster faced setting, can have a large impact on the type of businesses you will choose to do your apprenticeship through. Finding a company that suits your personality and working style is as important as choosing the right type of apprenticeship to do so.

Tip #4: Choosing the Right College or Provider to do your Apprenticeship Through

You can apply to an apprenticeship through a number of avenues and not all offer as much support as others. At Gloucestershire College, we are as well known for making people more employable through award-winning apprenticeships as we are for the support we offer to all apprentices throughout their learning. We work with over 600 of the best businesses in Gloucestershire to train apprentices in 19 different industries, meaning we can offer a variety of choice when it comes to choosing the right apprenticeship pathway for you.

We'll support you every step of the way from giving you advice on choosing the right apprenticeship for you, all the way through to application, interview and finishing your learning. We'll also teach you valuable skills to help you grow as a person and improve your employability for your future career.

If you're unsure what type of apprenticeship is right for you, if apprenticeships are the pathway you'd like to take, or you would like some help with applications, you can explore apprenticeship career paths online. Our Apprenticeship Team is also on hand to help - give them a call on 01452 563400 if you have any questions. You can also find all our current apprenticeship vacancies here.


Why Gloucestershire College?

We have a lot of experience offering Apprenticeships and work-related training. We have industry-standard facilities and experienced teaching staff which provide the ideal complement to work-based learning.

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90% of students would recommend GC and 95% said that the teaching on their course was good.

Ofsted has rated us good.

  • We offer industry relevant facilities
  • Our lecturers are passionate subject specialists
  • Employers value our students' skills

We'll look after you. We have dedicated teams to help you and a great Learning Mentor scheme.