Don’t be fooled by The Apprentice, apprenticeships aren’t about getting pointed at by a cockney geezer in a business suit (sorry, Sir Alan Sugar) and being told “you’re fired!” Neither are apprenticeships just restricted to working in construction or hairdressing.
There are many different types of apprenticeships available across a whole range of industry sectors. It’s really about picking the industry that interests you the most and suits your skills.
First, sit down and have a think about what you’re good at (no negativity please, everyone is good at something) and what interests you. There are apprenticeships to suit every skill; whether you’re a people person or pretty good at science or maths.
It’s up to you to find out all about them, but to help you out we’ve written this article to tell you all about the different types of apprenticeships. Who knows? Pretty soon, you might have a cockney geezer in a business suit pointing at you and saying: “You’re hired!”
Creative & Media Apprenticeships…
Yes, if you have a creative flair, you might want to look into beauty and hair apprenticeships, but have you thought about working in floristry, horticulture, graphic design, interior design or product design? You could work as part of a design team in a specialist design agency or in-house for a non-design company.
There are apprenticeships in theatre as well, but mainly on the technical side. These are perfect for people who have a great mix of creative and technical skills. For music lovers, there are apprenticeships in music marketing, artist management and publicity, as well as in working in live events.
Know yourTOWIE from your Newsnight? Then you might want to think about an apprenticeship in television. This could involve anything from working in production and editing to camera work and interactive media.
Media apprenticeships cater for young people who want to develop technical skills, so if you’re pretty practical, it’s an alternative to construction. There are opportunities in digital media as well. Employers are looking for people with good literacy and numeracy skills, as well as solid I.T. skills.
Business, Administrative & Accounting Apprenticeships…
Inspired by The Apprentice? Then working in business and administration might just be your thing. It really offers you the chance to work your way up. You might start on a low salary, but you could be David Brent from The Office in a few years’ time.
Ok, maybe not David Brent, but you can work your way up to a managerial position. Otherwise, if you’ve got a head for numbers, you don’t have to go to university to get a job in accounting.
Businesses need people with great communication skills. You might want to think about an apprenticeship in customer service, contact centres or sales. If you have an organisational streak, and always end up being the person organising nights out, then administrative apprenticeships might be right up your (very tidy and neat) street.
You’ll be the one making sure the day-to-day tasks of a business are running smoothly. You’ll need to have a keen eye-for-detail and be organised and efficient. The best thing about working in administration is you can work for a whole range of companies, from fashion retailers to charities.
Construction, Agriculture & Environmental Apprenticeships…
If you’re a dab hand with anything practical (no botched DIY jobs on your watch), then you might want to consider apprenticeships in construction, maintenance or agriculture. You can ditch the office for the great outdoors and do an apprenticeship in forestry, environmental conservation, gamekeeping, wildlife management and agriculture.
Apprenticeships in land-based engineering are great for people who love tinkering around with machines, as it involves using technical, scientific and engineering knowledge to solve problems with agricultural equipment and vehicles.
The apprenticeships available in construction vary from bricklaying and scaffolding to civil engineering and the dizzying heights of crane operating. Doing an apprenticeship in the electrotechnical sector, doesn’t just involve wiring houses and screwing in light bulbs. You could work on highways, manufacturing systems or new-fangled electromechanical equipment.
Engineering, I.T. & Telecommunications…
Engineering and I.T. are both huge sectors. The I.T. sector is growing all the time and, with that, there is an increasing demand for skilled people. Working in I.T. is a pretty smart career move; pretty much every industry sector needs I.T. professionals and an apprenticeship will set you well on your way.
An apprenticeship in telecommunications might involve learning about things like how to manage software, basic I.T. applications and all-important systems security. I.T. apprenticeships will see you working towards an I.T. qualification, whilst learning about software and hardware.
From there, you can move on to designing websites, developing software, working in I.T. security and keeping those hackers at bay. Take a look at all our I.T. job descriptions for inspiration.
You don’t have to go to university to work in engineering. Take a look at our engineering subsectors; there are apprenticeships available for most of them, from transport engineering to food and drink engineering. Apprenticeships in engineering will give you a basic footing in the skills needed to become an engineer.
The main requirement is that you need to be decent at maths, science and I.T. The most challenging and exciting part of becoming an engineer is that you need to use your own initiative to solve problems.
Not only does the NHS offer health and social care apprenticeships, but so do organisations in the private sector, local authorities and the armed forces. An apprenticeship in healthcare will usually involve working in the thick of it, either in hospitals, doctors’ surgeries, pharmacies or occupational therapy clinics.
Many apprenticeships will require some technical and scientific knowledge, but not all of them. For example, there are apprenticeship opportunities in the administrative and business side of healthcare too.
An apprenticeship in social care means you’ll be looking after vulnerable people, from children to disabled people. Apprenticeships in social care give you a chance to really utilise your people skills. Otherwise, if you love your animals, you could consider doing an apprenticeship in animal care.
Besides your basic animal care apprenticeships, there’s also veterinary nursing, zoo and dog warden apprenticeships, not to mention opportunities to work in the equine industry (that’s horses to you and me).
If you’ve secretly harboured fantasies of becoming a teacher (everybody loves a bit of Waterloo Road), but don’t fancy going to university, then there are other options for getting involved with teaching and education. You could become a classroom assistant, helping the class teacher and providing support in the classroom. The skills you’ll pick up on your apprenticeship could lead to further teaching qualifications.
It’s not just about teaching young people, many businesses rely on teaching and training to build up a good workforce. You could get involved with running training programmes; teaching employees things such as computer or communication skills.
Retail & Sales, Tourism & Hospitality, Transport & Logistics…
Right, next under the spotlight are retail and sales apprenticeships. I know what you’re thinking: “That’s just a fancy word for stacking shelves.” Although you’ll probably be spending a lot of time on the shop floor, a retail apprenticeship will eventually allow you to do far more exciting things.
For example, you could get involved in visual merchandising; putting that artistic eye to use by designing window and in-store displays. It could lead you on the path to become a style advisor (or personal shopper), where you’d be advising customers on what to buy; or you could eventually even move into a managerial role in the retail industry.
If you’re a winner when it comes to customer service (and haven’t been put off by Channel 4’s The Hotel), what about a hospitality apprenticeship? This might involve learning how to serve customers as a member of the waiting staff, whipping up Mojitos and champagne cocktails as part of the drinks staff, or cooking up a storm in a restaurant.
If hotels and hostels are more your scene, then you could learn how to be a manager, work behind reception or hone those cleaning skills.
You might be wondering how shops get all that stock delivered to them, and who keeps hotels supplied with fresh fluffy towels. This is where the transport and logistics industry comes into play. It’s a huge industry and we depend on it day to day.
Think less Postman Pat, more huge global undertaking; every person and every industry in the world is influenced by, and depends upon, transport and logistics. You could get an apprenticeship in distribution, logistics and warehouse management.
You’ll need to be super organised with great leadership and communication skills. Or if you like being on the road, then you could get involved with couriering or driving those huge lorries across Europe.
There are even apprenticeships for people wanting to become an air cabin crew member, or for those who like to keep their feet firmly on the ground, there are apprenticeships available in aviation operations and ground crew.
Sports & Leisure…
There are ‘sporting excellence’ apprenticeships for those who have a genuine chance of becoming a professional athlete. These are mainly run through the governing bodies of each respective sport. For those people whose sporting skills aren’t quite up to professional standard, then you can get involved in the sports industry in many other ways.
For example, many leisure centres take on apprentices. You could also get involved with coaching or teaching sport, or perhaps even grab hold of a magic sponge and get into physiotherapy.
Basically, what we’ve been trying to say is that there’s shedloads of apprenticeship opportunities out there. Visit all of our careers sectors now to find the industry you’re most interested in and will best complement your skills. You should probably have a look at the apprenticeship opportunities on our apprenticeships job board too. Most importantly though, you should keep an open mind!