So you’re finishing school and don’t feel like uni is the route for you? Or maybe you tried uni or a regular job and it wasn’t your cup of tea. That’s where an apprenticeship comes in. You can work, get paid, and study alongside the job. Boom.
You can apply for an apprenticeship before you leave school but you need to be 16 by the time you begin. And you’re never too old! Apprenticeships for over 25s are quite common too. They take between 1 and 5 years to complete, depending on the type of qualification.
Find out more about the rules of apprenticeships at GOV.UK.
- You’re entitled to the National Minimum Wage
- Some employers pay more than the minimum
- You’ll get holiday pay and employee rights
- You’ll get time off work for studying, including re-sitting GCSE Maths and English (if applicable to you)
- You’ll become used to working business hours, so upon finishing your apprenticeship, it won’t be a big change that those from uni can experience.
- You might need to travel or relocate for the job
- You’re expected to balance study and work, which can mean longer hours and fewer holidays than at school or uni
🗓 When to apply
You can apply whenever you want! Typically, for administrative based apprenticeships, you can enrol at various times of the year; whereas for degree apprenticeships, there typically tends to be 2 enrolment periods each year. You can still be employed outside of these periods though.
The best timeframe to begin applying is about 6 months before you want to start, so that you’ve time to research companies, do interviews, and make sure they’re the right choice for you. If you’re still in school and looking to start in August/September, you want to be applying around February ideally (although Dec/Jan are fine too). This way, it’ll give you enough time but also not interfere with peak exam time. You don’t want extra stress if you can help it! Just make sure you’re clear on your availability when applying.
Some property firms have apprenticeship intakes, whereas other property firms hire on an ad hoc basis. Why not check out the careers pages of companies you are interested in and see if you can apply for job alerts for apprenticeships you are interested in.
If you are interested in a degree apprenticeship for planning or surveying, most firms advertise graduate positions between September – December of each year for successful candidates to start the following September. With the success of the degree apprenticeships, some firms are accepting apprentice applications for these positions. You should check out the company websites for further information as some will advertise this fact.
🔍 Where can I find a course?
There are various recruitment sites with apprenticeships being offered, so hop aboard a search engine or keep an eye on some of the big players such as the Property Needs You member companies as they may well be advertising.
Another really good one is the UCAS site as they show apprenticeships being offered well in advance of their start date for school leavers to consider their options more. Also, GOV.UK has an apprenticeship search and apply option that’s very easy to use. Finally, you may know local businesses or family friends in the industry you fancy, so just chat to them directly. They might have something already, or could recommend another contact for you.