Why become an apprentice?
We asked a couple of budding CAD Engineers why they became apprentices.
An apprenticeship is a job with training, and is open to anyone who is 16 and over. There’s no upper age limit. You’ll work alongside experienced staff and gain job-specific qualifications. Your employer will give you tasks to perform, and the training provider will give you the theoretical skills to perform those tasks.
Apprenticeships mean you are employed and will earn while you learn, so you can gain an industry specific qualification without needing a student loan. You’re employed full-time (usually between 30-40 hours per week), which includes the time spent with your training provider.
An intermediate apprenticeship (level 2) usually takes 2 years to complete; however there are different levels of apprenticeships. So, the length of your course will depend on your existing experience, qualifications and your choice of job role.
The different levels of apprenticeships mean that you can enter at a level which is right for you. To progress in your career, you can choose to move onto the next level of an apprenticeship, which are:
Each apprenticeship will have different entry requirements depending on your chosen role and level. Advertised vacancies will state what these requirements are. Employers will also take into consideration previous work experience, your enthusiasm and talent for the role.
Hands-on learning as apprentices
Apprentices, Katie, Sam and Ryan tell us what they love about learning their chosen trades for Scottish Apprenticeship Week.
Not all job roles in the construction and built environment sector are available as apprenticeships, but the number is increasing all the time. Both methods of study are highly regarded by employers. University offers depth of knowledge with transferable skills, while an apprenticeship gives real-life work experience from the first day.
Whether you take the apprenticeship route to get a degree or go to university, your qualification will have the same value.
Further information on apprenticeships and higher and degree apprenticeships can be found at Gov.uk.
*Figures from 2019
The 14 best things about a construction apprenticeship
Check out our blog post on what we think are the best things about doing an apprenticeship.
Starting an apprenticeship is even easier if you have an employer who wants to take you on. This could be a small or large business, a local firm, a family member or a self-employed person.
If you haven’t got an employer yet, don’t worry. There are lots of ways to find someone who wants to hire you as an apprentice:
When speaking to employers, let them know that, depending on their circumstances, they could receive up to £12,000 in grants from the government or Construction Industry Training Board (CITB) for taking you on. This will help them to meet the costs of employing you.
Over 16? Try our Career Explorer to find out the roles most suited to your interests, skills and qualifications.
Once your apprenticeship is complete and you have gained your qualifications, your employer may offer you a full-time (non-apprenticeship) job, based on their current wage structure. Or they may discuss with you the possibility of progressing onto a higher level apprenticeship.
What your employer offers will be based on their company circumstances and criteria. So if you want to progress to a higher level - the company you did an apprenticeship with may not be able to give you the correct work experience for the qualification.
Katie Kelleher started in sales while at university and continued in this field for the next 10 years. In 2014 she had a huge career change and started as the first female on the Lifting Technician apprenticeship with Select / Laing O’Rourke. This apprenticeship enabled her to operate tower cranes, Mobile Cranes, Crawler Cranes, Pedestrian cranes, do Slinging/Signalling, Traffic marshalling and MEWPS!
Katie is passionate about women in construction and apprenticeships, often speaking about her difficulties and experiences working as a women in the construction industry. She is an advocate of championing apprenticeships for all!
As a STEM Ambassador, she has spoken at schools and college events to inspire people into construction, taken part in parliamentary committees on apprenticeships, and has appeared on London Live, BBC breakfast, BBC 100 Women season, the Metro and Stylist magazine!
Katie is working hard to try and change the face of construction by openly encouraging more apprentices and more women into the industry by using herself as a role model.
Katie shares her experiences so that you can discover the benefits of working within the construction industry!
Be the change you want to see