Why become an apprentice?
We asked a couple of budding CAD Engineers why they became apprentices.
An apprenticeship is a job, with training. You are employed and paid an initially lower wage to perform a particular role, with an understanding that you will be trained through experience and qualifications to perform the role to a defined standard. Your employer will give you tasks to perform, and the training provider will give you the skills to perform those tasks.
Further information can be found at A Learners Guide to Apprenticeships.
If you’re looking for an apprenticeship, the first thing you should do is find out which job you're interested in. There are over 100 different apprenticeships in construction ranging from hands-on things like bricklaying, plastering or flooring to more technical, planning, or supervisory roles. If you’re ready to take that journey now, use the Go Construct Careers Explorer to discover roles that might be right for you.
If you want to know more before starting your journey, then we have a range of career profile videos featuring people doing real jobs, giving you clear information about the role and what they enjoy.
Some of the most senior people in construction started as apprentices!
The WOW Show
The WOW Show construction special, ‘Building Your Future,’ is sure to dispel many stereotypes and preconceptions of the construction industry and will demonstrate why one in ten people in the UK have careers in this sector.
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
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 somebody 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.
Hands-on learning as apprentices
Apprentices, Katie, Sam and Ryan tell us what they love about learning their chosen trades for Scottish Apprenticeship Week.
Always be prepared! Do some research on the company and the job role so you can demonstrate your motivation or interest in them and the job.
Aim to get to the interview 15 minutes early – this will stop you from being late if there is traffic or any other trouble on the way and shows you are taking the interview seriously. Also, if you do get there 15 minutes early you have time to gather your thoughts. Have a practice interview with a friend or family member so that you get used to answering interview questions and have good answers prepared.
Dress to impress – no hoodies, caps or trainers, even if they’re fresh out of the box. Always be polite – ask if you can sit down, say please and thank you and give a firm, confident handshake. Find more information on how to perform well at interviews at the Reed Career Advice, or Careers Wales if you're in Wales.
There are over 246,935 miles of roads in the UK - laid end to end, you could drive to the moon on them all.
On your first day with the company, be on time, be enthusiastic, and don’t be afraid to ask questions. Only use your phone during lunch and arranged breaks. Your employer will give you an induction and cover all you need to know about healthy and safety, lunch and breaks, the toilets, personal protective equipment (PPE), company rules and regulations and what to do if you are unable to attend work for any reason.
Your wages and payment methods will be agreed directly with your employer before you start your apprenticeship. To check that you are being paid the appropriate wage, see the government set wage brackets.
You can find more guidance on Apprenticeships at:-
Some of the most senior and influential construction workers started out as apprentices. An apprenticeship is a great way to get your foot in the door in the industry and 'earn while you learn'. You can become an apprentice at various different levels, for example after secondary education or after completing a higher degree.
Do you feel more inspired about working in construction?
You’re one step closer to a career in construction