Out there it seems like every job you apply for requires job experience. The situation is disheartening but you are not alone. It is a classic situation where you need a job to have experience and you also need experience to be employed. Apprenticeship is a perfect solution to the above problem. Apprenticeship subjects a person to work experience and hands-on job training, which makes it easy in the job outlook process down the road.
Apprenticeship is a work-based program where individuals can attain specific qualifications and technical training while gaining practical skills. Apprenticeship program varies in various fields as well as with employers. The program involves an agreement between an employer and an apprentice. The agreement requires an apprentice to work and learn their skill while pursuing a formal certification.
As an apprentice, you are given a chance to perform all duties of a regular worker or technician in a particular field. You are also allowed to study with classroom instruction based on the arrangement you have made with your employer. There is a misconception out there that apprenticeship programs are only available in the technical fields. This is not true since the program covers almost all areas, including offices and white collar jobs. Some of the best apprenticeship training programs include:
- Construction- A good example is an electrician apprenticeship
- Information Technology
- Advanced Manufacturing
Joining these skilled trade programs is the best way to go especially in this period of economic uncertainties. Other than giving you work experience; paid apprenticeship enables one to earn a salary while studying. This kind of training also enables one to establish a foundation for a career path. 94% of people who become technicians through an apprenticeship opportunity are officially employed by their previous employers. Other benefits for prospective apprentices include:
- One does not incur student loans
- One can learn a skilled trade in a practical setting
- One can attain a professional certification upon successful completion of the program
- It is an excellent opportunity to build a professional network and attain career success.
- Being trained by a professional employer is a huge advantage
It is straightforward to get into a registered apprenticeship program since there is no work experience required. The first consideration is the age where one has to be above sixteen years. The program has entry requirements that vary in different fields and different apprenticeship levels. Some employers and institutions require five GCSEs from grade nine to 4/A* to C, including mathematics and English, or a high school diploma.
These work-based training programs can take one year to 6 years, depending on the program type and level. There are four different apprenticeship levels. The first one is an intermediate, and this level has no qualification requirements other than age. An advanced technical training is the second level where its core qualification is a 9-4 grade GCSEs or a high school diploma equivalent.
The third level is higher training and it is equivalent to a bachelor’s degree. The final level is degree level and it has strict qualification and job training requirements. One might be required to have previous work experience, trade school, or classroom training. It is a misconception that apprenticeship can only be found in trade schools. A part-time student from any institution can take part in an apprenticeship. Trade schools also accommodate apprentices and a good example is jobs that require technical training.
Where to Find Apprenticeship Programs
The best place to apply for these programs is in companies. Companies offer a good platform for young employees to join their workforce through these training programs. Young employees are further subjected to employers who teach them practical skills while learning. 60% of these apprentices are employed by companies. Through some companies, you may be able to find a union apprenticeship with an organization such as the IBEW, which would be for an electrician apprenticeship training program specifically.
You can also apply to various institutions, such as a trade school. Some institutions look for the apprentice positions on behalf of their students. Schools themselves offer a registered apprenticeship program in different fields, and thus one can apply for a job in different schools. Government institutions such as parastatals also provide these programs. Retention after successful completion of the program in a government institution is high which means it is worth applying.
How to Apply
You might have all the qualifications but miss out on potential employers because of errors in the application process. Application process is similar to an actual job application. The first thing to consider is the resume. Employers do not expect the resume to be detailed since there is no work experience required. You should not fill it with lies or hyperbole, but instead, you should make it simple. Your resume should demonstrate all your strengths clearly and concisely.
A perfect apprentice resume should demonstrate the following;
- Excellent practical problem-solving skills
- Ability to work as a team or independently
- Excellent listening skills
- Attention to detail
- Readiness and ability to learn
Your resume should be accompanied by a cover letter. The cover letter should be customized according to the position you are applying for. The cover letter should explain why you are applying for the program. It should also indicate why you want to work in a particular company or industry. The cover letter’s final detail should be your career path and how the opportunity if given will guide you towards the chosen path.
If your application is accepted, the next step involves being called for an interview. These interviews are similar to actual job interviews. It would help if you prepared adequately for the interview since they are competitive. It would be best to work more on standing out from the crowd of other skilled workers because an interview is the last step towards getting into the program. The following interview tips should help;
- Prepare and practice possible questions that the interviewer can ask
- Be aware of all essential aspects of the company/institution, including some background information
- Be on time
- Be positive and calm
- Do a follow-up after the interview
- Show passion for the company and the industry
To all prospective apprentices, these programs requires resilience. They are highly competitive and challenging even when successful. Some people are forced to change their entire lifestyle. The main challenge is balancing work and education at the same time. However, you should not lose sight of your career path. I hope the above article on how to get an apprenticeship with no experience will help you get the employment opportunity you always desired. Thank you and all the best in your future endeavors!
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