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Our tips for applying to an apprenticeship!

October 13, 2023
Apprentice and colleague on computers

If learning whilst you’re earning sounds like something that would best suit your skillset, then an apprenticeship may be the best option for you.

Being an apprentice involves working in a job role and gaining hands-on experience in the workplace whilst studying a relevant qualification for the role!

Apprenticeships can start from various levels, and you can start from any age, meaning that school leavers can go straight into an apprenticeship after completing Year 11.

You can also progress from College into a higher apprenticeship. The levels go from 2-7 and are generally split into intermediate, advanced, higher and degree. Different qualification starting points means that there are so many different opportunities for different people and skillsets!

Apprenticeships are also quite competitive, so it’s important to make sure your application stands out from the crowd. So, here are our tips for applying to an apprenticeship!


If you have decided that an apprenticeship is going to be your next step to success, then it’s important to do some research before you start applying. Take some time to research what type of apprenticeship you are interested in. There are various sectors which require different skills, so it’s worth looking into and knowing what the apprenticeship involves before you apply.

Work experience and knowledge

Having work experience and knowledge that relates to the apprenticeship you are applying to can really help you stand out as a candidate. If you don’t have either, don’t worry! Any sort of professional workplace experience is always good but if you can gain some experience that is relevant to the role you are applying for, it’s even better. Many jobs and activities often cover skills that are needed across every workplace such as communication and problem solving. If you haven’t already gained work experience, contacting workplaces to do some shadowing, virtual work experience, or taking part in some volunteering can be a great way of showing your commitment.

Another great attribute to have is good passes in your GCSEs, College qualifications or other online qualifications to demonstrate your knowledge. We would also recommend researching and showing your knowledge of the sector in your application. Many people attend apprenticeships straight after school or as a way of changing their career paths, making it quite common for people to start with very basic or little knowledge of what it is they’ll be doing. As you are actively searching for an apprenticeship, starting an online course will give an advantage to both you and your future employer. There are thousands of free online courses that anyone can do which vary at different lengths. Online courses also allow you to complete them in your own time and gain some form of qualification that you could add to your CV and applications. Completing courses that are relevant to the apprenticeship you’re aiming for is a simple way of telling the employer that you are invested in learning these new skills and knowledge, in addition to it being a way of giving yourself a head start!  

Middlesbrough College offers a range of free, online courses that can help to improve your CV and apprenticeship job applications. You can find out more about our courses here: Distance Learning | Adult Learners | Middlesbrough College (

You can find some further information about online courses through following these links:


Now you have completed your research and preparation, it’s time to start looking for your future apprenticeship! Some helpful websites to start looking can be Apprenticeship Job Vacancies | Northern Skills and Browse apprenticeships before you apply

To apply for an apprenticeship, just like any other job you’ll need a CV. A CV should include your name and contact details, information about your education and work experience, as well as a small summary about you.

For more detailed information about what to include in a CV for an apprenticeship, follow this link to a guide written by indeed Tips for writing a great apprenticeship CV | UK .

On top of this, take some time to research the company that it is your applying to. Have a look at their value propositions and mission statement. Why does the company do what they do?

Learning about the company is also important for the interview stage as it shows to the employer that you care about more than just the job, but also the purpose that you will be doing it for. Researching a company before sending your application will help to see what type of business it is you’ll be working for and help you to decide if it’s a right fit for you.

Finally, before you submit your application, have a couple of pairs of fresh eyes read over your CV and application to ensure there aren’t any mistakes or parts that may need to be worded differently. Having someone who is possibly older or already is familiar with applying to jobs or apprenticeships will also be helpful too as they can give feedback to help get your application be the best it possibly can be!

Remember that most people don’t get the first apprenticeship that they apply to, and that’s okay! It’s completely normal to apply to some and not hear back from them. Don’t take rejections personally but do keep trying till you find the right one!