Read our top tips to make the most of your apprenticeship application.

When to apply

Apprenticeship vacancies appear throughout the year – each will give a deadline for applications and start dates. Vacancies with larger firms often start appearing from September, but most start to be advertised from January or February onwards. Smaller businesses might start recruiting a month or two before the job starts, so if you hope to start work in August or September, start looking from March/April onwards.

Applying for an apprenticeship is a lot like applying for a normal job. Read our top tips to help you get through your application:
  1. Research the apprenticeship thoroughly. You’ll need to know the role, and the associated apprenticeship standard, inside-out for your application and any interviews – you can research job roles on our website. Check if there’s a number you can call for an informal chat about the role – don’t be afraid to ask questions if you’re unsure about anything.
  2. Make a list of your experiences, hobbies, and interests. Print it off and keep it in front of you while you apply. If you get stuck, you can refer to it throughout your application. You need to compare and match your experience with what the employer and training provider are looking for in their job specification.
  3. Make sure you tailor your application to the role you’re applying for. Tie in your experiences and hobbies with what you’ll be doing in the apprenticeship. For example, if you’re applying for an apprenticeship in engineering, talk about relevant projects you’ve worked on in science or maths.
  4. Write about yourself. If you’re stuck, ask teachers, friends, and family to list your three top qualities to give you a starting point.
  5. Talk about your skills and qualities, not just your hobbies. For example, if you’ve been the captain of the school football team, this shows leadership and teamwork skills.
  6. Show you're a great fit for the apprenticeship. Provide examples to prove what you’re talking about. For example, if you say communication is a strength of yours, have evidence – like being on the school debating team – to back this up.
  7. Get someone to read your application through before you send it. Good spelling, punctuation, and grammar are important.

Jill, apprentice recruiter for Nestle

"I want to see their passion, their curiosity and ability to ask questions. It’s about their attitude and willingness to learn, to develop, to work alongside people, and make the business successful."

Help and support

If you're unsure about which apprenticeship you want to follow, or need more information about the apprenticeships programme, contact:

Into Apprenticeships — Guide for disabled people

Disability Rights UK has produced a guide answering common questions, such as how to find an apprenticeship, whether the training will be accessible, and what support is available in the workplace. There are several inspiring stories written by disabled apprentices about their own experiences and the challenges they faced. It also contains a useful resources section listing further websites, publications, and organisations which can help