Apprenticeships: What You Need to Know
As part of National Apprenticeship Week, we spoke to our resident apprenticeships expert and the youngest employee at MyKindaFuture, Jack Hendon.
What do you think students look for when applying for an apprenticeship?
During my gap year after school I was looking for apprenticeships, and what I wanted was a company who would invest in my development. Students know there’s an authenticity gap between what they read in a job description, and the reality of a role. My generation don’t want to hear buzzwords and industry jargon, such as ‘stakeholder’ or ‘ninja’. Particularly with highly technical roles, the language needs to be relatable so students can understand what they’re applying for. Apprenticeships effectively mean you give up a traditional degree, so they have to feel like they’re ultimately setting themselves up for success.
When you talk to students who are considering apprenticeships, what motivates them to pursue this option?
There are two camps. The people who know the industry and get into it that way, or people who are in education for a minimum of 14 years and have found they’re not someone who enjoys that environment. Students can become disillusioned with education as a whole, and they want to go straight into a more practical life. The motivation is there to start something new and exciting, that will develop them in a better way than university.
What change has there been over the past few years that is most exciting, in relation to apprenticeships?
Apprenticeship numbers have continued to go up, and there’s a change in attitude to university and apprenticeships. Apprenticeships are seen in some industries as the better way to build a career. It can be a better route into that industry, and a better route for students who already know what they want to do when leaving school.
What advice would you give to a student considering an apprenticeship?
Apply to many! Don’t just read the first paragraph of the company’s website. You need to learn more about them, what drives them, and their values. You need to show you’ve gone beyond just reading their Wikipedia page! Don’t be afraid to be yourself. Employers aren’t looking for someone perfect to come in and nail it immediately. They are looking for ambition, passion and a genuine interest in the field of work.
About Jack: Jack once drove to Paris on a whim and has 10 dogs. When he’s not being spontaneously adventurous he likes to watch It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia, Sex Education, and Killing Eve.