Getting experience before an apprenticeship

Different apprenticeships have different entry requirements, and you can apply for an apprenticeship while you’re still at school. To start one, you’ll need to be living in the UK, not in full-time education and you must be aged 16 or over.​

I don’t have enough experience!Woman standing with a picture of Frankenstein

What if you’re a school leaver or haven’t had a job yet? Don’t worry – for apprenticeships, a huge part of it is showing you can get the job done. If you haven’t had any direct work experience, it’s not the end of the world if you can show you have the skills the job needs.

How can I show my skills?

As an example, you might be very organised and have had to plan for a few different work projects that were all due in at the same time. You might be a great people person, and have used communication skills in a group project you were a part of. Maybe for you it’s about balancing your time between homework and your hobbies.

If you’ve taken part in any after school activities, like sports clubs, drama productions or open evenings be sure to use these to highlight your fantastic set of skills.

I still don’t feel I have enough experience...

If you still feel you haven’t had enough work experience, it may be worth doing a traineeship or volunteering. Though you won’t necessarily get paid, volunteering is a brilliant way to gain work experience, work on your skills and add a bit more content to your CV.

If you volunteer your time - even only a couple of hours a week - it shows employers that you’re prepared to make an effort and would fit in at their business.

There are loads of places you can volunteer. Often volunteers are a great asset, so people will be very grateful to have your help. Volunteers are essential to keep places like charity shops and museums running. For you, it could be a fun opportunity for a bit more experience.

Traineeships are also a great way to earn experience. Often they are work experience programmes that last a few weeks, and will have you working on specific projects.​