Top apprenticeship application tips

Written by
Emily Ashworth

10 Feb 2022

10 Feb 2022 • by Emily Ashworth

The first step in securing an apprenticeship is to apply. According to The Universities and Colleges Admissions Service (UCAS) website, there are a number of things to consider when filling out your application form.

ONCE you have found the right apprenticeship role, the next step is to make sure your application is the best it can be.

Previous experience, skills, goals and personal qualities are all essential aspects to talk about but, more importantly, the more detailed knowledge you have of the role, the better.

There were 369,700 apprenticeships started in England during the 2017/18 academic year, so making your application stand out is crucial.


Make sure you know the role inside-out for your application and any potential interviews. Do not be afraid to call and ask for an informal chat either, as it looks proactive and as though you are invested in the role already.

If you apply for more than one, make sure you change each application to the job you are applying for. Tie in your experiences and hobbies with what you will be doing in the apprenticeship. Talk about relevant projects you have worked on previously to show evidence of your skills.

You will need to be able to talk about yourself, so speak to those who know you and ask for a list of qualities and top skills to give you a starting point.

Providing examples could make all the difference to your application. Try and prove what you are talking about. If you say team leadership is a strength of yours, provide an example of your experience to support the statement.

As well as spellchecking your application, get someone to read through it before you send it.

What happens next?

Recruitment processes differ widely, so take in to consideration that larger companies could have several stages before you even get to an interview.

You may endure the following before being chosen for a final interview:

  • A functional skills assessment to test maths and English
  • A telephone or online interview, to shortlist candidates
  • An assessment day, to see how well you perform
  • A more informal or personal process, particularly if applying to a smaller company, with face-to-face interviews if you are shortlisted

Things to consider

It is important to apply as soon as you see a vacancy which suits you as firms may close their recruitment process early if they receive enough applications.

Try to also make it clear in your mind what your career outlook is first. You may want to look at doing some work experience first to truly know it is what you want to do. This will help you build your CV too.

Look at the skills and qualities the employer asks for and ask yourself whether you have these? If not, how can you demonstrate willingness and provide examples.

It can be a nerve-racking process but try and have confidence and sell what you have achieved.

Just remember how anything you say may be brought up in a later interview.

It is a competitive field out there, so triple check your application. It is easy to make mistakes but errors could count against you. Pay attention to the details.

There are common qualities and skills employers always look out for, so make sure you highlight the following points no matter what:

  • Communication skills — both written and verbal
  • The ability to work in a team or independently
  • Your motivation and enthusiasm
  • The ability to work to your own initiative
  • A flexible and committed attitude to work and studies
  • A positive attitude
  • Good organisational skills
  • The ability to meet deadlines and work under pressure