Application Advice and Tips
As a minimum, in order to be eligible to apply for an apprenticeship you must be:
- Living in England and eligible to work in the UK
- 16 or over
- Not in full time education
You can apply for an apprenticeship while you’re still at school, but you’ll need to be 16 and no longer in full time education before you start.
Any apprenticeship you apply for must be at least one level higher than your current highest qualification in that field. For example, if you hold a degree in business management (which is a level 6 qualification) it would be unlikely that you would be eligible to do a level 3 Business Administration apprenticeship. However, if your degree was in geography you may still be eligible to complete the level 3 apprenticeship in Business Administration as it is in an entirely different field. The general rule is that by completing an apprenticeship you should be gaining substantial new skills, not going over things you already know.
When you apply for an apprenticeship it’s important that you have a really good read of all the information given to you about the job and in particular the job description (this may also be called a job and person profile).
The job description for any apprenticeship vacancies will detail any other requirements such as other qualifications you might be required to hold as well as details about what you’ll be required to do and the skills, behaviour and personal qualities the employer is looking for.
Most employers are looking for apprentices who:
- have a genuine interest in the organisation and the specific area of work of the job
- have a real willingness to learn and progress
- are punctual and reliable
- are able to balance work and study
- will take ownership of their work and accept responsibility
- are happy to ask for help if they don’t know things rather than just guessing
- can adapt to change and be flexible about what they get involved in
- can work well in a team
When using examples in your application of your strengths, skills and experiences, you can draw upon many areas of your life. You do not need to have worked in a corporate environment to demonstrate your suitability – you can use examples from your studies, part-time jobs, voluntary roles, club and society involvement, and anywhere else you feel is appropriate.
If you need help with your apprenticeship application or professional advice on making the right choices, visit: nationalcareersservice.direct.gov.uk for a web-chat with an adviser or call: 0800 100 900 (free from landlines and mobiles).
Not sure which career is right for you?
Use the links below to access further information that might be helpful:
icanbea.org.uk - explore potential career opportunities in Suffolk and Norfolk based on your specific interests.
Working in Local Government - a career guide for young people that highlights the huge variety of interesting and meaningful careers that councils have to offer young people.
What is Local Government? - find out how local government works and what it’s all about.
The Source - information and advice for young people in Suffolk.