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How apprentices can make the most of their apprenticeship

How apprentices can make the most of their apprenticeship
By Kevin Rowe 9 months ago No comments

An apprenticeship is an excellent way to build up your skills and make a start in a career, while also earning money. It can be a great alternative for people who don’t think university is right for them.

However, starting an apprenticeship can be quite daunting, as it places you in a workplace full of knowledgeable employees with many years in the industry while you are still getting to grips with everything. This is something that some apprentices can see as being very intimidating.

In this article, we will discuss the things to keep in mind to help you take control of this opportunity and make the most of your apprenticeship.

Get to know your colleagues

When first starting out in your new role, you will be informed of the professional practices that the company expects all employees to follow. However, this process can sometimes unintentionally prevent new starters from engaging with the people you work closely with on a non-professional level.

Whether it’s a team of six people or a company with hundreds of employees, it’s important to get to know the people that you’ll be working with on a personal level. You will likely spend more time with these people than with your existing friend group, so getting to know them will help you to work together better, as you will both be more comfortable with each other.

Additionally, feeling comfortable around your team will make the next step easier.

Don’t be afraid to ask for help

When you’re first starting out and taking in a lot of new skills and ways of completing tasks, it’s only natural that you will need a little help every now and again. Nobody is going to get mad at you for asking questions or wanting a reminder of what to do next.

This is especially important at times when working in manual roles where not following the right process can end in serious injury for you or others working in the area.

Even in office-based roles, asking questions will show your employer that you are working to improve at the role and give them a better idea of what you are struggling with.

Ask for feedback

Companies take on apprentices knowing that they will need training. Asking for help or for someone to check the work you’re doing will show that you’re paying attention and want to learn, as well as giving you an opportunity to take in the parts of the job that you’re less sure of.

You can ask for feedback on specific small parts of the task you’re working on, or more broadly about your performance since starting your apprenticeship.

When asking for feedback with no prior warning, you might find that your managers don’t have any specific examples of things that you are doing wrong or could improve on. In these situations it can be beneficial to suggest areas that you aren’t completely confident in, or that you think you could be doing better, and invite their feedback on those particular areas of your work.

Remember you don’t need to be brilliant right away

Many people starting an apprenticeship can feel that they need to quickly get up to a similar level to their colleagues, but as mentioned in the previous section, companies employ apprentices knowing that the person they take on won’t be at the same skill level as their other employees.

Employers can get a lot of benefit out of taking on an apprentice, as it means they get an extra pair of hands to help with entry-level tasks that take up the time of their more skilled workers, but for a lower cost to the business.

Remember that it is okay if you don’t have all of the answers. An apprenticeship is as much a part of your education as it is the first step into a career.

Depending on the apprenticeship you enrol in, it can last between one and four years, and you should make use of that full time period to continue asking questions and expanding your skillset.

Starting a new apprenticeship role? Take a look at our PPE and workwear to make sure you’ve got everything you need before getting started.