Apprenticeships: the key to a bright future

For many people and many employers finding the right people for specific jobs can be something of an arduous task given that many roles in the workplace require key skills that, more often than not, are absent from both schooling systems and job skill programs. While some employers chose to create job skill programs that are both costly and time consuming many choose the apprenticeship route in order to mold employees' right from the start into what they need exactly. In modern Britain there is both a stigma and a hindsight view of apprenticeships in that firstly they are not proper employment and secondly that they were proper apprenticeships back in the good old days before the war or such like. Well I'm here to tell you that the world has changed and that apprenticeship schemes are the best way to a bright future with actual prospects, free training and a pay cheque at the end of the month.

As an apprentice it is vital that you understand that you are actually a paid employee, albeit in training, but an employee none the less and as such it is your responsibility to conduct yourself accordingly. The way you tackle an apprenticeship should be exactly the same way to would if you were employed in the regular way because in fact you are. Just because you train as well or even attend school part time does not make you some kind of workplace oddity.

How to survive the beginning

The first thing that is going to hit you is the sensation that you are once again back in school being bombarded by information. Don't panic. Everyone needs to learn new skills and tasks when they start a new job. Just try your best to take it all in and what ever you do; don't be afraid to ask questions when you don't understand and if you need to, take notes. Make sure that you know 100% what is expected of you both through your apprenticeship and afterwards. FYI skiving off and not paying attention is not going to please your trainer much and they are the key to your success so be good at all times. This is a business not a schoolyard. If you are having any kind of problems following the training then ask for help, no-one is going to mind as long as you are trying your best. You will find that as you pick things up you will be given task more freely and with more autonomy to carry them out on your own.

How to should conduct yourself

When you are not training, either at a training facility or at work, it is important, no vital, that you behave just like every other employee which means following protocols and standards at all times. Nothing says 'future employee of the month' like good manners, appropriate attire and a can do attitude.

If you are looking for your apprenticeship to go the distance with a career right behind it then you need to be prepared. This means looking the part, being the part and most important of all being where you should be at the right time if not a few minutes before. Poor time keeping and lack of attendance is the number one cause of apprenticeships being taken away. As you are given more responsibility your colleagues will expect you to fulfill your tasks just like anyone else and will not be happy if they must constantly fix your mistakes. Remember this is for you so make sure that your get the training you need, learn what you should and apply yourself to the best of your ability even when others around you don't follow this advice. A happy boss is the best kind of boss.

Attitude is also important for more than your approach to work. Co-workers are the people you will spend a lot of time with and have many interactions with so good relations are a must. It in not a requirement that you become friends with all of them but being friendly, polite and with that can do attitude means that working along side them will be pleasurable and not a daily dread for both parties. Don't forget that if your trainer likes you they may provide extra help and even the right words to the man in charge.

Training is not school

Even though you may spend the majority of your workday being taught something, do not forget that you are actually working. Even if you are at a training facility you still represent the company and are expected to act as such at all times. Focus, and that often mentioned attitude, is the key to success, especially when you come across that part of the job that you don't enjoy. No job is going to 100% what you want it to be and as such you must grin a bare it as best you can. When all is said and done you will appreciate that you got through it.

So if you are looking to get ahead of the competition remember the 3 simple rules:

  1. Attitude - Be that polite can do person
  2. Behaviour - Conduct yourself appropriately
  3. Focus - Always strive to do your best, even through the boring parts

Balance these aspects and a bright future awaits you.