If you’re getting ready to leave school and working out your next steps, an apprenticeship could be ideal, especially if you’re interested in learning a trade such as electrical installation.
Apprenticeships have become particularly appealing, as they offer the opportunity to gain a vocational qualification while earning your own money. They provide valuable work experience and instil confidence that won’t necessarily come from sitting in a classroom.
To become an electrician in the UK you need to have an industry recognised Level 3 qualification. Typically, this is a Diploma in Electrotechnical services and is completed during an apprenticeship, over two to four years. Here are some tips to help you prepare for an electrical apprenticeship.
Find out the benefits of an apprenticeship
The main benefit of doing an apprenticeship is being able to earn while you learn. Most people go to university and take out an excessive student loan to cover living costs, with some even working a part-time job in addition to stay afloat. With an apprenticeship, you’re paid for your work, and you learn on the job, so there’s no need to deliver pizza or pour pints at the weekend.
An apprenticeship could also make you more employable, as you will obtain a professional qualification and a few years of quality experience in your chosen sector. As each training scheme is tailored to the needs of your employer, you’ll develop a wide range of skills which could make your CV stand out to a recruiter.
Get the right kit
Once you have secured your apprenticeship, ask your boss what you will need to bring and what you should wear to work. Investing in fundamental items like safety boots and personal protective equipment (PPE) will ensure you have the best protection from danger or injury, as well as making you feel organised and more self-confident on your first day.
Make sure you don’t forget your stationery too. Even if your role is relatively hands-on, you’re still going to need to take notes and prepare for your assignments. A diary would be a helpful tool as well, to ensure you keep track of assessment dates, deadlines and important things to remember.
Research your new role
Read up on your role to make sure you completely understand your responsibilities, training plan, assessments, and the different career paths you could take once you’ve qualified. If you know anyone who has done the same course, ask them to share any words of wisdom.
You will have researched the company before your interview, but now’s the time to brush up on what you learnt. Make sure you know what do the company do, what kind of clients they have and who their competitors are. As they say, knowledge is power. The more you know, the better your chance to succeed.
Begin making connections
It might seem strange to try to build relationships with your new colleagues before you’ve started, but it will demonstrate your commitment to the role and your enthusiasm towards coming on board. Getting to know your team in advance can also make those first few weeks a little less daunting and help you to settle into your new work environment with ease.
A good place to start is Linkedin. Make sure your profile is tidy and professional before doing anything else. Once you’re happy with your profile, send a connection request to someone at the company who you’ve already met and feel relatively comfortable reaching out to.
Do NOT attempt to contact your colleagues through other forms of social media. It’s best to keep Instagram and TikTok for outside of work.