The requirement for year 11 finishers
For finishers in years 11 and 13 finding a position of full time paid employment can mean an apprenticeship or it can mean a job that is not an apprenticeship. Year 11 finishers must continue in recognised education or training until at least their 18th birthday. Full-time education, such as school or college satisfies this requirement. Apprenticeships and pre – apprenticeship programmes (such as study programmes or traineeships) also satisfy the requirement. Part-time education or training if they are employed (but not as an apprentice) or self-employed or volunteering for 20 hours or more a week also meets the requirement.
Knowing where to look for vacancies
There is not a one-stop site for all vacancies. Vacancies appear on various websites and through other sources.
A list of useful sites and contacts appears here.
The government apprenticeship website is a major source of advertised apprenticeship vacancies. Students will need to create an account on the site (usually at the start of year 11). It is possible to set your account to receive text or email notifications when suitable vacancies appear on this site. Your School careers team can provide help with this.
Local post year 11 learning providers such as colleges and training providers are a source of apprenticeship vacancies. The same vacancies probably will also appear on the government website. It is also likely that the colleges and training providers will know about some of the vacancies before they appear on the government website. Often these learning providers will already have established contact and sometimes a rapport with the employer advertising the vacancy – and can offer applicants coaching during the application process.
Your School careers team can provide help with this.
Local Council Apprenticeship Vacancies
General and sector apprenticeship vacancy links appear on the list of sites already provided. Specific sector apprenticeships vacancies also occur by searching on the internet and by using the following sites:
www.jobs.nhs.uk/ (health and medical care)
www.jtltraining.com/ (plumbing and electrical)
www.microsoft.com (computing, IT, business)
The list consists of suggested sites and is not definitive. Your School careers team can provide further help with this.
These could be LinkedIn, Facebook, Twitter, Instagram etc. Professional networks can appear on these sites and can be useful. Students should ask for parental supervision when using these sites.
Smaller companies might sometimes not advertise vacancies on major platforms such as the government website, but they may advertise on their own website.
A business directory such as yell.com enables a search on businesses in the local area. Sometimes no vacancies will appear, businesses can still be approached with a speculative CV and covering letter expressing your interest in the company and any future apprenticeship or similar opportunities.
Friends, family and other acquaintances will know hundreds of people between them. Someone might know of a business that is looking to take on a young person. While an introduction will not automatically get you the job, many employers like a personal recommendation.
A good overview of the previous points can be found on:
The skills of application, interview and being selected
Once you have found a vacancy that you can apply for you will normally have to convince the employer that you are the best person for the job. There are useful sections on the Matrix Academy Trust careers website to help you. Also, always consider the following points:
The job that you are applying for – what duties are involved? Look carefully at the job advert, the job specification and the job description.
The Job Role?
What do careers websites say about the job role? See the useful website tab above. Visit the National Careers Service and I Could websites.
Research the company/organisation advertising the vacancy. Some companies will list their corporate/business values on their websites. For example, Microsoft lists respect, accountability and integrity. Jaguar Landrover identifies with, putting the customer first, integrity, responsibility, excellence and pioneering.
You should be able to provide examples that demonstrate your experiences and strengths and how these fit in with the duties involved in the job and the companies’ values. This can be difficult at first if you have never done this before. Your Schools careers team will be able to help.
The following websites also provide useful tips:
At the time of writing, the pandemic is still affecting many aspects of our lives and this includes job opportunities. We do not know how this will change in the future.
There are about half as many job adverts now compared to this time last year. There has also been a big drop in advertised apprenticeship vacancies and new apprenticeship starts (data released by @EducationGovUK on 30th July 2020 showed another huge decline in apprenticeship starts). However, there are figures to indicate that job sectors involving retail, manufacturing and services are beginning to grow again and the number of vacancies advertised is starting to rise again. - CA 7/9/20.
We all need to recognise that the media provides us with our news. Nevertheless, the media does not provide a complete picture of what is happening with job opportunities. You as students should combine information from the general media with other sources of Labour Market Intelligence to form a rounded picture of employment (including apprenticeship) availability.