How to find the right apprenticeship for you

February 20, 2024
minutes to read
Jaala Alex
Table of Contents

Apprenticeships are a significant first step to running your own business as you get real-world experience and hands-on training in the trade you want to pursue. Whether you're just starting in the world of work or looking to pursue a new business venture, an apprenticeship can be the perfect stepping stone to the career of your dreams. But how do you get an apprenticeship, and what does it take? Let's take a look at the best way to get the apprenticeship that is right for you.

An apprenticeship is a perfect way to gain experience in an area of interest and develop valuable skills for your future business venture. Unlike theoretical learning in college or university, with an apprenticeship, you can apply the skills you learn in an actual work environment and get paid for it. Upon completing an apprenticeship, you'll have the confidence and experience required to start your own business in that field.

In addition to getting work experience, apprenticeships offer excellent networking opportunities. You'll have the chance to make lifelong connections and develop relationships with mentors and colleagues who could prove invaluable down the road. Learning how to network effectively is essential if you want a successful business, and an apprenticeship provides an excellent platform on which to do so.

Applying for an apprenticeship may seem daunting initially, but with some preparation and research, it doesn't have to be. We have listed the key steps below to help guide you through the proper steps to take.

Step 1: Select the right apprenticeship for you

The first step in finding the right apprenticeship is to do some research on the different types of options available. There are many apprenticeships, from traditional trades such as carpentry and plumbing to modern industries like IT and media. Once you have identified your preferred field, you can start researching the specific roles and qualifications required for each position. This process will help you narrow down your search for potential employers.

To get started, you should think through the following questions:  

  • What do you enjoy doing?  
  • What industries or fields interest you?  
  • What type of business do you want to run?  
  • Where do you think there is demand?  
  • What types of services are required in your area?  
  • What kind of income are you looking for?

You'll then want to look for apprenticeship opportunities in industries or fields that align with your career goals.

Step 2: Search for available apprenticeships

Once you've identified the trade or apprenticeship you're interested in, it's time to look for any open positions. Search job websites or speak with industry professionals who may know of open positions or upcoming opportunities. You should also contact any relevant trade associations or unions that may have information about apprenticeship placements available in Australia.

To help shortlist the best apprenticeships to apply for, consider the following:  

  • Do you want to work for a small business or a large company?  
  • Do you want to work near home, in the city, or elsewhere?  
  • Does the employer offer good growth and advancement opportunities?  
  • Does the employer align with your work values?  
  • Does the employer have a clear policy on support, resources and tools they will provide?  
  • Does the employer pay well and provide good benefits?

You can learn about a potential employer by researching online, talking to current or former employees, or visiting the company's website. You'll want to find an employer with a track record of promoting from within and offering training and development opportunities to its apprentices. This includes mentorship, access to training and development programs, or opportunities to work with experienced professionals.

Step 3: Apply for an apprenticeship

Now that you've shortlisted some potential employers, it's time to prepare your application. Make sure that all documents are up-to-date and tailored specifically for the role you are applying for. Try to arrange for an informal chat with the employer to find out more about the role and explain why you may be suitable. You can do this before submitting a formal application for the position. Some apprenticeships may require you to have specific qualifications or experience before you can apply. Make sure you meet any requirements before you apply.

Here is a list of things that you should have prepared:  

  • Cover letter: A short, personalised letter highlighting why you are the right fit for the role.  
  • Resume: Summary of your education, experience, and skills that highlight your achievements.  
  • References: Prepare a list of reference contact details you can provide upon request.  
  • Portfolio: Provide some relevant work samples to showcase your skills and abilities.  
  • Certifications: If you have any certificates relevant to the apprenticeship, you should include them with your application.

Step 4: Negotiate and accept the right role

If your application is successful, you will likely be invited to a final interview. This is your chance to show the employer why you're the best candidate for the apprenticeship. Prepare for the interview by practising with a friend or family. Practice responding to questions by providing the background, the approach you took and the outcome you achieved. Prospective employers are always interested to know what you delivered. It's also important you come prepared with a list of questions. You'll want to ensure that the role and culture align with your needs. The last thing you want is to take an apprenticeship that you despise for 1 or 2 years. If you're offered an apprenticeship, you can then negotiate the terms of your employment, including your salary and the length of your training.

Once you complete an apprenticeship, the world will be your oyster, and you'll have several decisions about what to do next. If you enjoyed your apprenticeship and your employer is happy with your work, you may decide to stay on and get further experience. If you feel there are better opportunities, you may apply for another role. With an apprenticeship, you'll start forming a more solid view of what you like and dislike about work, which may guide you to look elsewhere. You may decide to continue your education by pursuing a higher qualification, such as a bachelor's or master's degree. This can help you to advance your career and increase your earning potential.

If you have entrepreneurial ambitions, you can use the skills and knowledge you gained during your apprenticeship to start your own business. If you do start your own business, it makes sense to sign up for Thriday. Thriday is a powerful all-in-one financial management platform for small businesses. Using artificial intelligence, Thriday automates transaction categorisation, expense management, receipt reconciliation, and tax forecasting to eliminate as much time wasted on financial admin as possible. Thriday is a huge time saver for those passionate about their trade but need more experience or time to do the books for the business. You can start a free trial with Thriday today.

Apprenticeships provide numerous advantages, from practical experience to networking opportunities and skill development. An apprenticeship is an excellent option for those looking to jumpstart their professional career. By taking advantage of all the things an apprenticeship can offer, you can gain valuable insight into your chosen industry, build up important connections, and land yourself a promising job opportunity upon completion. With all this in mind, it's easy to see why more people than ever before are turning towards apprenticeships as a viable option for their future success.

DISCLAIMER: Team Thrive Pty Ltd ABN 15 637 676 496 (Thriday) is an authorised representative (No.1297601) of Regional Australia Bank ABN 21 087 650 360  AFSL 241167 (Regional Australia Bank).  Regional Australia Bank is the issuer of the transaction account and debit card available through Thriday. Any information provided by Thriday is general in nature and does not take into account your personal situation. You should consider whether Thriday is appropriate for you.

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