From a young age your family members and teachers ask you ‘So, what do you want to be when you grow up?’. Of course at the age of 5 we all answer with daring job roles like a fireman or the next leader of the country, but how easy is it to answer the same question 10 years later at the time of picking your GCSE options? Or 3 years after that when you’ve finished your GCSE’s, finished college and have to choose whether or not you want to go to university? It’s really not as easy, and quite frankly, I’m no longer too keen on the idea of opening my own zoo, which is why I chose to do an apprenticeship.


What actually is an apprenticeship?

An apprenticeship is defined as ‘a combination of on-the-job training and related instruction in which workers learn the practical and theoretical aspects of a highly skilled occupation.’ Every apprenticeship is unique, meaning they all come at different levels of difficulty and have different qualification outcomes. Because of this, it is important to consider which level would be best for you and your ability before you apply.

What kind of apprenticeships are there?

Apprenticeships in the UK have been around for a long time. In fact, they date all the way back to 1563, The Middle Ages, when Elizabeth I was on the throne.
When I was at school, our year group always had different careers advisers come in to talk to us about the options we had when we had finished our GCSE’s, apprenticeships obviously being one of them. I always thought that apprenticeships were mainly for physical labouring jobs such as plumbing or bricklaying, but it’s important to know that apprenticeships come in a much wider variety than that. The categories for apprenticeships are:

• Agriculture, Horticulture and Animal Care
• Arts, Media and Publishing
• Business, Administration and Law
• Construction, Planning and the Built Environment
• Education and Training
• Engineering and Manufacturing Technologies
• Health, Public Services and Care
• Information and Communication Technology
• Leisure, Travel and Tourism
• Retail and Commercial Enterprise
• Science and Mathematics

What are you interested in?

Apprenticeships can be a lot of work, which is why I think that it is important to choose an apprenticeship which you already have, or are certain you will develop, a keen interest in. It’s also good to remember that apprenticeships are a well regarded form of work experience, which will only work in your favour if it’s in a field of work that you know you would eventually like to work in full time.


Employers play a vital role in apprenticeships. During the course of your apprenticeship, you will be spending a lot of time with your employer, which is why it is important to make sure that you choose a placement which is right for you. Don’t panic if you have an interview but you don’t feel comfortable at the company, that placement might not be right for you, but there is one out there that is!

The Future

When picking an apprenticeship, It’s important to think about your future. Is this apprenticeship going to help you get to where you would like to be in 5 years time? Will this role motivate you to achieve the best you possibly can? Apprenticeships are only a boost on to the career path you want, so although you may be only thinking of what apprenticeship to apply for, it’s always worth thinking that little bit further in to the future for when your program has ended.

There are a lot of things to consider when deciding what apprenticeship is right for you. Just make sure you take all of these factors in to consideration, and follow your heart.

‘If you really want to do something you’ll find a way. If you don’t, you’ll find an excuse.’ – Jim Rohn