Life as an apprentice

An apprenticeship is a lot different to being at school. Even though you're learning you'll be working too. 

Working, earning and learning 

Earn while you learn

As an apprentice you're employed and working in the construction industry, earning a weekly wage while putting into practice the skills you're learning at college. You're also studying for a recognised qualification. 

What will I be doing as an apprentice? 

Employers vary in size from small businesses to large national, and even international companies, so there could be plenty of opportunity to travel, maybe even abroad. Whatever the size of company, you'll need to be reliable and hard working. Your team members will be depending on you, especially when it comes to working safely. 

Working outside

Some jobs will mean that you're outside all year round, and many require working outdoors at least some of the time so you'll have to be happy working out in all weathers. This can sometimes be tough in the winter, but great in the summer!

What you'll be learning 

You'll start with the basics, learning how to do everything correctly, but as your skills and knowledge increase you'll be given more challenging and rewarding tasks. Many employers started out as an apprentice themselves and are now running their own successful businesses.

Normal working hours

Your day will normally start at 8am, so that means you'll have to be up early to get to the site or workshop and you'll have to find your own way there.  Getting your own transport will make life easier and earning a wage will help with this. Don't forget, you'll be paid for going to college as well as work.

How much will I earn? 

There is a minimum wage of £95 per week to start with but if you work hard and your skills and experience increase, so will your wage. Many 3rd year apprentices earn more than £200 per week.

Will I need to buy anything before I start? 

You’ll need to buy some quality tools as this is just the start of your life as a tradesmancareer in construction and having the right equipment is vital if you want to progress. 

What will I be learning at college? 

You'll constantly learn new skills at college and put them into practice in a real working environment. These skills are vital to your apprenticeship and you'll need to record what you've done in your qualifications portfolio in your own time to prove you are competent in your chosen trade.

It can be hard work but the rewards are excellent and with a recognised qualification at the end, you’ll be ready for your future in construction.

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