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10 tips for securing an apprenticeship

James Ford, Head of Catch22’s Apprenticeship Team, shares his tips to ensure applicants have the best possible chance of securing an apprenticeship.

17 February 2014

As a leading apprenticeship provider, Catch22 has been supporting numerous learners and job seekers into apprenticeships and amazing careers thereafter.

James Ford, Head of Catch22’s Apprenticeship Team, shares his top 10 tips based on our experience:

  1. Think about your career journey: Before you apply for an apprenticeship or any other vacancy, make sure you’re clear about the career journey you want to go on, and the different roles and opportunities available in a range of industries and sectors. Plotr is a great example of a website that can provide insights into careers and occupations across a range of sectors.
  2. Search vacancies: You can find apprenticeship vacancies at We have also worked with employers to source vacancies, which can be viewed here.
  3. Register on the National Apprenticeship Service’s website, using an appropriate email address so you’re seen as professional and serious about getting a job. State the sectors or roles you’re interested in, as you will get updates on new vacancies linked to these.
  4. Properly read job descriptions and personal specifications: If it’s a vacancy we are posting on behalf of an employer, don’t be afraid to email us and ask questions. Think about whether the job role is right for you and how it will help you achieve your career ambitions. Consider practical things like the location of the workplace (how will you get there and the cost of travel) as well as the salary.
  5. Create a winning CV that highlights your mind-set qualities relating to commitment, honesty, adaptability, accountability and enthusiasm. Also demonstrate what you have achieved (tangible results), qualifications, work experience and volunteering or social action.
  6. First impressions matter on your application, even on paper, so make sure to get the spelling and grammar right and answer every question on the application form. Explain why the employer should hire you instead of someone else.
  7. Demonstrate your winning mind-set: If you get shortlisted for interview, our Apprenticeship Team will help you prepare for the interview. The interview is your opportunity to showcase your winning mind-set, potential and evidence that you can do the job (relevant examples and achievements).
  8. Do your homework: An interview is also your chance to demonstrate that you are an informed expert on the employer’s organisation.
  9. Always get feedback after an interview – the more detailed the better – and use it to improve your CV, covering letter, application forms and interview techniques.
  10. Keep totally focused on what is important in looking and finding an apprenticeship or job.

Get inspired! Check out the success stories in our hall of fame.

How employers can help

We are grateful to all our employer partners for creating apprenticeship and other vacancies with us.

We are keen for employers to continue to:

  1. Enhance the recruitment and selection processes by using behaviour-based methods that identify motivation, commitment, enthusiasm and other mind-set qualities.
  2. Create interesting apprenticeship and entry level roles that add value to the growth of the organisation or business.
  3. Provide ongoing training and development opportunities for staff to help them move up the career ladder.
  4. Recognise the value of apprenticeships and collaborate with partners like Catch22 to translate this into real opportunities.

Our offer

We’re very proud to be an apprenticeship provider working with young people and adults who are using apprenticeships as a launch pad for a better future.

In 2014/15 we’re focusing on growing our apprenticeships provision in Local Enterprise Partnerships (LEP) areas that cover London, Hampshire (Enterprise M3 and Solent), Essex (South East LEP) Sheffield/East Midlands (Sheffield City and D2N2) and Dorset.

We also offer personalised training for employers.

Our new Route to Work Programme, supported by the HSBC Opportunity Partnership, works with employers who are committed to creating apprenticeships, work experience and jobs opportunities for our learners and job seekers 16 to 24-years-old.

If you’re an employer and want to create opportunities with us, please email or contact us here.

If you’re 16 to 24-years-old and looking for support on our Apprenticeships or Route to Work Programme, please contact us here.