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Frequently asked questions about apprenticeships

If you're looking at training for a new career or just considering your options, you may be considering an apprenticeship.

In this article, we address some of the more frequently asked questions about apprenticeships and how we can help you if you are considering a role in the trades. 



Frequently asked questions about apprenticeships

If you're looking at training for a new career or just considering your options, you may be considering an apprenticeship.

In this article, we address some of the more frequently asked questions about apprenticeships and how we can help you if you are considering a role in the trades. 



An apprenticeship is a common pathway for someone looking to start a trade career. Apprenticeships are great for those with trade skills, because students are able to get hands-on experience as they learn.


Why are apprenticeships important?

An apprenticeship can get you on the right path to your dream career. It's an exciting, hands-on way of learning that allows you to put your skills to practice, whilst getting paid a decent salary. You can also complete our apprenticeships at any age, whether it be for a complete career change or for building on your current skills!

If you're looking for a new career, or you're looking to expand your skill set, then becoming an apprentice may be your perfect option. At Access Training we offer paid routes into the trades with our Earn While You Learn initiative. In this blog, we'll explore the importance of apprenticeships and why it might just be the best decision you ever make!


Benefits of apprenticeships


1. Get hands-on experience

At Access Training, you can rest assured that you will be learning alongside some of the best trade tutors around with a wealth of knowledge and experience. With their guidance and support, you will be able to gain hands-on experience which will help you develop and enhance your skills as a tradesperson.


2. Professional learning support

When you enrol onto one of our paid apprenticeships in plumbing, gas or electrical work, you will receive ongoing career support alongside your trade training. Apprenticeships often offer more support than regular jobs, as you can start an apprenticeship with no experience.

Like traditional apprenticeships, you will have full access to our employability resources and dedicated recruitment team who can help find the right role for you.  Our support team will provide guidance, support and advice on all things related to your course. Even better - you'll have access to this support system up to 3 years after enrolment


3. Get paid!

One of the biggest advantages of starting an apprenticeship is the fact that you can start getting paid ASAP! With our Earn While You Learn route, you'll be able to earn on average £27,000 a year while gaining skills and knowledge in your chosen field.

There's also a good work/life balance available as you'll have a mix of on-site and at-home learning, allowing you to balance your personal life with your studies and training.


4. Gain industry recognised qualifications

With an apprenticeship, you'll gain qualifications that will help you throughout your whole career. These qualifications will aid your career in going from strength to strength as you validate and enhance your skills. 

Click the links below and scroll to see the trade qualifications you can gain for each of our paid apprenticeships: 


Is an apprenticeship with Access Training worth it?

Yes, an Access Apprenticeship is 100% worth it if you're looking to gain new skills and get paid whilst you learn. Our apprenticeship route is one of the best ways to gain practical experience in your chosen trade, and it can be the quickest route to a high-paying career, especially if it's a fast-track course.

The skills you gain from our apprenticeships will last you a life time; it is the foundation of a successful and rewarding career.


Start your paid apprenticeship course with Access Training

If you'd like to start your new career or enhance your current skills, do not hesitate to get in touch with our team today! If you have any questions or queries, we'll be more than happy to guide you so that you can start your exciting apprenticeship venture.

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Tips for apprentice electricians

An apprenticeship is an incredible opportunity for those looking to progress into an electrical career. If you want to become an electrician, then an electrical apprenticeship will get you to the required skill level and enable you to earn while you learn in no time.

Employers value those who have completed apprenticeships as they show that the candidate has relevant job experience within the electrical trade. Although, it is important to always be on your top form as an electrical apprentice. To ensure that you stay top of the class, follow our do's and don'ts tips for apprentice electricians.


Top Tips for Electrical Apprentices...

  • Show initiative and eagerness to learn
  • Ask for help, there's no such thing as a silly question
  • Be honest and own up to your mistakes
  • Be punctual - show that you can be relied upon to show up
  • Be proactive and offer a helping hand where you can
  • Respect your colleague's equipment


Show initiative 

If you've landed a position on an apprenticeship course, well done! It takes lots of hard word and dedication to get to this point, but your motivation shouldn't stop there. Those who show initiative and a good work ethic will be highly commended by their course leaders, potentially opening up further career progression opportunities in the future.

To stay in the good books of your electrician course leaders, follow these suggestions: 

  • Ask questions - no question is a silly one!
  • Show your dedication - whether it be staying for an extra 20 minutes to get the job done, or asking for something else do to once you've finished a task.
  • Engage with others - give your opinion, be curious, and collaborate with other course members when you can.


Be honest 

If you're an electrical apprentice, your course leader won't expect you to know everything. Their job is to help you learn. If you knew everything there was to know about electricals, then there would be no point applying for an electrical apprenticeship, right?!

Have the confidence to say when you don't know something, and always admit your mistakes. If you evaluate why you did something wrong and learn from it - even better! You'll be highly respected by your course leader and peers. Honesty and the ability to evaluate your performance are incredibly desirable and transferable skills in an electrician's career.

Remember - an apprenticeship is a marathon, not a sprint.


Be punctual

This might seem like an obvious one, but it's surprising how many apprentices think it's okay to rock up an hour late to their job! Being an electrical apprentice is a very physically demanding job. Of course, you're not tied down to a desk in an office, but the same rules of punctuality apply.

If you can't turn up to your apprenticeship on time, how can your employer trust that you'll turn up for a customer? Being on time is one of the most basic representations of respect you can show to your course leader for the dedication they give for you to learn the trade.

Respect your teacher's time, and they will always respect yours. 


Things You Shouldn't Do as an Apprentice Electrician...


Be the stereotype

Many people used to think apprentices were lazy teenagers that just want an easy job to get paid for. Don't let this damaging stereotype continue! Thankfully, many people now understand the value of apprenticeships and what they can offer to the trade industry.

Always remember: if you're on the job, your phone should stay in your pocket. It's very disrespectful to be on your phone when someone is giving you their time and expertise to help you become a better electrician. The bottom line is that it looks incredibly unprofessional and it can set a very bad precedent for the rest of your electrical apprenticeship. 


Disrespect people's belongings

As an apprentice electrician, you will be working with a lot of different tools and pieces of equipment. Sometimes, you may need to borrow equipment from a peer, or a course leader.

Tools and equipment are extremely personal items - after all, they're essential to an electrician's career. If you borrow any tools, ensure that you treat them with the utmost care and respect.

Of course, accidents happen sometimes and equipment breaks, but there's no need to be careless! It's actually very dangerous to be careless in an electrical environment - there are many hazards that could cause harm to yourself or others around you. 

So, always be aware of your surroundings and what you are doing, and treat any equipment (whether it be your own, or somebody else's) with care.


Wing it

As we just mentioned - electrical engineering is dangerous. Never guess or wing it if you don't know how to do something or you could end up harming yourself and others. We understand that you may feel embarrassed to put your hands up and say 'I actually don't know what to do in this situation', but honesty is always the best policy where safety is concerned.

Hazards are everywhere in electrical work, with live wires and the risk of electrical shocks and burns. Don't be a martyr and protect yourself and the others around you by always being aware of what you need to do. And if you don't, double check!


Are you ready to take on an apprenticeship?

For more information on our electrical apprenticeships, click the buttons below and kickstart your new career today. 

Electrical Apprenticeships      Get In Touch

Learn your trade. Get qualified. Make it happen. 


Read More: Retrain For a New Career in the Trades


Today is A level results day, and as is the case every year, anxiety is running high. Right now, you may be feeling like your A level results will determine the rest of your life, but it doesn't have to be that way. Ultimately, it is a small hurdle in the grand scheme of life, and there are always alternative options - even if you didn't get the grades you wanted.


Apprentice electrician

An electrical apprenticeship is kind of like a cross between a university course and a full-time job. Electrical apprentices carry out real-life electrical work (under the supervision of an experienced electrician, of course) and get paid for it; but they also spend part of their time in the classroom, studying their new trade and the theory that underpins it. 

Electrical apprentices typically spend at least 20% of their working hours studying.

Some see the traditional apprenticeship route as a rite of passage for budding tradespeople. But an electrical apprenticeship is rarely the most efficient way to get qualified and start your career.


What does a labourer do?

If you feel stuck in a dead-end job or simply aren’t enjoying your career anymore, then you’re likely to be weighing up your career options right now. Family members may encourage you to be a labourer if you’re a practical person, but do you often wonder ‘what is a labourer?’ and ‘what does a labourer do?’. Well, you’ve come to the right place. Find out if a career as a labourer is for you.


The Chartered Institute of Plumbing & Heating Engineering (CIPHE) have joined forces with BSE sector skills council SummitSkills to launch a research project exploring various aspects of the plumbing and heating sector.

The main area being explored by the project is the current apprenticeship system, specifically how EngTech registrations are working and how both can be maximised for the sector. Considering attitudes towards professional registration and competence schemes, assessing the potential for apprenticeships to meet future skills requirements and understanding the perceived value of EngTech registration are included within the research objectives.

Research will be carried out via a series of focus groups and questionnaires to be completed over the next few weeks, culminating with a report launching in the House of Lords next month.

"This is an excellent initiative which provides a great opportunity for industry to collaborate and safeguard future apprenticeships," said Kevin Wellman, Chief Executive Officer of the CIPHE. "Quality vocational training and relevant practical experience leading to Engineering Council registration is becoming increasingly important for all plumbing professionals, which is something that all our Industry Stakeholder Group partners recognise."

For more information on the research, contact Jacqui Chivers of Summit Skills on 07834 868947.

The apparent skills shortage and lack of young people joining the construction sector continues to be a burning issue for the industry, training centres, colleges and awarding bodies alike. Construction productivity has been steadily growing over the past few months and is expected to continue in the next few years, however a significant portion of the existing workforce is set to retire and meanwhile schools seem to be actively discouraging leaving students to take up vocational careers in the industry. These things mixed together sound like a recipe for disaster, so it's no wonder that the CITB have referred to the incoming scenario as a "ticking time bomb". Something needs to be done, and the first port of call is better promotion of apprenticeships and an eventual career in the construction industry to young adults - namely 16-25 year olds. And the Chartered Institute of Building (CIOB), Construction Training Industry Board (CITB) and City & Guilds have all been doing research into how this can be achieved.

To begin, the CIOB and CITB joined forces last month to help produce a cross-party parliamentary enquiry entitled "No more lost generations: Creating construction jobs for young people". The cover of the 23-page report sums up the problem succinctly - Britain has one million NEETs (Not in education, employment or training) aged 16-24, and there are at least 182,000 construction jobs to be filled by 2018. However only 7,280 completed a construction apprenticeship last year - prompting the bodies' to firmly say "We have to do better."

Amongst the full report, which highlights the difficult economic recession the construction industry went through and how its recovery is progressing, a number of different strategies are suggested to solve this very real problem. These include:

  • Improving understanding in schools of the wide variety of careers the construction industry offers. This includes traditional crafts, management and even computer-based modelling.
  • Making it easier for young people to find an appropriate entry route into the industry - whether it be through apprenticeships or qualifications.
  • Ensuring training programmes are better linked to the nature of jobs likely to be available
  • Using the levers available through public-sector procurement and the planning system to require realistic and effective training and employment commitments from employers.
  • Securing greater commitment and buy-in from industry leaders.

The report also put forward a selection of proposed actions to help bring about these improvements, including a training summit between the CITB and Department for Business, Innovation and Skills with backing from the Construction Leadership Council. Additional measures suggested included a revitalised apprenticeship strategy, local authorities to leverage planning obligations, more leadership from social landlords and public bodies and finally a step change in the careers advice young people receive.

Meanwhile City & Guilds own research, titled "Building Futures on Shifting Foundations", looked at what skills, education and training was currently required by the construction industry. It took a sample of 344 respondents - made up of 168 senior managers from construction businesses and 176 education providers who deliver qualifications needed to break into the industry. The research was done in relation to Construction 2025, a joint strategy between the Government and Industry that sets out how Britain could be at the forefront of global construction in the future. 

The survey identified that employers do indeed recognise a skills gap when it comes to driving the construction industry forward, with the main skills they felt lacking being:

  • Trade skills - 42% recognising a gap
  • Maths and English - 39% recognising a gap
  • Problem solving - 35% recognising a gap
  • Technical skills - 31% recognising  a gap

Most importantly though the survey revealed although apprenticeships may be the key to fixing the industry's problems, employers aren't utilising this vital role. The survey found:

  • 42% of businesses said that they currently employ no apprentices
  • 40% said apprentices made up less than 1% of their workforce
  • Just over half (56%) said they don't plan to take on any apprentices in the next year
Problems cited by these employers included "funding issues" and "uncertainty around my firm's workload", however a significant proportion (70%) recognised the financial support they could receive by taking on an apprentice. They also questioned respondents on the Richard Review - an independent report issued to review the current apprenticeship system and identify how it can changed to meet the needs of the future economy. While half (49%) admitted that they had not heard of the report before, upon learning more about it 56% agreed it is important for the future of the construction industry. 

For more in-depth detail, read the full reports here:

CIOB/CITB: No More Lost Generations: Creating construction jobs for
young people (PDF)

City & Guilds: Building Futures on Shifting Foundations (PDF)


The outlook is currently very bright for the construction industry, however in order for things to work out successfully the path it must take is clear. Official bodies of all different origin agree that young people taking up a career in construction in the key to plugging this skills shortage and ensuring that the construction "boom" really is a boom. Careers in bricklaying, carpentry, plastering, tiling and painting/decorating are not the stereotypical jobs many media outlets portray them to be. As well as the crucial element of skill and technique required by them, these active careers are varied and exciting - with workers citing them as among the happiest of careers as well as enjoying an impressive salary. If academic education doesn't appeal to you or you want to enter a line of work where this is actually a place for you, then a construction career may be just what you're looking for and Access Training is right here to help. We offer intensive training courses in all construction trades, making us one of the most varied training centres in the UK. At our state-of-the-art training centre just on the outskirts of Cardiff city centre you'll be able to learn the vital skills from experienced professionals, earning the necessary qualifications in a fraction of the time you would with a college course - without skimping on any of the quality!

To find out more about what we can offer you here at Access to kickstart your new career in the fastest and most effective way possible, give our advice team a call on 0800 345 7492.

Get in touch to learn more about our training courses!

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