How to find an engineering apprenticeship

So you've decided to look for an apprenticeship - where to begin?

Finding an apprenticeship can sometimes be a challenge since they are not generally advertised in one place. Research is crucial, and it's never too soon to begin - as some apprenticeship programmes have a waiting list.

Many companies begin their advertising and recruitment early in the year, January to April, offering places for a September start. However, apprenticeships are available all year round, so it is worth looking as soon as you have decided it's what you want to do.

Helpful sources

Here's some guidance on where to begin your research:

  • Head to the Learning and Skills Council Apprenticeship [new window] website to search for current vacancies across a wide number of engineering sectors;
  • Take advantage of the free Apprenticeship Guide smartphone app, where you can search through apprenticeship schemes by sector, find out more about employers looking for recruits, and make direct contact with the tap of a finger;
  • Research and contact employers who offer IET accredited apprenticeship schemes (see Approved Apprenticeship schemes);
  • Look through magazines and newspapers. Companies seeking to offer modern apprenticeships advertise through the local press and industry sector magazines. It also may be worth regularly checking E&T Jobs;
  • Network with family, friends and members of local professional groups;
  • Look for IET events in your community. Go to the IET Local Networks to find networking and social events that may offer you leads;
  • Attending career fairs, conferences, lectures and workshops is a great way to learn about all aspects of engineering and to meet and talk with experienced craftsmen;
  • Local colleges have links with companies offering modern apprenticeships because colleges can be where some of the training takes place. Find out if your local college offers engineering apprenticeships;
  • Go for the direct approach, and arrange your own apprenticeship. The phone book is a great resource. Call or visit the company and ask to talk to the owner. Once you have found an organisation who is willing to offer you an apprenticeship you will need to contact a training provider/college to arrange your academic learning. Key skills qualifications and a technical certificate in most cases are needed to complete the full apprenticeship framework.