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How to find an engineering apprenticeship

Where to look for an engineering apprenticeship: useful information and websites.

Apprentice portrait 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 National Apprenticeship Service website, where you can search for current apprenticeship vacancies by sector and region. You can call their helpline on 0800 015 0400 for support using the online vacancy matching service, where an advisor will also be able to give you general advice on applications and how to put yourself forward in the best light;
  • Check The Apprenticeship Guide’s online list of vacancies;
  • Consider approaching companies that have IET Approved Apprenticeship Schemes. These offer apprentices many benefits including recognisable professional competence as IET approval is only awarded to high quality schemes;
  • Look through magazines and newspapers. Companies seeking to offer 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 page to find networking and social events that may offer you leads;
  • Attending career and trade fairs, conferences, lectures and taking part in work experience days 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 apprenticeships because colleges can be where some of the training first takes place. Find out if your local college offers engineering apprenticeships;
  • If you’ve found an a company that particularly interests you then approach them directly to discuss opportunities;
  • If you’re already working why not ask your employer if they’d consider taking you on as an apprentice? Point them to the employers’ section of the National Apprenticeship Service (NAS) website [new window] for more information.

Updated August 2016