Apprenticeship after GCSEs? Watch

Student020
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Has anyone within the past few years gone down the route of an apprenticeship after GCSE’s instead of A Levels? I’ve been thinking for a very long time and, going into Year 11 in September, I honestly don’t think me continuing full time education is good for me- especially for my mental health. I have never liked school at all growing up and I don’t want to put myself through it anymore. I have completed work experience once and it was one of the best experiences of my life, I strongly prefer a workplace environment than school.

Is it easy to get an apprenticeship after GCSE’s? Do they look at grades or is it more experience and character intellect? What should I have sorted out in order to be eligible to get an apprenticeship?

Also, would secondary schools be supportive of students choosing apprenticeships over A Levels? Because, personally, I have never heard my school even mention apprenticeships. My school really just enforces going to sixth-form or college.
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She-Ra
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National Careers Service National Apprenticeship Service brainzistheword please can you help :heart:
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brainzistheword
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(Original post by Student020)
Has anyone within the past few years gone down the route of an apprenticeship after GCSE’s instead of A Levels? I’ve been thinking for a very long time and, going into Year 11 in September, I honestly don’t think me continuing full time education is good for me- especially for my mental health. I have never liked school at all growing up and I don’t want to put myself through it anymore. I have completed work experience once and it was one of the best experiences of my life, I strongly prefer a workplace environment than school.

Is it easy to get an apprenticeship after GCSE’s? Do they look at grades or is it more experience and character intellect? What should I have sorted out in order to be eligible to get an apprenticeship?

Also, would secondary schools be supportive of students choosing apprenticeships over A Levels? Because, personally, I have never heard my school even mention apprenticeships. My school really just enforces going to sixth-form or college.
I opted for an apprenticeship straight after my GCSEs. It wasn't my original plan but I'm so glad that I've done it now.

What sort of area are you thinking of working in?

A lot of interviews/applications consider everything, not just your grades so I wouldn't rely on one or the other. My school was very similar to yours in that they didn't mention apprenticeships and in all honesty they didn't look at me favourably for opting for one at the time (this has since changed considerably). The biggest thing I'd say is don't let that put you off. If an apprenticeship is right for you, then there are many places (like here on TSR) that can offer support and help you. Perceptions of apprenticeships are changing and more and more employers are looking for experience in the workplace and an understanding of how to conduct yourself - you're not going to get that from A-levels.

Always happy to discuss apprenticeships and as someone who's been on a scheme for a good few years now, hopefully I can help

Let me know what you think!
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Student020
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(Original post by brainzistheword)
I opted for an apprenticeship straight after my GCSEs. It wasn't my original plan but I'm so glad that I've done it now.

What sort of area are you thinking of working in?

A lot of interviews/applications consider everything, not just your grades so I wouldn't rely on one or the other. My school was very similar to yours in that they didn't mention apprenticeships and in all honesty they didn't look at me favourably for opting for one at the time (this has since changed considerably). The biggest thing I'd say is don't let that put you off. If an apprenticeship is right for you, then there are many places (like here on TSR) that can offer support and help you. Perceptions of apprenticeships are changing and more and more employers are looking for experience in the workplace and an understanding of how to conduct yourself - you're not going to get that from A-levels.

Always happy to discuss apprenticeships and as someone who's been on a scheme for a good few years now, hopefully I can help

Let me know what you think!
I was thinking of going into the IT field, I take computer science but I’ve heard IT is very different from computer science in terms of content and work- and I’m hoping on that to be honest!

Computer science, is definitely not my strongest subject but do you think it would be helpful to aim for a decent grade like an A/7?

Also, I’m still not aware of how the entire process of getting an apprenticeship is.. Is it like college/sixth-form applications where a mock/predicted grade is necessary? I assume it isn’t, but I honestly don’t know. If not, do you have to apply after you officially have your results?

Also, I have scrolled through some apprenticeship offers online, both Level 2 and 3, and it seems like they are very vague on the education aspect? Correct me if I’m wrong but apprenticeships require you to study as well as work, just a lot less than a typical college/sixth-form student? Do all apprenticeships give you study at colleges/sixth form? Is the workplace responsible for getting you in school or is it on us? Are these places of study near the workplace?

Thank you very much for the response, I appreciate your reply. Much thanks for any answers in advance!
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brainzistheword
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(Original post by Student020)
I was thinking of going into the IT field, I take computer science but I’ve heard IT is very different from computer science in terms of content and work- and I’m hoping on that to be honest!

Computer science, is definitely not my strongest subject but do you think it would be helpful to aim for a decent grade like an A/7?

Also, I’m still not aware of how the entire process of getting an apprenticeship is.. Is it like college/sixth-form applications where a mock/predicted grade is necessary? I assume it isn’t, but I honestly don’t know. If not, do you have to apply after you officially have your results?

Also, I have scrolled through some apprenticeship offers online, both Level 2 and 3, and it seems like they are very vague on the education aspect? Correct me if I’m wrong but apprenticeships require you to study as well as work, just a lot less than a typical college/sixth-form student? Do all apprenticeships give you study at colleges/sixth form? Is the workplace responsible for getting you in school or is it on us? Are these places of study near the workplace?

Thank you very much for the response, I appreciate your reply. Much thanks for any answers in advance!
Ah ok IT. So I have no first hand experience of IT (I'm engineering myself) but a relative of mine has just started an IT apprenticeship - 4 weeks ago.

I think the type of work you get involved with will depend on the role offered. For example, an IT Administration apprenticeship would differ from a Software Technician (and this would probably be more like computer science).

I definitely think it's wise to aim for as high a grade as you can - even if it's not your strong point

As for the process, they'll all vary. Some companies advertise through agencies so you'd apply to the agency giving them a CV and perhaps answer a few of their questions. If you apply directly to a company, this can vary massively. Some will ask for an interview and predicted grades, whilst others might run an assessment centre or a couple of tests. I think in most instances it would be a good idea to assume they want mock/predicted grades so it's best to go prepared with them.

As part of the apprenticeship you're expected to work towards qualifications yes, and in my case, this is one day a week. Typically the qualification side is either day release (once a week) or block release (a week or two at a time). I'd imagine the training provider would be pretty local as your employer wouldn't want to have to pay for accommodation or long travel bills to cover it. Similarly, it's only wasting yours and the company's time if it's too far away.

Again, it varies between employers as to whether or not the college aspect is sorted. A lot of companies with a structured apprenticeship programme will have an agreement with a local provider but if you're going to apply to a small start up or family business for example, it could probably be up to you to sort. In which case, you would confirm employment with the apprenticeship provider and then ask local colleges who offer part time courses and often advertise apprenticeship study programmes to sign up - stating you are employed with X company.

I hope that helps a bit, but please let me know if you need anything further
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Student020
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(Original post by brainzistheword)
Ah ok IT. So I have no first hand experience of IT (I'm engineering myself) but a relative of mine has just started an IT apprenticeship - 4 weeks ago.

I think the type of work you get involved with will depend on the role offered. For example, an IT Administration apprenticeship would differ from a Software Technician (and this would probably be more like computer science).

I definitely think it's wise to aim for as high a grade as you can - even if it's not your strong point

As for the process, they'll all vary. Some companies advertise through agencies so you'd apply to the agency giving them a CV and perhaps answer a few of their questions. If you apply directly to a company, this can vary massively. Some will ask for an interview and predicted grades, whilst others might run an assessment centre or a couple of tests. I think in most instances it would be a good idea to assume they want mock/predicted grades so it's best to go prepared with them.

As part of the apprenticeship you're expected to work towards qualifications yes, and in my case, this is one day a week. Typically the qualification side is either day release (once a week) or block release (a week or two at a time). I'd imagine the training provider would be pretty local as your employer wouldn't want to have to pay for accommodation or long travel bills to cover it. Similarly, it's only wasting yours and the company's time if it's too far away.

Again, it varies between employers as to whether or not the college aspect is sorted. A lot of companies with a structured apprenticeship programme will have an agreement with a local provider but if you're going to apply to a small start up or family business for example, it could probably be up to you to sort. In which case, you would confirm employment with the apprenticeship provider and then ask local colleges who offer part time courses and often advertise apprenticeship study programmes to sign up - stating you are employed with X company.

I hope that helps a bit, but please let me know if you need anything further
Ah, okay I see, thank you!

Bit confused on one thing, you said that they’d most likely ask for mock/predicted grades? Does that mean I should apply to apprenticeships while I’m in Year 11? I just assumed you’d have to wait for results to apply.. Does it also differ with company to company?

If it is possible- is it possible to just completely refrain from applying until results day or is that not allowed by law? Since, you have to be in school or work.

Would you also think it’s fine if I could also apply for colleges? Really just for taking the mick out of it- but of course, taking it somewhat seriously. I just would like to see if I have the potential to get into a college and see where I could have been. Honestly, I highly doubt I would want to accept an offer anyway but, still, I like the idea of having the option open.

Speaking of colleges, a lot of my teachers say Average Point Score of a certain grade is what are the entry requirements are for colleges; is that the same case for apprenticeships or do they just look at a few subjects?

Oh and, forgive me on this one, which one is is more like computer science? Between an IT Apprentice and Software Technician? My brain can only comprehend so much in the English language
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