Top Tips for finding an apprenticeship for School Leavers

Finding an apprenticeship after leaving school can be both exciting and challenging. The landscape may seem vast, with concerns about competition, lack of support, and uncertainty about college placements lingering in the air. Fear not – this article offers practical tips to help you navigate this process in small, manageable steps, ensuring you stay positive and focused on securing the right apprenticeship opportunity for you.

Concern: Lack of College Place or Set Start Date

  1. Tip 1: Start Early and Stay Proactive: Begin your search early, even before leaving school. Keep an eye on local colleges, training providers, and apprenticeship platforms for updates on available opportunities.
  2. Tip 2: Explore Flexible Options: If you haven’t secured a college place yet, consider part-time courses or online learning options that allow you to simultaneously pursue an apprenticeship.

Concern: Lack of Support

  1. Tip 3: Tap Into School Resources: Leverage the support of your school’s careers advisors. They can provide valuable insights, guidance on CV building, and information on local apprenticeship opportunities.
  2. Tip 4: Seek External Support: Reach out to local job centers, community organizations, and online platforms that offer career advice and support for young job seekers.

Concern: Competitiveness or Lack of Availability

  1. Tip 5: Diversify Your Search: Explore apprenticeships in various industries. Broadening your options increases the likelihood of finding available opportunities and reduces competition in specific sectors.
  2. Tip 6: Network Effectively: Attend job fairs, industry events, and online networking platforms to connect with employers directly. Building a professional network can open doors to hidden opportunities.

Concern: Not Enough to Say on CV or in an Interview

  1. Tip 7: Showcase Transferable Skills: Even if you lack direct work experience, highlight transferable skills gained through school projects, extracurricular activities, and volunteer work on your CV.
  2. Tip 8: Practice Interview Techniques: Practice common interview questions, focusing on examples from your experiences. Use online resources or engage with career advisors for mock interviews to build confidence.

Staying Positive and Breaking Up the Search

  1. Tip 9: Set Realistic Goals: Break down the search into small, achievable goals. Set daily or weekly targets, such as researching one new apprenticeship, updating your CV, or reaching out to one potential employer.
  2. Tip 10: Celebrate Small Wins: Acknowledge and celebrate each milestone in your search. Whether it’s securing an informational interview or completing an application, recognizing your progress keeps motivation high.

Practical Resources for Apprenticeship Search:

  1. GMACs (Greater Manchester Apprenticeships & Careers Service): This platform connects aspiring apprentices with employers and training providers. It offers a range of resources to support your search.
  2. GetMyFirstJob: An online portal that allows you to search and apply for apprenticeships across various industries. Create a profile to receive tailored job recommendations.
  3. The official government website provides comprehensive information on apprenticeships, from finding opportunities to understanding eligibility criteria and applying.


Finding an apprenticeship after leaving school may present challenges, but with a proactive mindset and strategic approach, you can navigate the process successfully. Remember to utilize available resources, stay persistent, and break down the search into manageable steps. By leveraging platforms like GMACs, GetMyFirstJob, and, you’ll access a wealth of opportunities and support on your journey to securing the perfect apprenticeship for your future.

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