An apprentice being trained on a task in a Office environment

National Apprenticeship Week - Celebrating Office Apprenticeships

It is that time of year again, 2020 is well underway and National Apprenticeship Week 2020 is already here, taking place between 3rd and 9th February.

Every year the entire apprenticeship community joins together to celebrate the positive impact that apprenticeships have on individuals and employers. To get into the celebratory spirit we thought we would bring you an extra special post detailing everything you need to know about office apprenticeships; what they are, which ones are available and how to find and apply for one.

What is an office apprenticeship?

An office apprenticeship is an office job just like any other except that it combines practical on the job training with study, leading to industry recognised standards or qualifications.

An office apprentice will

  • Work alongside experienced office staff.
  • Gain office specific skills.
  • Earn a wage and get holiday pay.
  • Be given the equivalent of one day off a week for study related to their role.

Office apprenticeships are a great way to not only earn a real wage but to be trained in the essential office skills that employers really want and to enjoy marked salary increases as you complete your training.

Who can apply for an office apprenticeship?

Apprenticeships are available to anyone over the age of 16, living in England, Scotland or Wales and have no upper age limit.

What can I earn as an office apprentice?

The National Minimum Wage (NMW) for apprentices is currently £3.90 per hour. This rate applies to anyone under 19 or over 19 and in their first year of their apprenticeship.

Apprentices aged 25 and over (not in their first year) are entitled to the National Minimum Wage of £8.21 per hour but many receive more.

What kind of office apprenticeships are out there?

Our previous post detailed a whole heap of excellent office careers you could embark on and with one of the following office apprenticeships you could jump straight onto your chosen career path and start making strides.

Office Skills & HR

How better to learn the office skills you need than in an apprenticeship that is dedicated to building your knowledge and practical skills in administration, data entry, record keeping and reporting. The Telegraph newspaper offer a great HR apprenticeship that promises to provide a secure foundation on which to develop your office skills while also being an excellent organisation for career prospects and branching out into the other areas of the business.

Customer Service

If you are hoping for a career in customer service then consider applying to join the HSBC apprenticeship scheme. With over 200 entry-level apprenticeships across the UK for Senior Financial Customer Service Advisors, applying for an apprenticeship with HSBC could really kick start your customer service career.

Accounts & Finance

If a career in accounts and finance is where your heart is set, then we may have found the apprenticeship for you in a place you wouldn’t think to look. Nestle (one of the world’s largest food and drink manufacturers) offer a renowned two year apprenticeship in finance. With this company you will have the opportunity to put your new skills into practice across planning & reporting, overhead and cost allocation, financial services and much more.

Sales & Outreach

If you are dead set on succeeding in sales and outreach, then why not apply for an apprenticeship with ITV and enjoy working for the biggest commercial television network in the UK. With locations in London, Manchester and Leeds as well as a host of apprenticeships across their business departments including sales and marketing this could be the start of an excellent career in an exciting industry.

Where can I find more office apprenticeships?

There are so many great apprenticeships available and there are a few great ways to find the best one for you.

You can take a look at a selection of well known employers on the Amazing Apprenticeships website. This is a great way to see what each employer has to offer and what their unique apprenticeships involve. From HM Revenue & Customs, to the House of Commons and from ITV to IBM this site is jam packed full of information and inspiration, the hardest part will be choosing just one!

Be sure to also check out their live broadcast feature, if you scroll down to around half way down the page you will find the featured section where you can hear real life accounts from apprentices who have enrolled in apprenticeships with some of these great companies.

UCAS also offer an apprenticeship search facility on their site that can be filtered by specialism, role type, sector, recruiter type, start date, duration and location. In addition to these resources, there are a number of different sites that you can use, depending on your location.

England

If you are in England, you can use this government search tool to find an office apprenticeship near you.

Scotland

If you are in Scotland, this search tool from Skills Development Scotland will help you to find an office apprenticeship near you.

Wales

If you are in Wales, this search tool from Careers Wales is a great place to start finding an office apprenticeship.

How do I apply for an apprenticeship?

Applying for an apprenticeship is much like applying for any other job, there will be an apply now option alongside the apprenticeship programme details and applicant requirements. In many cases there will be plenty of information, testimonials and reviews readily available especially for some of the bigger brands mentioned throughout this post so you can do your research before you settle on the right one for you.

Before you apply it is a good idea to make sure your CV and personal statement reflect not only your personal information but also why you would like to be considered for this apprenticeship in particular. You can find out more about creating the perfect CV here and information on how to make your personal statement unique to you can be found here.

If you don’t already have a CV we have some handy CV templates to get you started and this post contains a helpful video that will walk you through the process.

Depending on the employer and the industry, some apprenticeships will have higher entry requirements than others, if you don’t yet have the qualifications you need in order to meet the criteria there is plenty of support in place to help.

If you feel you would benefit from improving your English, Maths and IT skills before you apply for an apprenticeship, the National Careers Service offer courses to brush up on your skills and this post contains lots of information on how you could benefit from various adult learning opportunities.

If the entry requirements for your chosen apprenticeship exceed basic English and Maths skills, then perhaps a government grant is the way forward. This post talks about the various grants that are available and how you can go about applying for one.

The National Apprenticeship helpdesk is available to assist you with your application or with any apprenticeship questions you may have. You can contact them by telephone on 0800 0150 400 or by email at nationalhelpdesk@findapprenticeshipservice.gov.uk

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