Is an apprenticeship right for you?

What does an apprenticeship involve?


  • Apprentices are employees of an organisation, who are completing a related, nationally accredited learning programme alongside their employment.
  • Apprenticeships last for a fixed amount of time, depending on the programme (e.g. 15 months, 21 months).
  • While on programme, apprentices develop knowledge, competencies and behaviours relevant to the field they are employed in.
  • Apprentices develop skills at work, and through off-the-job training.
  • Upon completion, apprentices receive a qualification, which may lead to a full-time position with the same employer, further opportunities elsewhere in a relevant field, or the opportunity to progress to a higher level.

What commitments do apprentices have to make?

  • As an employee of an organisation, apprentices usually fulfil a full-time role.
  • As with most full-time jobs, apprentices usually start on a probationary This means that certain standards of performance, professionalism and punctuality must be met for employment to continue after the probationary period.
  • 20% of an apprentice’s paid time must be spent working towards the accompanying programme of learning. This is often called ‘off the job training’. More information on off the job training.

What support is available to apprentices?

  • Youthforce apprentices have an assigned skills coach. Skills coaches have skills and experience in the field they provide training in.
  • Skills coaches meet with apprentices in person once every 10 weeks, with video call meetings between in-person meetings.
  • In the workplace, apprentices have a mentor. This is somebody who already works for the organisation and is assigned to provide ongoing support and development at work.
  • Apprentices with additional learning needs or disabilities are eligible for extra support. This could be in the form of reasonable adjustments in the workplace, or extra funding for your training provider to pay for suitable facilities or resources.

What can you expect from Youthforce?

The following stages outline the typical journey from application to starting an apprenticeship, including advice on what happens if you are not successful. If you have any questions about an application, please feel free to contact our office on 01273 776 779, or email us:

Initial application

      • Prior to submitting your application, it is a good idea to think about the criteria specified in the job description, as well as whether the apprenticeship would be workable on a practical level for you. Among other things, please consider the following:
        • Do you have the required qualifications and skills?
        • What are your long term goals – will this apprenticeship help you achieve them?
        • Do you live a reasonable distance from the employer, and could you commute there every day?
        • Could you support yourself on the wage offered by the employer?
    • If you are unsure about any of the above or would like to ask any questions, please contact us on 01273 776 779 or
    • If you feel that an apprenticeship is right for you, complete and submit our online application form.

Telephone interviews

  • After submitting your application form, you can expect to receive some form of contact from our Talent Acquisition team within 2-3 working days; usually, this will be a phone call. The phone call lasts for around 20 minutes, and helps us get an understanding of your experience, qualifications, and motivations for doing an apprenticeship. We will also cover some of the practical aspects such as travel to work.

Applicant Summary Form

  • If you pass the telephone interview, you will be asked to complete an Applicant Summary Form. This outlines your education and employment history, and also asks you to provide a statement outlining your motivations for applying for an apprenticeship.  
  • You will also be asked to complete a form which asks about any additional support you may require due to additional learning needs or disabilities.
    • We ask this to ensure that any reasonable adjustments or extra support requirements can be put in place before apprentices begin. This information is treated confidentially, and you are not required to provide information if you prefer not to. However, we do encourage disclosing any additional needs, as this helps Youthforce and employers ensure the right support can be put in place.   
  • If you do not pass the telephone interview stage, Youthforce will offer you constructive feedback as well as advice and guidance on how to strengthen your application, either for another apprenticeship, or other opportunities.


  • If you pass the above stages, it is likely you will be shortlisted for an apprenticeship. At this point, Youthforce will pass your Applicant Summary Form to an employer for them to decide on whether they would like to interview and/or trial you for the position.
  • Many apprenticeships are competitive, meaning that some candidates will be successful and some won’t. If you aren’t successful with one apprenticeship, there may be others that you can be considered for. Where possible, we place applicants onto a list to be considered future vacancies. When something appropriate becomes available, we aim to contact eligible candidates from this list.
  • It’s also important to remember that other opportunities exist outside of Youthforce. While we do our best to help unsuccessful applicants onto another of our opportunities, we also strongly recommend that applicants keep looking elsewhere, for example on the government ‘Find an Apprenticeship’ service.

Interviews/Trial days

  • If an employer selects you from a shortlist, you will then be invited for an interview and/or a trial day.
  • Usually, employers combine an interview with a trial day which gives you a chance to meet other employees, as well as get a taste of the workplace and the role.
  • Trial days often involve a practical task, in order to test skills such as initiative and following instructions. This helps applicants get a taste of the role they are applying for, and allows employers to assess applicant’s skills beyond an interview.

Job offers

  • After an interview/trial day, the employer will decide whether to offer you the apprenticeship. If you are not offered the position, as before, Youthforce will be able to offer you advice and guidance to better prepare you for future interviews and/or trials with employers or keep you on our list for future vacancies.
  • If you are successful, a job offer will be made, usually conditional on pre-employment checks. This typically includes reference checks from previous employers or places of study and may also include a DBS check.
  • Alongside accepting a position with the employer, Youthforce will also arrange an apprenticeship enrolment (sign-up). This process involves a meeting with your tutor and mentor, outlining the course delivery model, and completing necessary enrolment paperwork.
  • After completing pre-employment checks, you will begin your apprenticeship with your employer, with Youthforce as your training provider. The aim of our training is to ensure that you are equipped with the skills to perform your workplace role, as well as put in place the foundation for further learning and development..