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Starting your apprenticeship

You’ve chosen your apprenticeship, attended your interview and have been offered a job. Congratulations! As you wait to start your exciting new job, you may have questions about what is expected of you. This may be your first job since leaving school or be a brand-new working environment for you.

Apprenticeships are genuine jobs that allow you to work alongside experienced staff while gaining essential job-specific skills and earning a qualification. You’ll be expected to adhere to the same rules and regulations as regular staff and to behave in a professional manner. Here are some tips so you can hit the ground running in your new role!

Before you start

Once you’ve been offered your role, you’ll be provided with a start date. Make sure you know what your working hours will be, where you’ll be based and what uniform you’re expected to wear. Don’t be afraid to ask questions if any of this is unclear. The more you know before you start, the easier your first day will be.

Showing up

Your apprenticeship is a job which you are being paid for, so you’ll need to ensure you follow all rules and protocols from day one. First, you need to be punctual. Your working hours will be dependant on the industry you’re working in. If your start time is 9 am, you need to be on site ready to start by 8.45am. This gives you time to arrive, put away your bag and coat and be fully ready for 9 am. Ask about lunch and comfort breaks before you start so you know what you are allowed to take.

Your appearance is also important. If you’ve been provided with a uniform, make sure you wear it correctly and know how to look after it. Treat every day like your job interview and arrive clean, tidy and well presented. Take deodorant and breath mints in your bag if you’re worried about maintaining your appearance during the day.

Take initiative

During your shifts at work, you’ll usually be shadowing an experienced member of staff. It’s important to listen carefully so you know what is expected of you. You should show enthusiasm and ask questions if you are ever unsure. Do not be afraid to use your initiative by taking notes, asking for clarification or taking on additional tasks like tidying, filing or shadowing if you feel you have nothing to do. Keeping busy and gaining experience across the business will help you learn more quickly and benefit both your training and the productivity of your business.

One of the team

Your apprenticeship is a job and you are entitled to pay, holiday and fair treatment while at work. Apprentices are paid the National Minimum wage of £3.70 as standard. In some circumstance’s employers may pay more straight away or after a period of training. This will usually be discussed at the interview. Apprentices accrue holiday, and you will be entitled to a minimum of one and a half days paid holiday for every month you are training, totalling 18 days per year.

Additional training

While you are training, you will also undertake off-the-job training. This is included in your working hours, which should be a minimum of 30. Apprentices requiring additional support in maths and english are entitled to this as part of their working hours. As with all apprenticeships, there are instances when this might differ, for example, if you have a disability or caring responsibilities.

If you find yourself with questions or uncertainties at any point in your training, don’t be afraid to speak to your supervisor or provider. Everyone wants to help you succeed and complete your apprenticeship.

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