What should I know apprenticeships?

Apprentices sitting at a desk working in an office

In August 2022, I embarked on my End Point Assessment (EPA), officially bringing my apprenticeship to completion. It was a 16-month journey filled with comprehensive study, assessments, collaboration, reviews, exams, presentations, and approximately 1000 cups of tea. Undoubtedly, it provided me with valuable lessons. Fortunately, I've experienced it all firsthand, so now I can offer you insights and guidance that I wish I had when I first started my apprenticeship.

Before we delve into the tips, let's take a moment to understand what an apprenticeship entails and how it differs from a traditional college experience.

What is an Apprenticeship?

An apprenticeship is a program that combines on-the-job training with studying towards a qualification, all while earning a full-time salary. Unlike a traditional college setup, apprenticeships provide hands-on work experience in a chosen industry and lead to nationally recognized qualifications. Throughout your apprenticeship, you'll spend at least six hours of your working week on your qualification while carrying out your job responsibilities.

Apprenticeships Vs. College

While both pathways are highly valued for launching your career, there are key differences to note. In college, most of your learning takes place in the classroom, typically requiring payment for tuition. On the other hand, an apprenticeship allows you to learn while actively working and receiving a salary. This "earn while you learn" approach offers a compelling alternative to college, providing practical skills, academic knowledge, professional qualifications, and being tuition-free.

Navigating your apprenticeship journey

Now, let's explore some essential tips to navigate your apprenticeship journey successfully.

1. Rediscover Your Learning Style

Starting an apprenticeship can be humbling as you learn to manage deadlines, balance work and studies, and adjust to a new learning curve. Take the time to discover or rediscover your preferred learning style. Whether it's taking diligent notes or using flashcards, find what works best for you. This will help you avoid last-minute cramming before exams.

2. Get Organized

Balancing full-time work and studies can be challenging, especially without proper organization. Set yourself up for success by allocating specific time for studying, organizing your academic resources, and proactively preparing for deadlines. By staying on top of your workload, you'll reduce stress levels, boost productivity, and improve overall efficiency.

3. Embrace Self-Promotion and Feedback

As you work on your portfolio, documenting your projects and achievements, get comfortable with highlighting your work and asking for feedback. Genuine testimonials from colleagues are valuable evidence of your involvement and competency. Capture praise following a project or complimentary remarks from performance reviews to include in your portfolio. Building a portfolio that showcases your accomplishments will alleviate pressure as your EPA deadline approaches. It can also serve as a tool for salary negotiation or future positions.

4. Prioritize Presentation

Formatting is key to ensuring a visually appealing and reader-friendly portfolio. Use clear sections and a page of contents to organize your portfolio. Incorporate relevant images to break up text and maintain consistent font style and sizes for titles, subtitles, and body text. By working in your final format from the start, you'll save time and facilitate frequent feedback from your coach.

5. Seek Support When Needed

It can be tempting to prioritize work over studying when managing a full-time job and apprenticeship. Remember that you have a support system in place - your employer and the Multiverse team are committed to assisting you throughout your journey. Maintain open communication with your apprenticeship network, including your manager and coach, so they can provide the necessary resources and support for your success.

Accessing Support During Your Apprenticeship

Embarking on your apprenticeship journey may seem overwhelming, but rest assured that you're not alone. Multiverse offers several resources to ensure a smooth apprenticeship experience:

Accessing Support During Your Apprenticeship

Embarking on your apprenticeship journey can seem overwhelming, but the good news is you're never alone. At Multiverse, several resources are at your disposal to ensure your apprenticeship goes as smoothly as possible:

  1. Multiverse Coaches: A Multiverse coach is a highly trained professional and expert in your apprenticeship field whose main job is to guide you through your apprenticeship. They will work with you to develop your skills, deliver session material, provide feedback, and offer academic and career support when you need it. If you have an issue or question on your apprenticeship or at work, your coach is your first point of contact to ask for help.

  2. Apprentice manager: Your apprentice manager is your manager within your workplace. You’ll likely have regular catch-ups with them to assess your progress at work, to-do list etc. They will also be looped into some of your meetings with your coach like progress reviews etc. Your apprentice manager can support you with work-related questions and help with things like project prioritisation and work-related feedback.
  3. Multiverse Community: The Multiverse community is a supportive network of fellow apprentices, coaches, mentors and experienced professionals. Connecting, sharing experiences, and helping each other out is part of what makes the community a unique resource for our apprentices. If you have an apprenticeship related question or simply want to connect with more apprentices, ask a question on the community hub or attend an event like a Multiverse meet-up or networking event to connect.

Undertaking an apprenticeship is a significant commitment, but armed with these insights and the support available, you'll be well on your way to a rewarding career.

Team Multiverse

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