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Looking for work can be a daunting experience no matter how many jobs you have had or how long you have been out of work. Job descriptions can seem unachievable and you risk becoming demoralised by the high standards that employers ask for.
Make sure you plan your time and stick to a routine. When you are unemployed, finding work is your job, so get up, washed and dressed before 9am and give yourself tea breaks and lunch breaks to stay in work mode. Write down all your skills and likes / dislikes (be realistic about your dislikes!) and apply these to different sectors. Where else could you work? How could you apply your existing skills to something new?
Job searching can be done in many different ways and each person will have their own approach. Stay proactive and positive about your job search, keep looking for those sometimes hidden opportunities such as friends’ companies who may be hiring and notices in shop windows. In the meantime, build up your employability by gaining as much experience and as many skills as you can.
National Apprenticeship Service
The National Apprenticeship Service (NAS) is where you can view and apply for Apprenticeships.
Online job searching website
Reed Online job searching and recruitment service. Also provides advice and guidance on a range of employment-related subjects
NotgoingtoUni website for young people who are not going to University. It contains Apprenticeship opportunities, advice on training and debt-free education
Indeed Useful and easy-to-use online job searching tool
Things to consider
If you are taking your CVs in to local employers, make an effort to dress smartly. Even though it is not an interview you definitely don’t want to introduce yourself in jeans and a t-shirt.
The equivalent of dropping in with your CV for office environments might be to call the employer for an informal chat to discuss their requirements and ask smart, well-researched questions about the company.
If you are telephoning businesses, make sure you sound bright, energetic, polite and happy on the phone. If you slouch in your chair, sigh and your signal is poor, the employer will simply stop bothering to listen.
Do’s and don’ts
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Be available for interview. You never know when an employer may call you in last-minute for an interview. Make sure your interview clothes are washed and pressed, shoes are shiny and you’re ready to go. Keep socialising to outside of business hours and always call numbers back promptly.
Another route to consider is an “earn while you learn” apprenticeship – want to know more? See the FAQs below and see whether an apprenticeship is the right choice for you
I’m too old for an apprenticeship
Anybody over the age of 16 can apply for an apprenticeship. There is funding available to employers for younger applicants however there are still some apprenticeships open to older people http://www.nidirect.gov.uk/apprenticeships-25-plus-frameworks and some employers are prepared to pay the learner fees for older apprentice applicants.
In short – you do not know if you are too old for an apprenticeship until you ask the employer. Be aware that apprenticeship wages are exempt from National Minimum Wage and be sure you can afford to commit to one before you accept.
I didn’t get any qualifications from school – can I still do an apprenticeship?
Different apprenticeships have different entry requirements, however, if you do not have your basic Maths and English qualifications you may find it hard to find an employer who will take you on. Don’t panic! You may qualify for a Traineeship – a mini-apprenticeship which equips you with English & Maths qualifications and is designed to help you get an apprenticeship. For more information on Traineeships see here https://www.gov.uk/search?q=traineeships
What happens if I can’t handle the coursework?
You will be assigned a tutor through the training provider who is there to help you pass. If you are struggling, don’t keep it to yourself. Tell your manager and our tutor so that you can get the support you need. If you are seriously concerned about your ability to work and study you may find that a traineeship would prepare you for an apprenticeship.
What if I find a job before my apprenticeship ends?
Nothing will happen to you if you find a job before your apprenticeship ends however you should not use an apprenticeship for work experience if you have no intention of committing to the term of the apprenticeship. You can find advice on this website about how to gain work experience through placements, work experience programmes and volunteering, for example. You should also consider your professional development. An Apprenticeship equips you with relevant qualifications which will form the foundation of a career.
You might wish to discuss apprenticeships in detail with the Apprenticeship helpline Telephone: 0800 015 0400 or 0247 682 6482 or email firstname.lastname@example.org
Alternatively, you can contact your local Employment & Skills Representative for more information
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