Top tips for new apprentices


This guide for anyone who is thinking about an apprenticeship for themselves, a friend or a family member.

1. Keep an open mind

Be prepared to change your mind as you move between different departments.

2. Ask questions

Don't worry about asking any questions. The more you ask, the more you know. 

3. Research the apprenticeships available before you start

Apprenticeships aren't just in trades like mechanics and carpentry anymore. In Essentia you can enrol for apprenticeships in project management, business administration, facilities management in healthcare, hotel services in healthcare or transport in health care. Think about your natural talents, and see which roles they most comfortably fall into.

4. Try as many new things as you can

So you're open-minded, and you've researched the different roles - what if you still don't know what you want to do? Don't worry, you should get the opportunity to try quite a few roles before choosing which one you prefer.

5. Strike a balance between college and work

Don't let yourself get overwhelmed and start neglecting your studying responsibilities. Your colleagues will often be able to give you a few informal pointers if you're struggling with some of the concepts you're learning about. Remember, they're there to help support you.

6. Be yourself

Don't ever be afraid to tell people that you're an apprentice, or feel like you have to pretend to know more than you do. Be proud of being an apprentice – it shows that you have drive, determination and ambition. 

7. Don't give up

Sometimes, you might be a little overwhelmed with your new responsibilities. Everyone feels like this sometimes, but it's important that you don't get demotivated.

8. Reach out and start a network

Networking is one of the most important skills you'll ever learn, but what is it exactly? Well, it's making an effort to make personal connections with people that you meet at work. One day, you might need their help or want to work on a project with them. Also, make sure you find other apprentices in your organisation, as it's always good to have someone to talk to who is in the same situation as you.

9. 'Run your own race'

It's key that you don't get intimidated by the ability of others at work. It's easy to feel like you're expected to know what you're doing as much as people who've been there for 2, 5 or even 20 years. Go at the right pace for you. Sometimes you're going to make mistakes and that's ok.

10. Punctuality

We think this one is obvious, but people still get it wrong. Set 2 snooze alarms on your phone. If you want to be treated like any other member of the workforce you need to act like one. It's good to show you're playing your part as a member of the team.

11. Listen to advice

You'll have the opportunity to meet colleagues who are already on their journey up the career ladder. They can be a great source of advice and information.

And one bonus tip...

Confidence – believe in yourself

Who is the most important person that you have to convince you're capable of doing an apprenticeship? You. 6 months after starting your apprenticeship you won't believe how much you've grown and learnt. So, what are you waiting for?

Find out more about healthcare apprenticeships on the National Skills Academy for Health website.

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