Not sure what to do when you finish school or college? Have you ever thought about doing an apprenticeship?

An apprenticeship is a brilliant opportunity for you to get first-hand experience in your chosen industry, work towards qualifications and earn a salary - all at the same time.

If you’re feeling overwhelmed by the range of options available to you, National Apprenticeship Week will get you up to scratch on everything you need to fire up your dream career.

So, what is National Apprenticeship Week?

It’s a week-long, annual event to highlight and showcase the trailblazing apprentices and employers across the country.

Brimming with nationwide and local events, live-streamed employer Q&As and Twitter takeovers by current apprentices, #NAW2019 is set to be the biggest and best yet.

National Apprenticeship Week is a perfect opportunity to start exploring your career options, including what you want to do, who you want to work for and how to get there.

Here are three main things to think about:

1. Which industry do you want to break into?

There are now thousands of high quality schemes available in almost every sector, including aviation engineering, nursing and law. So, how do you choose between apprenticeships?

Have a think about where your personal interests and strengths lie. For instance, if music is your one true love, you might want to look into radio, music journalism or event management. Aced your maths GCSE? A career in finance could be right up your street! The possibilities are (almost) endless.

Once you’ve narrowed it down, can help find the right apprenticeship for you.

2. What type of apprenticeship should you apply to?

Understanding the different types of apprenticeship (and which suits you best) can be a bit of a minefield. Below is a handy table that outlines your options:

Keep tabs on the official National Apprenticeship Week Events Map to find out about events, talks and fairs happening near you. These events are a chance to network with people who already do your dream job, ask them questions and visit their offices.

3. Which companies do you want to work for?

Once you’ve decided on a career, it’s useful to know which companies offer apprenticeships in your chosen role or industry.

If you’re struggling to pick, have a think about what you want to get out of your apprenticeship. For instance, do you want a global brand like L’Oreal, IBM or WPP on your CV? Or would you prefer to be a big fish in a small pond?

Research individual employers, follow them on social media, and tune in to National Apprenticeship Week events such as #askanapprentice on Wednesday 6th March to be inspired by real-life apprentices sharing their experiences.

If you want to hear more about what it’s really like to work for a particular company, have a read of the thousands of honest reviews of apprenticeships submitted to RateMyApprenticeship by young people like you.

Phew! There’s a lot to think about. Luckily, National Apprenticeship Week is packed with information to help you make sense of it all.

Be sure to get the most out of the celebrations by keeping an eye on the following:

  • (#NAW2019 and #BlazeATrail)
  • @Apprenticeships / @FireItUp_Apps / @fireitupapps
  • YouTube videos on National Apprenticeship Service

Happy National Apprenticeship Week!

Written by Louise at RateMyApprenticeship