An apprenticeship is often misinterpreted for a stereotypical ‘hands-on’ job that is for people who did not perform well academically at school. This couldn’t be further from the truth! There are a vast number of apprenticeships that require high-skill and understanding. Apprentices are a valued asset to companies, and the days of photocopying and tea and coffee runs are over. This is reflected in some of the tasks that an apprentice is expected to carry out such as having more responsibility, increased flexibility and the expectancy to manage their own workload and learn from others around them.
So what skills should you master before starting your apprenticeship?
1. Soft Skills
Soft skills are crucial for anyone who’s in a working environment. Understanding your responsibilities and how to conduct yourself is vital for setting a good impression and showing your capabilities. Some examples of soft skills are being on time (punctuality), professional manner and using the correct format in work emails etc. These are important skills for anyone, especially an apprentice who is looking to set a good impression. These skills are not hard to learn… nor do they take a considerable amount of time. Learn from your environment and use role models within your day-to-day life to pick up on key factors that make them good at what they do.
Skills can also be referred to in terms of your ability to communicate. Sufficient communication within a work environment is an underlying factor of success in almost any thriving company or business. Knowing how to communicate with colleagues can often make your tasks seem a lot less daunting and can prevent mistakes further down the line. You also have to be aware that you’re not going to get everything right the first time, so asking for help is just a part of life, for anyone!
Being able to ask for help will allow you to understand what you need to do, how to do it and you also know that the person you’ve asked can see you’re willing to do what’s required to get the task done correctly.
As an apprentice, you’re not expected to know how to do everything as that would defeat the purpose. Instead, you are there to learn and perceive in your own way, making your own decisions and seeing if you can be an asset to the company. Therefore, a skill that you should look to master before starting an apprenticeship is individuality. Being different is exactly what the employer is looking for! Someone who thinks outside the box, perceives things in their own way, ask questions and looks to better their work is exactly what will make you more employable. Being able to understand a product, for example, and then suggesting ways to improve it shows that you’re actively thinking and looking to further your capabilities.
4. Being yourself
Your personality is unique, so you need to use it to the best of your ability. Your personality links to all the previous skills such as communication and individuality which shows how important it is to display your personality and set yourself apart from the rest. Knowing when to talk to someone, how to talk to them, make a joke or ask a serious question are all skills that take time to master and understand. The working environment is considerably different to a casual one and that also takes time to understand and adapt to. However, learning about yourself and your personality will mean you know when to and when not to do/say certain things which are fundamental for working in a good environment.
If you are interested in an apprenticeship, please visit www.notgoingtouni.co.uk.