Ebbsfleet Development Corporation supports National Apprenticeship Week in Kent

National Apprenticeship Week takes place this year between 5th-11th February, with the third North Kent Apprenticeship Event taking place on Thursday 8th at Wilmington Grammar School for Boys. A wide range of employers and training providers will be at the event, offering advice and insight into apprenticeship opportunities for attendees.

Helping to support the event is Ebbsfleet Development Corporation’s Inclusive Growth Manager, who has shared some advice for those looking to take their next steps in their career.

What is an apprenticeship?
An apprenticeship is a great way of earning a salary, gaining a qualification, learning a trade or profession and for a higher-level apprenticeship without having to attend university and amass the associated costs. 

How old do you have to be to be an apprentice?

Apprenticeships are open to anyone, of any age – you can even use an apprenticeship to gain extra qualifications if you’re already in a job; they are a great way to upskill.

Is the only way to get a degree is to go to university?

No, you can get a degree through an apprenticeship! Higher apprenticeships are at Level 4 (equivalent to an HNC) and Level 6 – a degree. You can even get a level 7 master’s through an apprenticeship. Entry requirements for degree apprenticeship are the same or similar to university entry and many employers ask for a minimum number of UCAS points.  

Apprenticeships are not just for learning a trade.

Whilst an apprenticeship is a fantastic way of gaining a trade such as bricklaying, plumbing and hairdressing, many qualifications that are considered ‘hands-on’ or ‘vocational’ can be studied via an apprenticeship. For the built environment sector this includes everything from architecture, to planning, environmental management, engineering and site supervision. 

North Kent Apprenticeship Event

The event is a great opportunity to explore the benefits of apprenticeships, discover opportunities in the area and find out how to make a successful application. 
The event, which is open to everyone, is being hosted by Wilmington Grammar School for Boys and is the third one of its kind between Ebbsfleet Development Corporation, The Education People, Kent County Council and The Careers and Enterprise Company. The event is free to attend and can be booked online here: Pre-Registration Form: North Kent Apprenticeship Event (office.com) 

What businesses will be there?

A variety of businesses will attend the event, providing valuable advice on apprenticeships and careers across a number of sectors:

Calfordsseaden Cavendish Consulting Chartway Ebbsfleet Development Corporation Erith Contractors Skanska Whitecode Willmott DixonConstruction Youth Trust First Institution London South Bank University London South East Colleges
North Kent College
Quest Training
Ravensbourne University
Runway Training
University of Kent
Amazon NatWest Prepworld SoutheasternArmy Border Force Kent County Council Community Services Kent Police Navy NHS Finance NRS Healthcare RAF

Thinking about an apprenticeship? Here are some top tips:

Do your research. Did you know you can gain a qualification via an apprenticeship from Level 2 (that’s post GCSE level) all the way up to Level 7 which is a Masters. Check out this website: https://amazingapprenticeships.com/apprenticeships/ for more information. If you’re finishing GCSEs this summer, look for trade-based skilled apprenticeships at level 2 or 3. These can include the traditional construction, hair, chef, mechanic or childcare trades, as well as some office-based ones such as accounting, business administration and IT, or maybe you’d like train as a teaching assistant? 

If you’re finishing 6th form, look for Higher Apprenticeships at level 4 or 6. In the built environment sector these include everything from site management, to architecture, engineering and quantity surveying.  

The Apprenticeship Event will include employers from many industries and sectors, so it’s a great way to combine all that research into 1 visit! 

Apply for an apprenticeship vacancy. You will then likely be interviewed, as you would expect in any other job. Once appointed they will organise your study programme either with a college, university or training provider.  

To find apprenticeships you can look at employers’ own websites and most vacancies are listed on the National Apprenticeship Service website Find an Apprenticeship: https://www.gov.uk/apply-apprenticeship where you can filter and set up alerts for new vacancies too.

Don’t be afraid to network! Whether it’s visiting careers fairs, linking with people you know through friends and family or LinkedIn, or asking for work experience – the more contacts you make and the more enthusiastic you are, the more people will notice you – don’t forget to be professional though – maturity is key in any job application.  

If you would like to know more about apprenticeships in the North Kent area, join us for the North Kent Apprenticeship Event:   Wilmington Grammar School for Boys, Common Lane, Wilmington, Dartford DA2 7DA Thursday 8th February 2024  4.00pm – 6.00pm  

Register online here: Pre-Registration Form: North Kent Apprenticeship Event (office.com)  

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