An apprenticeship is a paid job which offers hands-on work experience alongside off-the-job

training. This means that the application process for an apprenticeship will often be the same as it

would be for any form of employment.

Typically, an employer would ask for:

  • an application, which can be online or paper based
  • a CV or covering letter
  • an interview, if the application is shortlisted

Many employers will have different recruitment practices so it’s important that you research the

employers’ website and read the job advert carefully before applying.

There are hundreds of different apprenticeships to choose from. To apply for one, you’ll need to create an account on the find an apprenticeship service. You can also save any apprenticeships you like and then apply for them later.

If you’ve seen an apprenticeship you like on the employer’s website, you can apply for it directly.

Once you find the right apprenticeship, you’ll need a CV and a cover letter to apply. If you need help, find out how to write a CV.

It’s a good idea to apply for a few apprenticeships at a time. This increases your chances and means you’re not waiting for a response from one employer.

It’s normal to feel nervous when you’re applying for an apprenticeship or waiting to hear back from an employer. Try to find out the closing date of the application as this may give you a clue about when you’ll hear back.

It usually takes a few applications to find the right apprenticeship. So if you don’t hear back or get an interview, don’t take it personally – it’s normal and happens to everyone.

Applying for more than one apprenticeship Submitting applications to more than one employer increases the chance of securing an apprenticeship. Employers often advertise at different times of the year, so it’s important to understand that finding an apprenticeship can sometimes be more complicated than applying for full-time education (e.g. university).

For further guidance and support on job applications, CVs and interviews, visit the National Career Service website;

Resilience and coping with rejection

Apprenticeships are real jobs which means that multiple people may apply for one role. The application process can be very competitive, particularly when applying for opportunities with larger companies. Many applicants find that they are not successful in securing an apprenticeship after their first few applications. It is likely that applicants will have to apply for a few apprenticeship vacancies before they are successful.

Many applicants may feel disheartened if their application is unsuccessful but it is important to remain positive and continue applying until the right opportunity presents itself. Tips to stay on track when dealing with an unsuccessful application include:


try to remain positive and understand that the application process is competitive stay engaged with the application process and continue searching for vacancies seek some help and support with the application process through friends, family, teachers or career advisers visit employer websites and find out more about their recruitment process ask for feedback on the application and understand the areas that need improvement.

visit for additional resources speak to a national career service adviser by calling 0800 100 900 or using their webchat; chat/chat visit your local Jobcentre Plus visit the National Career Service website; Additional support For more information and advice on the application process you can: speak to your local college or school career advise.

The full guide can be downloaded here

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