8th February 2022

NAW 2022 – Common questions about apprenticeships answered

We know that there are skill shortages across our industry, and it is essential that we create career paths, to continue to build a strong, passionate, and thriving workforce for the future.

We believe that our apprenticeships are essential in helping us achieve that, from entry to senior level. Apprenticeships are a brilliant option for everyone whether it’s to launch their careers or upskill at various levels.

If you’re considering an apprenticeship and want to learn more – our HR Advisor, Anne- Marie answers some commonly asked questions.

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

The minimum age requirement for apprenticeships is 16, and all applicants must no longer be in full-time education. However, there typically isn’t an age limit on applicants, with anyone over the age of 16 able to apply. There are many ways apprenticeships can benefit older people and be beneficial for their careers – from upskilling to making a career change.

However, for some of our site-based roles, you will be required to be 18+ due to health and safety reasons.

What are the entry requirements for apprenticeships?

In general, we ask that our applicant has achieved at least a level 5 GCSE in both Maths and English, but other qualifications and experience will almost always be considered.

How many apprenticeship roles do you offer?

We offer many different types of apprenticeship roles across the business, both office and site-based. We currently have the following apprentice vacancies available:

  • Plant Mechanic
  • Piling Operative
  • HSQE
  • Quantity Surveyor
  • Civil Engineer

We regularly advertise for new apprenticeship roles so keep an eye out on our careers page for updates.

Do apprentices just ‘make tea’

Absolutely not! However, we never say no to tea! But we never expect our apprentices to make it either – they are equal members of our team and are always treated as such.

Our apprentices never fail to amaze us with their passion, commitment, and skills. We see their value from day one and look past these traditional stereotypes.

Will I be offered a role at the end of my apprenticeship?

We always look to retain our apprentices once they’ve completed their programme.

If you are successful within your apprenticeship and successful in your employment, then there is very little reason we wouldn’t offer you a role beyond your training.

When apprentices have completed their apprenticeship, how do you support them into their career?

We don’t want our apprentices learning to stop once they’ve completed their course. We actively encourage them to continue to develop throughout their career. We have lots of great success stories from our past apprentices who have gone on to achieve great things!

Our onsite training facility offers a wide range of courses that allow our teams to keep up with the latest training required for their roles.

Will there be opportunities for me to gain experience in other teams/parts of the business?

Yes, absolutely. There are so many opportunities across our business, and we always support our apprentices to gain as much experience in the various fields in order to diversify their skills.

Do you feel apprentices play a key role in addressing the skills shortage?

Yes, we work closely with local schools and colleges to promote our industry and encourage more people to join the sector. We offer a wide range of opportunities based on the skills we need for the future!

Are apprentices all site-based?

Construction apprentices now cover a wide range of roles, from site engineers, quantity surveyors, designers, procurement, IT, administration, and everything in between! So no, not all construction apprentices are site-based.

How will training fit in with my role?

In most cases, you’ll be working four days a week, doing your role and learning from your team. For this, you’ll be given specific training and set tasks to help you learn and develop your skills. You’ll study at college one day a week, where you’ll learn both academic and vocational skills that are tailored to your specific job.

However, not all training is done like this, some training could take place online or in the office with an assessor from the training provider. For some courses, training may vary from 1 day, 1 week, or blocks at a time at college. But you’ll be given this information during the early stages of application.

How successful can my career be by doing an apprenticeship? 

An apprenticeship is more than just a qualification, they provide first-hand practical experience, helping to build confidence in your skills and work abilities. They allow you to gain essential skills needed to advance your career.

Choosing to go down the apprenticeship route helps to obtain the skills and information necessary to succeed in your chosen job and can allow you to progress to the next apprenticeship level.

Apprenticeships can lead to successful careers for those with dedication, drive, and determination.

Often individuals become an apprentice while still working in their current role in order to gain professional qualifications and the skills needed for career progression. Many of our apprentices go on to have very successful careers!

For more information about a career at Van Elle, visit our Careers page.