An apprenticeship is one of the best ways of kickstarting your career prospects and during an apprenticeship, it’s easy to become totally enthralled in the process of learning your trade without considering what to do once the apprenticeship concludes.
Completing an apprenticeship is a huge achievement in its own right, and while many who complete these courses go on to find employment quite easily, others may find this more difficult, or be confused about this process and how to capitalize on their momentum and break into the particular industry they have spent years training for.
In this guide we’re going to look at what next steps and avenues are available to you after completing an apprenticeship, looking at potentially taking a full-time position, progressing on to further training and education, considering alternative employment options, starting your own business, and the myriad other options available to you.
Table of Contents
Finding A Permanent Position
The first and most obvious thing many people who finish an apprenticeship want to do is find full-time employment in their industry, and this isn’t surprising as a lot of apprenticeships don’t pay very much, if at all, meaning finding paying work is an absolute necessity and priority as soon as the apprenticeship is completed.
The issue is that finding a permanent position can be difficult due to fierce competition and a lack of opportunities depending on where you live.
Finding a new job can be very tough, and competing against people with actual working experience can be difficult, but it’s important to persevere and take whatever opportunity you can find to carry momentum from your apprenticeship into the working world.
Ideally, the employer who gave you an apprenticeship may be able to take you on to give you some industry experience, but if not ask them for a reference to show employers that you are ready for a real opportunity and can handle a job, even if you’ve not got the experience yet.
Explore as many options as possible and take whatever opportunities come your way, be they small, part-time, or even not exactly what you had in mind, as you can always use these networks as opportunities to expand into different areas you are interested in.
Another option would be to consider relocating to an area where there are more opportunities for someone with your skill, and while this is difficult and a huge commitment, it can yield great results and help you find work very quickly.
Progress To A Higher Level Of Apprenticeship
Another option is to consider progressing on to further training, at a higher level.
This isn’t always a particularly popular option, as many people find studying for too long both stressful and financially difficult, but it can help you enhance and advance your skill set, and set you further apart from other graduates and apprentices once you are fully qualified.
You may be able to specialize in a more lucrative technical field or specialism, as well as develop your understanding and skills to make you an even more confident trade.
Doing this extra training also shows ambition, commitment, and self-investment, which are attributes that many employers will find appealing, enhancing your chances of finding work later on.
Branch Out Into Further Employment Opportunities
While most apprentices remain with the company they apprenticed with, it may be possible or easier for you to find work in the wider workforce, at a different company or, in a slightly different but related field.
Doing this will further widen your field of opportunities and help you find a company or business that really interests you, as well as allow you more flexibility in where and how you work.
It’s also positive as it helps you expand your network and learn new processes, which will enhance your skills and expose you to a new world of information your apprenticeship may not have shown you.
While challenging, this can be a very enriching experience, and can also open many more future doors for you.
Start Your Own Business
Many people who have apprenticed do so in a trade that can allow you to start your own business.
While doing this is immensely challenging, the rewards speak for themselves, as you’ll be able to choose your own hours, manage your own clients and jobs, and make your work fit around your priorities in life.
There are immense challenges also, and setting up and maintaining your own business is never easy, but the rewards can be fabulous, and you may well end up finding yourself helping a new crop of apprentices find work and experience, as well as showing them the same skills and techniques you yourself picked up as an apprentice, which is one of the great things about starting your own business.
Seek Employment Where Your Apprenticed
Of course, it’s important to consider applying to work at the business that trained you too, and this is the most common outcome for apprentices seeking their first jobs.
Oftentimes apprentices will have an established relationship with the business and this will allow you to potentially leverage this relationship to give you an opportunity to gain some valuable experience and much-needed pay after a long hard apprenticeship.
A lot of the time these businesses will be happy to take you on, as you already understand their processes and workflows, as well as their clients and practices, saving them time and money on training up a totally new employee.
Regardless of what you do after your apprenticeship, stay focussed on your own personal goals and do what feels right for you.
Not everyone wants to stay where they apprenticed, while others may be totally fine with this.
Do whatever feels best for you, but keep in mind that opportunities are hard to come by, so grasp them when you get the chance!