What do employers look for in apprentices?

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Here at Parenta, we employ apprentices in many different areas of our business. We spoke with our HR Manager, Emily Marshall, to find out what employers are really looking for when they choose candidates for apprenticeship positions.

1. What top 3 qualities do we look for when we recruit for an apprentice role?

Self-awareness and the desire for self-improvement

People who are aware of their areas for development, whether they be personal or professional, tend to have the most potential, which is crucial in a role that is predominantly about development and upskilling.  You’re not necessarily going to have oodles of experience when you join us, but if you’re self-aware and happy to receive (and act) on feedback, you’ll certainly go a long way.

Enthusiastic and eager to deliver against expectations

Apprentices are generally working in a capacity that supports multiple people and/or departments, so a cheery and enthusiastic disposition is really important.  We also like to see that potential job candidates are ambitious and demonstrate drive and determination, both of which are important for the role and their learning. 

Curiosity

I love nothing more than a good question, it beats a good answer any day! Questions, when asked with genuine interest, are unique and show a high level of interest, awareness and inquisitiveness at interview stage which tends to transpire into the apprentice’s work once they get started.  It’s important for us that candidates show curiosity towards our company, as well as the type of work they’ll be undertaking during their apprenticeship, as this tends to mean higher engagement, fast information absorption and better productivity.

2. How can a candidate make themselves stand out from the crowd?

Two things… do your research and be yourself!  Find out about the company you’re applying for and take interest in the bigger picture of the organisation. Also, be yourself. It’s so easy to get caught up in trying to be someone you think the employer wants you to be.  It’s important to be polite and professional, however don’t be afraid to have a laugh and show your personality. 

3. How can an apprentice increase the likelihood of getting a permanent position at the end of their training?

Don’t treat the role as an apprenticeship. Too often, apprentices don’t take the role seriously, or don’t do more than they are asked because they don’t feel the role is important. Remember, this is a free qualification whereby you’re paid to learn. If you develop into a valuable member of the team, take on extra tasks with enthusiasm and show that you’re capable of continuous professional development and self-improvement, your employer will be more likely to offer you a permanent position.  

4. What makes doing an apprenticeship so worthwhile?

Learning in a practical setting is invaluable. Not only do you get to develop skills in a practical environment, but you’re surrounded by experienced professionals that you can learn and draw inspiration from.  An apprenticeship goes beyond the theory and provides you with skills and experience that will set you up for a career that you may have never been able to access otherwise.

5. Why are apprentices so crucial to the staffing needs of our business? 

Having apprentices allows us to resource the business with eager minds in a cost-effective way.  Apprentices are crucial in our business, as they’re not employed to do one specific role but tend to support multiple tasks and projects. This increases their exposure to day-to-day business operations, which enhances both their learning and skillset. This, in turn, supports the business greatly with productivity and goal accomplishment. Training our own people from the ground up ultimately creates a more skilled workforce, which not only supports Parenta but gives an entire generation hope for a better future. 

You can check out Parenta’s current job vacancies here


Looking to start an apprenticeship? Browse our job board to find a position local to you! 

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