Monday 6th February 2023 sees the start of National Apprenticeship Week in the UK, giving me an opportunity to write about my apprenticeship learning.
My Previous Apprenticeships
When I left high school (quite some time ago now) I didn’t really know what I wanted to do and although I was academic, I felt that I wanted to explore the world of work more than academia. This led to my first job and my first apprenticeship (level 2) and although neither were IT/Computer related both helped me realised what opportunities are available.
I’ve had a few technical job roles within the years that followed and levelled up a few times via different apprenticeships. Each apprenticeship has expanded my knowledge, given me some new skills, helped me to understand concepts from a wider viewpoint and more importantly to me, each one has pushed me.
Being able to learn and implement that learning straight away in the workplace gives a great blend of knowledge and action that helps to cement the learning into place. Researching and writing about a technology is amazing but taking the extra steps of applying the concepts into real world scenarios just makes it so much better for me.
Are Apprenticeships Just for Junior Roles?
My first apprenticeship was a level 2, roughly the same level as GCSEs and was an entry level junior position. Since then, each of my apprenticeships have been completed at higher levels of both education and career title.
Does an Apprenticeship Focus Just On Limited Learning Tasks?
I have written a few blog posts with personal updates (links below) that have discussed my current apprenticeship which is a level 6 (BSc) in “Digital & Technology Solutions” focussing on Software Engineering. I started my degree apprenticeship in early 2021 and have had modules covering Maths & Algorithms, Networking, Cyber Security, Data Analytics, and Cloud Architectures. Alongside the regular modules I’ve taken an additional module in Web Application Development.
Since last summer I have completed Software Engineering & Agile and Practical Research modules, and in the last week have started on the Contemporary Issues in Technology, whilst also working on an additional module in Web Application Security.
Hopefully those module titles will give you a brief overview of how diverse the learning can be and the opportunities that can come from it.
Is it hard work?
Each module involves workshops, additional reading materials and an assignment. Fitting all that in can be hard, especially when work and regular life events are also happening but having a good employer helps, as does having a good apprenticeship provider.
I’ve found planning out my apprenticeship time requirements, breaking down the assignment and having learning goals is must. Regular contact with my skills coach also helps to keep me on track and update on what’s coming up.
How Do I Find an Apprenticeship?
If you are after a new role that offers an apprenticeship, thenhttps://www.apprenticeships.gov.uk/apprentices/browse-apprenticeships may help. If you are already in a job role, then I would recommend looking at the apprenticeship standards (https://www.instituteforapprenticeships.org/apprenticeship-standards/) and discussing the possibilities with your manager.
National Apprenticeship Week 2023 runs between 6th February and 12th February, for more information visit:
Want to read my previous personal updates: