Top Tips To Get Kick-Started In A Skilled Trade Apprenticeship

In 2019, more companies than ever were seeking apprentices in the UK, highlighting a need for skilled people across most industries.

Beyond providing an alternative to tertiary education institutions, apprenticeships allow trainees to fully immerse themselves and gain first-hand experience in their chosen professions.

If you’re looking to enter into a high demand, flexible and physically challenging profession, specifically within the skilled trade industry, this path might appeal to you.

But where exactly do you start?

5 Step Guide to Applying for a Trade Apprenticeship

1. Ask all the right questions and explore your career path

Before starting your skilled trades apprenticeship search, you need to extensively research and decide on the specific trade. Whether you’re interested in a plumbing apprenticeship or possibly starting off in construction, having all the relevant information and details on hand allows you to really get a feel for the industry and see if it sparks any further interest.  

Apprenticeship training also opens the opportunity to start your own business later down the line, so having a solid foundation from your apprenticeship experience will only benefit you in the long run.

2. Find the right opportunities

When searching for your apprenticeship, you’ll probably feel slightly overwhelmed about where to start. 

Well, no need to worry - there’s a range of options that you can use! The first place you can try is , where it’s as simple as setting up an account, inputting your postcode and selecting the field you’re interested in. 

The second is taking a look at job sites like and , which also break down positions according to specific industries and locations. For more trade specific apprenticeships, you can also look at the following sites:

If you’re looking for a more local opportunity,  you can also try searching for “trade apprenticeships near me” for any local listings. 

Lastly, if you have a few companies in mind that you would love to work for, take a look on their website or contact them directly. Just remember, some companies might only take on new apprentices during a certain period in the year so make sure you’ve factored this into your planning. 

Apprentice at work

3. Make sure your CV is up-to-date and organised

Just like any other job application, taking enough time to tailor your CV to the specific trade or role is a good way to stand out from the pile of applications companies receive. 

While companies are aware that as a trade apprentice you would have limited ‘on-the-job’ experience, an updated CV can speak volumes about the type of employee you would be and the range of transferable skills you have. 

For example, possessing strong communication and teamwork skills would be ideal for working in construction, while customer service skills would be favourable for a trainee plumber. 

From working in teams to dedication to tasks and projects, these skills all show employers that you are serious about this opportunity, willing to learn more and ready to work hard. 

Also, include a specifically tailored cover letter. This allows you to go more into detail on your experience and background, as well as convince the employer that you’re a good match for the apprenticeship. 

4. Impress during the interview stage

If you’re successful after sending over your CV, you will be invited for an interview and this is where it’s really time to shine!

Make sure you’re well prepared: extensively look into the company, put together some discussion points, and highlight why you’re interested in doing your apprenticeship with this company specifically.

Also, make sure that you build and reflect on your skill sets from your CV, as this is now another opportunity to show the best version of yourself! Be prepared to talk about specific projects you’ve worked on, explaining what you did to make them a success and how they’ve helped to prepare you in becoming a trade apprentice.

5. Take in all the feedback and use it to your advantage

Applying for apprenticeships can be quite an exhausting and competitive process. With increasing interest in apprenticeships, the applicant pool is rapidly growing and trade careers are no exception. 

Even if you don’t get a spot straight away, don’t give up. Continue applying and, if in doubt, ask for any feedback and try to change your approach accordingly.

Feedback from previous interviews is a great way to grow your abilities and get a stronger insight into what employers are looking for. 

Good luck on your apprenticeship journey! Be sure to check out the Dickies Workwear blog for more information, or if you're looking to be inspired you can read about the SkillBuild competition.