National Apprenticeship Week 2024 top tips (Blog)

5-11 February 2024 is National Apprenticeship Week. This is a celebration of how apprenticeships are a great pathway to career success and an alternative to going to university.

Apprenticeships provide a fantastic opportunity to work with an employer to gain real and valuable work experience, as well as the theory to develop employability skills and prospects for the future.

If you're considering an apprenticeship after college, take a look at our tips and advice below:

Apprenticeship or university?

There are of course other options such as employment or a gap year, however, university and apprenticeships remain two of the most common choices. The main benefits of each are:

  • ​University - you'll be able to pick from thousands of courses, have the option of a placement year in the UK or abroad, enjoy a wide range of social opportunities, gain your independence by living away from home and acquire a range of transferrable skills.
  • Apprenticeship - you'll immediately enter the world of work and gain valuable on-the-job experience while earning money as you study. An increasing number of higher and degree apprenticeships are now available.  If you attain a higher or degree apprenticeship, in addition to being paid, you will not pay tuition fees

Take a look at the video below for an Introduction to Apprenticeships from Callywith Careers Advisors David Sellars and Sue Willmott.

The following websites provide more detailed information on apprenticeships:

Apprenticeships |
Amazing Apprenticeships
Apprenticeships | Learn About Apprenticeships and Find The Right One For You (

Find out more about Apprenticeships at Truro and Penwith College below:

Apprenticeships – Truro and Penwith College

Which industry?

Look at the wide range of industries offering apprenticeships, including finance, engineering, IT, construction, the health sector and environmental conservation. If you’re unsure of what type of industry you’d like to work in, try out National Careers Service's skills assessment to find out which might be right for you.

It is important to consider labour market trends. You can access information on Cornwall's main occupational sectors using the following link: LMI Sector Guides - Careers Hub (

Finding an Apprenticeship

Here are two government websites you can use to search for apprenticeships:

Find an apprenticeship - GOV.UK (
Higher and Degree Vacancy Listing for 2023/24 Recruitment (

In addition, the new Cornwall Opportunities website has a helpful apprenticeship search tool: Apprenticeships (

Make sure to sign up to vacancy alerts, follow companies on social media and be proactive in approaching companies and asking for work experience or attending open days to get yourself noticed by employers. Some employers will also advertise apprenticeship opportunities through job websites, their own websites and at jobs fairs.

Don’t wait for the deadline

Some employers and recruiters may decide to close recruitment windows early if they feel that they have received a sufficient volume of applications. Competition for jobs is likely to be increasing, so you should try to submit your application as soon as you are ready. Don’t rush it though – it’s important that you check your spelling and grammar and take time to get it right.

Keep your options open

One of the best ways to be resilient when plans change, is to have other options lined up. When considering applying for an apprenticeship, it is always useful to explore multiple options simultaneously at both post-16 and post-18. The range of options is now vast and really exciting! It is important that as well as the more traditional options, you also make sure that you understand apprenticeships, traineeships, T Levels and FE College.

Draft a CV

A Curriculum Vitae (CV) is a key document that can help you get a part or full-time job. There are many different CV designs online you can use. You can also use one of our templates below to draft your CV. Remember to regularly review and update your CV as you gain qualifications, work experience and develop new interests and hobbies. The personal profile should be amended if you decide to apply for a different type of job. Tweak your skills, aptitudes and interests to focus on that particular job role.


Sign up to ‘Get My First Job’

To start an Apprenticeship in September 2024, we would recommend you sign up to Get My First Job from February 2024 when vacancies will begin to become available. Here you can set up a profile and upload your CV and search and apply for Apprenticeship vacancies.

Make use of your support networks

Whatever path you decide to follow, you will want to know that you’ve given it your best shot. Make use of the support networks around you. At college, your Personal Development Tutor, lecturers and our careers and Student Services teams are all here to help.

Remember that if you need careers and apprenticeship advice, bookable one-to-one advice sessions are available by using the following link: Destinations Space (

Callywith alumni stories

Former Callywith students talk about their experience of doing an apprenticeship after completing their studies at Callywith College and why they chose this route.

Anna - Paralegal Apprenticeship - International Law firm
Caitlin - Finance Apprenticeship - Saputo Dairy UK
Darcy Mental Health Nursing Apprenticeship - Cornwall Partnership NHS Foundation Trust 
Tristan Level 6 Digital and Technology Solutions Apprenticeship - Rowe IT
Jess - Level 4 Construction Management Apprenticeship - BAM Construct 
Sam - Level 3 Information Communication Technician Apprenticeship - Devon Air Ambulance
Sam Level 3 Support Technician Apprenticeship - King's College Service Centre 
Amy - Management Apprenticeship - Aldi
Harry - Level 3 Multi Skilled Engineering Apprenticeship - Saputo Dairy UK
Toby - Level 4 Project Manager Apprenticeship - TCi Construction Works
Sam - Level 4 Construction Site Supervision Apprenticeship - Kier Construction
Jack - IT Support Apprenticeship - ShelterBox
Josh - Level 7 Accountancy Apprenticeship - Bishop Fleming
James - Level 3 Business Administration Apprenticeship - Cornwall National Landscape (AONB)
Olivia - Level 6 Adult Nursing Degree Apprenticeship - Cornwall Partnership NHS Foundation Trust

Apprenticeship case studies

Watch the following videos to hear from real life apprentices about their experiences and apprenticeship providers about what they offer. This is a non-exhaustive list just to give you an idea of what’s out there!

Adam's story - Aldi
BT apprenticeships
Molly’s story - Google
Law apprenticeships
Lily’s story - NHS
Army apprenticeships
Truro College apprenticeships
Cornwall College apprenticeships