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National Apprenticeship Week


This year, we teamed up with Guildford and Merrist Wood Colleges to recognise National Apprenticeship Week 2017.

Celebrating it's 10th anniversary, our presenters had a go at being apprentices themselves, we met up with local apprentices and found out the reasons why being an apprentice could be just what you're looking for.

If you’ve ever considered vocational training, from hairdressing to car mechanics, Guildford and Merrist Wood Colleges have just the ticket.

Watch how our presenters coped with being an apprentice for the day.

Or browse below for hints and tips to see if an apprenticeship is the right thing for you.




Everyone can take up an apprenticeship, but don't take it from us.

Hear the stories from local apprentices to help you decide if an apprenticeship is the right thing for you.

We caught up with some of the students from Guildford College.

Apprenticeship week Laura

Why did you sign up?

I've always wanted to be a hairdresser and I though college was the best thing to do. Working in the salon gave me more on-the-job and people skills.

How does the apprenticeship work?

You come straight in and do your training. Eventually you get given clients and the more clients you do the more experience you get. You do that throughout the whole course and then finally you go up to being a stylist.

Tell us about your first client?

When I did my first client I said I'd never cut hair again! It was very scary but once you get it done it's fine and now I'm cutting hair all the time.

Any advice for someone considering an apprenticeship?

I'd say do it, definitely. For me, it's much better than going straight into college and at the end of the day you're getting paid for it as well!


What does your company do?

We sell spare parts for kitchen aid appliances and we sometimes fix the appliances for customers.

What does your role involve?

I answer emails and phone calls, pack the spare parts and send them out to the customers, and do help videos on the mixers.

What does the future look like for you?

I would move up from junior administration to a more senior role and get more involved with the customers.

Any advice for someone considering an apprenticeship?

I would definitely recommend apprenticeships because you get a lot of experience, but you still have the people from the college who can help you.


Use social media to your advantage...

National Apprenticeship Week 2017 might be over now, but that doesn't mean the information isn't out there for you to find.

Follow @Apprenticeships, @TraineeshipsGov for government advice and promotion.

Look up #NAW2017 on Twitter to find businesses celebrating National Apprenticeship Week and are looking for candidates just like you

@GuildfordColleg for Guildford College news (best for local business apprenticeships such as hairdressing and catering)

@MerristWood for the latest on Merrist Wood (famous for agriculture and animal care)

Start your research early.

We've put together some ideas to make sure you start your search in all the right place...

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Eagle Radio

Talk it through

Discussing your options and interests with someone else may give you a fresh perspective.

Whether this is a career advisor, parent or teacher; you might be surprised what kind of advice they'll have.

Work Experience

If possible, drop by your potential workplace to see if you can see yourself at home there.

If it's a hairdressers, meet up with a friend in the industry for a coffee and chat or drop in for the afternoon and really try and place yourself in that working environment - is it for you?

Don't be afraid to pick up the phone and give a potential employer a phone call, they won't bite!

Photo of an apprentice applying on her laptop



Browse the map to find where Guildford College and Merrist Wood colleges are as well as a selection of their apprenticeship partners. Click on the pins to see more.

If you're thinking of taking up an apprenticeship, why not come along to one of their open days and discover where you could be going next.

Looking to get straight on and find your perfect apprenticeship?

Visit the Government Apprenticeship website and browse via their map.

Government National Apprenticeship Week logo


Ten Reasons Apprenticeships Are Great...

1. Money

You will soon be the envy of your friends who stayed in the classroom.

You finally have that extra bit of cash for new clothes, computer games, and evenings out to the cinema or for pizza.

Just wait until that first pay check comes in and you will never look back. 


2. Independence

...because with that pay slip comes independence.

Now you can afford to put fuel in the car or buy that train ticket to visit your friends who have moved away to study.


3. You are out of the classroom

Finally you have found a way to learn without being sat at a desk.

Apprenticeships are hands on give you a real taste of working life.


4. You will actually be passionate about the subject

It is no longer about jumping from English to Science and then a French class.

Finally you can dedicate your brain power to one single subject - and it is something you are truly interested in.

...and you will be working with like-minded people.



 5. Networking

Being in the workplace means meeting new people daily. 

Whether it is colleagues to customers you are getting a head start at the networking game.

Make a good first impression now and you will have contacts for the future.


6. Climbing the career ladder

One of those contacts might just be your future employer.

By starting work now you are able to go for promotions and new jobs earlier than your peers. 


7. No debt

University fees cost a lot.

While your friends spend the next 30 years paying it off, you will still be bringing the money in. Win win. 


8. New friends

It is all about team work in the work place.

You may be nervous and feel like you don't know anyone on day one but by the time the Christmas party comes round you are guaranteed a whole new circle of friends to celebrate with (...and buy gifts for... sorry!)


9. Support

You won't have to fight in a line of students to get advice from a teacher. 

In fact, you will have a handful of people to turn to for help.

From senior colleagues, to other apprentices, your boss and apprenticeship academic staff there will always be someone ready to help. 


10. Pride

From the day you complete the apprenticeship to when you are retired you will look back on your achievement with pride.

An apprenticeship is about stepping up into the working world and showing everyone what you are made of.

At the end of it all you will have great memories, an abundance of skills, and a nationally recognised qualification.