The 6 things you’ll need to know for your first apprenticeship

Here at Opus Energy we are really proud of our Apprenticeship Programme.  We get to nurture local talent by providing an unmissable opportunity if you want to get a head start on your career.

Apprentice and apprenticeship programme skillsSince 2012 we’ve been recruiting apprentices on a regular basis, and so far we’ve found that the programme is a fantastic option for young people in the local area looking to get a new job with a lot of potential.  Not only do our chosen apprentices get trained for customer service and business administration positions by the Opus Energy mentors, they also get a competitive salary and Level 2 or 3 NVQ qualification. It’s a no-brainer! (Check out all the details here)

If you’re applying for an Apprenticeship, or you’re one of the lucky ones about to start out on an Apprenticeship Programme, chances are you’ll have a lot of questions about how to make a stand-out application, or how to get the most out of the time in your brand new workplace.

Make sure you’re prepared by checking out our list of things to know, from your first application all the way through to your first day of work. Take note, and good luck!


1. Check, check, check

It can be easy to trip up on spelling and grammar and it’s even easier to miss these slip-ups when reading through your own work. To get around this is,  try asking a good friend or family member to proof read your application.

They can flag up any major errors or even offer advice to help you structure your CV better or write a more convincing cover letter.


2. Social safety

Living in a more connected world means many employers nowadays like to check out potential employees online. This  is often a harmless research exercise to get to know you a little bit more, but it also means that they may see your social media activity, whether it represents you professionally or not.

Remember: when it comes to social media, you control what you put out there and what people can see, so do a thorough check if you want to keep your private life private. Nobody wants to look up your charity volunteer achievements, only to find the photos you posted of the time you went to a festival and didn’t shower for a week.


3. Ace your interview

Interviews are a fantastic opportunity for you to showcase who you are and what you can offer to the business.

They also give both parties the chance to get to know each other, so make most of this opportunity by asking plenty of questions and being prepared to answer their questions about you!

If you’re worrying about how you’re going to answer questions,  try using the STAR method:

Situation (briefly describe the situation you experienced)

Task (talk about what your role was in that situation)

Action (what you did to get a positive outcome)

Result (what happened as a result of your actions and what you learnt).

Without even thinking about it, you’ve given them all the information they wanted to hear.


4. Speak up

At Opus Energy, every apprentice is assigned a mentor that they  can turn to for any query, big or small.  Whether or not you get a mentor in your apprenticeship programme, there is one piece of advice that will help wherever you are and whatever you’re doing: ask questions.

A good employer will appreciate  someone who isn’t afraid to ask something that they don’t know, as it shows that they are eager to learn and aren’t afraid to put their hand up when it’s necessary. Starting somewhere new can  feel scary, but you’ll learn much faster if you speak up.


5. Watch and learn

It’s not only about what you do, but also what you pick up from everyone else around you.

A great way to learn what they expect of you as quickly as possible is to take note of  experienced employees. You’ll be amazed how much you can pick up just by watching how they interact with each other, delegate work and allocate their time to activities.

Who knows – in a few years, you could be doing their job!


6. Smile like you mean it

Finally, enthusiasm goes a long way in the workplace. Accept any tasks you get given with a smile – everyone else here was once in an entry-level position, so they’ll know what it’s like to sometimes have to do tasks that aren’t exciting.

What’s more, positivity is infectious!  People will always prefer to work with a positive colleague, and it may mean they’re more inclined to give you interesting jobs or projects in future. Being enthusiastic about your work will make you a much more memorable apprentice who’s likely to make a good impression.

To find out more about the Opus Energy Apprenticeship Programme and how to apply, click here.

Good luck!