Skills that apprenticeship employers are looking for
What does a good apprentice look like? Well, it really depends on the type of apprenticeship, industry, and employer you are interested in. However, generally speaking, there are skills, both soft and hard, that can make you an invaluable asset to any team and set you up for success in your career.
At Travis Perkins plc, we are looking for apprentices who are ambitious, keen to learn and grow and bring a fresh perspective to our business. We offer a wide range of programmes and levels suitable to the various roles within our businesses. So whether you’re looking for a career change, or you’re just starting in your career, there is an apprenticeship waiting for you.
If you are wondering, what employers look for in an apprentice, we’ve got you covered with the soft and hard skills you should be highlighting in your interview process:
What are the soft skills needed for an apprenticeship?
Soft skills are attributes that help people to interact with others in the workplace. By developing soft skills, you’ll be setting yourself up for success in how you manage workplace relationships and the work that you contribute to a business.
Here are some examples of soft skills that will shape your career:
- Communication - this skill helps you to collaborate with your colleagues, understand instructions and convey your own ideas.
- Time management - as an apprentice, being reliable and punctual is important as you need to be able to balance your work and learning responsibilities.
- Willingness to learn - you’ll need to be self-motivated and have the drive to succeed and learn so you can take ownership of your own career journey.
- Adaptability - apprentices are exposed to different tasks and challenges and you should be easily adaptable and open to change and new situations.
Remember, it’s not all about your skills, employers are looking for people who demonstrate their values and show enthusiasm about the industry or their role. At Travis Perkins plc, we are looking for people who are passionate about making a difference, and do this through owning and living our values.
What are the hard skills needed for an apprenticeship?
Depending on the type of apprenticeship you select, the hard skills required from you will vary. But here are some general examples of hard skills that help apprentices to excel:
- Technical - these are skills where you have specialised skills and knowledge to perform specific tasks. For example, if you were a software developer, programming languages would be a technical skill.
- Problem-solving - the ability to identify and solve problems efficiently is valuable in many apprenticeships. For example, if you were a customer service apprentice, understanding your customers’ specific needs and identifying what product or service would benefit them the most is a form of problem-solving.
- Project management - if you were considering a more advanced apprenticeship, such as a managerial one, you’ll need the ability to plan, execute, and monitor tasks effectively.
How do I stand out as an apprentice?
You will be gaining new skills throughout your apprenticeship too, so if you don’t have all the skills we’ve listed, do not worry. Apprenticeships are all about learning and development so if you are asked what skills you possess in an interview, just remember to be honest.
For example, you might not know how to read code but you can highlight your eagerness to learn, why learning this skill excites you, and how the apprenticeship will be a learning curve for you to develop new skills.
This enthusiasm can help you to stand out as an apprentice candidate and show that you are willing to put in the work. At Travis Perkins plc, we are committed to supporting our colleagues to develop their careers, giving them not just the necessary skills and knowledge training but also the autonomy they need to figure out how to do things their way.
Set yourself up for a successful career with Travis Perkins plc
We encourage all of our apprentices to challenge the way we do things, take risks and learn what works for them. After all, your career pathway is your own and doesn't need to be a straight line - we can help you pave it in whichever direction you want to take it.
Now you have an understanding of the skills apprenticeship employers are looking for, you can feel confident in your application and interview journey.
Apply to our apprenticeship programmes so you can become an expert in your role and take your career to new heights.
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