What are apprenticeship skills? (With examples and steps)
By Indeed Editorial Team
Published 11 November 2022
The Indeed Editorial Team comprises a diverse and talented team of writers, researchers and subject matter experts equipped with Indeed's data and insights to deliver useful tips to help guide your career journey.
One way to learn the skills that a job requires is completing an apprenticeship where you learn from experts in the field. Working as an apprentice allows individuals to learn valuable skills beyond basic knowledge and technicalities. Understanding this concept may encourage you to apply for an apprenticeship in a field you want to pursue. In this article, we discuss apprenticeship skills and give some examples, list steps to improve them, offer tips to demonstrate them in the workplace and tell how you can highlight apprentice skills in your cover letter, on your CV and during an interview.
What are apprenticeship skills?
Apprenticeship skills are specific skills apprentices can acquire from working with professionals in their areas of interest. For example, an accountant graduate may initially work as an apprentice with professional accountants to learn the necessary skills to excel in that career. Being an apprentice provides individuals starting or changing careers with the opportunity to work with and learn from more experienced professionals in the field.
Examples of apprentice skills
The career path an individual takes determines the skills they require to excel. Here are some examples of skills employees can gain through apprenticeship:
Almost every profession or job requires communication, so learning how best to communicate with your colleagues and clients is beneficial. Understanding the different personality types of the individuals you're interacting with while performing your duties can help you learn the best ways to relate to them. Effective communication is essential to achieving your short- and long-term professional goals. You can improve on this skill by working as an apprentice. Developing a healthy relationship with your colleagues and clients can influence your success as a professional.
Employers value employees who can proffer solutions to problems and solve complex issues. Being an apprentice enables you to learn how to tackle your profession's daily complications. Working as an apprentice exposes you to real scenarios that professionals in your field handle. You may perform tasks that require you to solve or contribute to solving some of these problems. Learning how to resolve issues and remain productive at uncertain times can influence the success of your career.
Most professionals encounter some form of compromise while trying to collaborate with other parties. Employees may negotiate with colleagues in their departments or other departments, suppliers, clients or their employer. For a negotiation to be successful, it means you get what you want and satisfy the other party's demands. It helps to learn ways to convince the other party that their gain is worth the effort or commitment. Working as an apprentice can help you understand how professionals in your field handle a negotiation.
Successfully working in a team is a skill most professions value. This is because some tasks require combined efforts from individuals with different roles and skill sets. Working well in a team improves workplace relationships and contributes to a company's performance. An apprenticeship allows employees to gain valuable experience working in groups to achieve personal and team goals.
Learning about a subject in a simulated environment differs from implementing it in the real world. There may be some technicalities about a profession you learn only when you begin to work, and being an apprentice is a great way to start. Apprenticeships allow you to strengthen the technical skills you already possess while learning about other equally necessary skills. This improves your general competence as a professional and increases your confidence.
Data collection and analysis
Often, employers require employees to collect and record necessary data about their interactions with clients, success and losses. Collecting data efficiently is essential because it can help you understand certain trends, such as customer behaviour, interests and satisfaction. Working with professionals in your field allows you to learn what kind of data is important to monitor and record.
A career path may also require that you learn to interpret data, give reasonable conclusions and determine how the data may influence your projects or the company's performance. Data analysis often requires technological tools, and each sector or organisation may utilise specific techniques to analyse its data. Recognising issues within research can enable you to effect changes that may guarantee better results.
How to improve apprentice skills
Improving your apprenticeship abilities can positively influence your career and professional progress. Here are some tips that may help:
1. Be observant
It's beneficial for you to observe and learn the trends and practices within your profession. Even while working as an apprentice, you may only learn some skills or techniques by watching other experienced professionals. You can implement what you learn by applying it to real-life or theoretical scenarios. One apprentice can gain more than another, even if they work in the same environment. The deliberate attention you give to learning also influences how much you learn.
2. Get a mentor
A mentor is someone with years of experience within your industry or profession. They can help to guide you through the beginning phases of your career as a professional. With a mentor's guidance, you can learn the necessary skills to practise in your workplace and receive some ideas and constructive criticism about your work. Your mentor can also tell you about their experience and what they wish they had known, including their mistakes and lessons.
3. Attend professional events or seminars
Professionals often attend pertinent events, seminars or workshops. As a new professional, attending these events and can help you gain more understanding of your industry. Usually, speakers at these events are more experienced and may allow you to ask questions. Attending events also allows you to meet and connect with your fellow professionals. So, when you go to these events, ensure you attempt to interact with a few individuals. Forming useful connections can benefit you on your career journey.
4. Ask questions
Improving any skill involves asking questions and performing personal research. Some things may not be straightforward to learn, but doing your research and seeking counsel from other professionals can help guide you. Sometimes you may require answers from the management of your establishment. Ensure you follow the right protocol to interact with your management and ask relevant questions. You may also want to share certain ideas and get permission to implement them. Be confident and ask the right individuals.
Apprentice skills in the workplace
Here are some tips to demonstrate your skills in the workplace:
Request feedback. Requesting feedback from your colleagues and leaders can help you learn ways to advance your skills. Identify specific areas that require development and take the necessary steps to improve.
Provide feedback. Offering feedback is a way for you to contribute to the organisation and possibly improve its practices. It may also help your colleagues to improve their skills.
Complete tasks on time. You can show your skills by performing assigned tasks within the specified time frame. If you require an extension, you can request it and provide the reasons.
How to highlight apprenticeship skills
During your job search, here's how you can highlight the skills you developed as an apprentice:
Apprentice skills for a CV
A CV is an official document a candidate offers when applying for a position. Within this document, there are various places where you may indicate your talents. This includes your work experience, professional summary and skills sections. Ensure you include the skills that best fit the role's requirements.
Apprentice skills for cover letters
A cover letter is another document applicants submit to demonstrate their qualifications for a position. The document allows you to mention and expand on the skills you listed in your CV. Here, you can explain how you learnt new skills and their effect on your job.
Apprentice skills for job interviews
There are opportunities for you to mention your skills during job interviews. Some questions may directly enquire about your skills and others may request that you describe a work scenario or experience. It may help to describe events surrounding a relevant task and the steps you took to achieve your results.
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