An Inside Guide To How An Apprenticeship Works

As apprenticeships are starting to become more popular it is important to understand what an apprenticeship entails, how the education side works and how the actual work side functions. As an apprentice myself, hopefully I will be able to shed some light on these questions concerned.

My Apprenticeship

I started my 18-month apprenticeship as a Business Administrator in early March for Kent-Teach, of course Covid-19 has massively changed the dynamic of work and education, but the key apparatus of my apprenticeship has stayed the same. Bear in mind that not all apprenticeships function the same as mine, so my account will be slightly personalised.   

The Beginnings of An Apprenticeship 

The day-to-day activities of my apprenticeship in the first few weeks of joining were similar to most jobs, shadowing various members of your team to help you gain an understanding of what you will eventually be expected to do yourself. It is extremely unlikely you will be thrown into the deep end, as employers understand most school leavers have no experience in these sorts of areas. Even after the first couple weeks of shadowing, as you start to gain more responsibilities, you are still massively supported, and I am still given support in areas I am developing, 9 months later. An apprenticeship is about giving you support and sufficient training in the role until you are comfortable and fully qualified to go alone. 

The Correlation Between the Training and the Qualified Role

The great thing about an apprenticeship is that the assessment side is based off your day-to-day work, which means when you get your qualification you are trained in what is relevant to your role. It is similar to the process of passing your driving test, where in the lessons you practice the necessary skills for the test, which match up the to the exact same skills needed for driving once you have qualified. This differs to university where people tend to study in a certain subject which might not exactly match the job they get in the future, in that subject area. 

The Education Side

One day a month is dedicated to college, where in normal conditions I would go to college for a day but due to Covid-19 this is being done virtually. The teacher will generally go through slides on a certain topic, that we need to be familiar with for our endpoint assessment and this ties in nicely to our one day a week dedicated to studying, which normally stems from work unfinished or set from these workshops. I also meet every 8 weeks with one of my assessors to check I am on track for the end point assessment, answer any queries and to generally guide me through until the end of the apprenticeship.

The Assessments

For my apprenticeship there are multiple assessments covering different aspects needed to be an adequate Business Administrator once qualified. Once me and my assessor have agreed I am ready between the 12th and 18th month mark, I am eligible to do all my assessments. Normally the first assessment you will do is a multiple-choice question test on the skills and knowledge you have learnt on the job and through studying, which is fairly straightforward.

The next assessment whenever you feel you are ready, is to present the portfolio evidence you have been collecting whether that is referrals from colleagues, ongoing feedback, or actual pieces of work which demonstrate things like organisational skills, good communication skills and so on. This may sound overwhelming, but you will have collected the evidence needed over the duration of your apprenticeship rather than squeezing it all in at the end, digging for work you swore you did or feedback that you can’t find. Another great example of how the assessments and the day to day work are one in the same, you just collect what you are already doing, then present it.

The third and final assessment is the presentation of the project you undertook at the start of the apprenticeship. Again, you will be collecting the evidence of this along the way and due to how involved you are in your project, you are very well versed in the subject. It is very different to a last-minute presentation with friends at school, where you aren’t sure what’s even on the slides!


Assessments can be a daunting thought, and, in this case, it is quite misleading as the whole apprenticeship whether on the job or off, is helping you to prepare for this. Everything you do can be used as evidence for these assessments, so as long as you understand what type of evidence you need, you will have everything by the time you have your assessments. Apprenticeships are a logical and a practical way of learning and a great route to gain a qualification and the skills that are necessary for your chosen role or a similar one.

For more information about apprenticeships as a whole, please visit our blog Lets Talk Apprenticeships!

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