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Apprenticeship Guide: A comprehensive resource for aspiring apprentices.


Apprenticeships blend on-the job training with classroom-based learning.

Apprentices earn a wage while gaining practical experience.

Apprenticeships offer education without accumulating university debt

Completion often leads to recognized certifications, enhancing employability.

What an Apprenticeship is

Requirements of Apprenticeships

Application Processes

CV - Tips & Template

Application Tracker

Additional Resources

Interview Prep

Cisco's Program

This guide covers the following topics in regards to apprenticeships:




An apprenticeship is a program where individuals, known as apprentices, work and learn simultaneously. They gain practical skills on the job while receiving formal education, usually earning a wage. This hands-on training is designed to prepare apprentices for a specific profession or trade.

What an apprenticeship is






Cisco's Degree Apprenticeship Program.

This video was made by some of the apprentices in my cohort and it highlight why we all love being at the company and the benefits that it brings us.

Cisco offers many other benefits to its employees which include:

  • 10 Time 2 Give days - time to give back to the communities and contribute to causes we believe in.
  • Shopping discounts at numerous retailers
  • 25 Holidays with the possibility of buying more .....
  • Inclusive communities within the company

5 GCSEs at A* - C grade (or 9 to 4 ).

Intermediate Apprenticeship

5 GCSEs at grade 4 or above or have completed an intermediate apprenticeship.

Advanced Apprenticeships

A-levels (or equivalent) or completion of an advanced apprenticeship.

Higher Apprenticeships

The common grade requirement is -3 A-levels with grades ABB or equivalent.

Degree Apprenticeships

When searching for an apprenticeship, make sure that you align your own profile to what grades universities are looking for and what skills companies want. If you meet both, you're more likely to secure the apprenticeship that's perfect for you!

Requirements of Apprenticeships - Grades

Level 6 - 7

Level 4 - 7

Level 3

Level 2

Additional Requirements

Not all of these stages will a part of the application process but this is more or less an overview of all the possible stages you could come across as part of a recruitment process.


Initial Screening

Online Assessments

Research & Selection

The application process for every programme and company will differ and it's important to understand how you will be assessed at each one.

Application Processes & Different Stages

Onboarding & Induction.

Offer & Contract

Final Interview

Assessment Centre

Application Submission

Research & Selection: At this stage, you would just be researching the opportunities available to you and selecting programs that align with your interests and career goals, there is an application tracker in this guide to help you manage these.

Application Submission: It's good practice to submit your application soon after you've decided that it is suitable for you - this will save you from the disappointment of the opportunity closing before you have had another chance to submit your application.

Online Assessments - Psychometric Tests: In some applications, you will be required to complete an online assessment or a psychometric test so the employer can evaluate your skills, abilities and personality traits. There are some resources linked in this guide to help you practise.

Initial Screening: Following the submission of your application, employers will start conducting initial screening to shortlist the candidates based on the application - This will include the result of your psychometric test.

Interview Stage: Shortlisted candidates are then invited to an interview. This could be in person or over the phone. At this stage, they will be looking out for things like your motivation, the research you've done in the company and if you understand what you've applied for. This may be between 20 - 30 minutes long.

Assessment Centre: Majority of the application processes for apprenticeships. At this stage, you will be asked to participate in various activities to assess your skills and suitability for the role. This can also be called insight day or insight evening.

Final Interview: The candidates from the assessment centre will be shortlisted and may undergo a final interview - this could be a hiring manager interview. Some companies have this stage as part of their interview process and some won't.

Offer & Contract: Successful candidates will receive a formal offer and upon acceptance, a contract or apprenticeship agreement is provided. If you happen to receive multiple offers and you're levitating towards one, always communicate with the rest as the position you have been offered is a vacancy which they need to fill and they can't do that if they're waiting to hear back from you.

Onboarding & Induction: Once selected, you will go through a process called onboarding which is more or less helping you step into the company and familiarise yourself with the operations of the business, the workplace and your responsibilities.

I have added some tips below and a template that I used to structure my CV in the plus button

  • Always make sure that the email address & phone number you add to your CV is updated and professional. Recruiters do use this information to contact applicants.
  • It's very important to make sure that when you are attaching your CV to your application, the name of the file is appropriate and the document is in the right format. For example, they may ask you to submit it as a PDF rather than a Word document.
  • Ensure you check your spelling and grammar, a CV can become unprofessional very quickly based on these two.
  • Keep the format of the CV consistent - making a CV aesthetically pleasing is a good thing, however, you should not have different fonts unless it is to make a subheading more prominent.
  • Be concise and straightforward with it - do not exceed 2 pages. This is also the maximum length that your CV can be.
  • Include a Cover Letter where applicable but this is aside from your CV. Do not add this to the same document.
  • MAKE SURE YOU KNOW YOUR CV INSIDE OUT. Once you progress to the Interview stage, you will be asked questions based on this.

Your CV is the most important part of your application due to the fact that it determines whether or not, an employer chooses you to progress onto the next stage of the recruitment process.

CV Tips & Template


In order to manage to use this in an effective manner, it would be good to leave it open in the background or save it onto your desktop so it's in front of you.

With the tracker, you can also monitor the status of your applications. You can track key details such as submission dates, interview schedules, and follow-up actions.

The application tracker will help you organize and summarise essential information for each job application.

In my own journey to becoming an apprentice, my biggest challenge was managing my studies and applications without missing deadlines for applications so I developed a system for managing them.

Application Tracker


This document will help you prepare for an initial interview. Most companies will assess you based on some of these aspects but it is not fixed.

Interview Prep & Tips

The best structure for your answers in any interview is the STAR method.

S - Situation: Describe the situation or context where the event took place. Set the scence by providing necessary details without going into excessive background information.

T - Task: Explain the task or objective you were assigned within that situation. What needed to be accomplished or resolved? Clarify your role and responsibilities.

A - Action: Highlight the actions you took to address the situation and accomplish the task. Focus on your contributions and highlight the skills you used.

R - Result: Do a short conclusion to your answer, what was the outcome of your efforts

I have also added a document with the most frequently asked questions for practice purposes.

Not going to Uni - Searching platform

UCAS Page on Apprenticeship.

Psychometric Tests -

Additional Resources

Cisco Apprenticeship - Customer Experience Degree apprenticeship.

Cisco Apprenticeship - Sales Degree Apprenticeship Program

The Muse - Additional Interview questions.







1. Intermediate Apprenticeship (Level 2): - Equivalent to GCSEs or similar qualifications.2. Advanced Apprenticeship (Level 3): - Equivalent to A-levels or similar qualifications.3. Higher Apprenticeship (Level 4-7): - Equivalent to a foundation degree and above.4. Degree Apprenticeship (Level 6-7): - Equivalent to a full bachelor's or master's degree.

There are different levels to an apprenticeship which are equivalent to different qualifications

Levels of an Apprenticeships & Equivalency

TIP: Youtube is a very good resource for anyone who wishes to gain more knowledge about apprenticeships in general. I've linked a Youtube video created by Cisco on the apprenticeship program that we offer and the one that I am on.

There are some practice psychometric tests linked in the additional resources section and in the link.

There are other requirements which should also be taken into consideration when looking for the right apprenticeship.

Additional Requirements for Apprenticeships.

Skills: Some companies will offer programmes that require the apprentices to have a specific set of skills, i.e. confidence, communication skills, and organisation.

Experience: Some degree of experience may also be required but as long as you can link all aspects of your education & any part-time job you may have had to their programme, this won't prove to be a hurdle.

Assessments: Some programmes also have psychometric tests as part of their application process which is a short quiz that helps employers assess your skills and personality.