All about apprenticeships

  • Did you know there are apprenticeships available in sectors including accountancy, engineering, IT and journalism, for example? Despite what you may think, they aren’t just for ‘learning a trade’.

  • Did you know that some apprenticeships even allow you to work and study towards a degree?

If you decide university isn’t right for you, it could be worth exploring apprenticeships, and there are a range of exciting opportunities available that you might not have previously considered. They enable you to start working and earn a wage while you learn key skills and gain the qualifications that future employers are looking for. 

Degree level apprenticeships involve working a minimum of 30 hours per week and gaining practical industry experience, whilst studying a Bachelors or Master’s degree at a partner university.

A Higher Apprenticeship is available to anyone with A-level qualifications, and provides workplace training, a salary and leads to a national qualification.

You can find a helpful overview of how apprenticeships work on the UCAS and Prospects websites. Prospects has lists of employer who offer apprenticeships in Engineering, Business and Law. If you are interested in applying to any of the employers listed, you could look on their websites for further information about what they offer and how to apply. Also, see here for a helpful overview of industries that offer apprenticeships.

So, where can you find apprenticeships?

The Government portal lists a range of opportunities (www.gov.uk/apply-apprenticeship) but you could also try the following …

www.notgoingtouni.co.uk/apprenticeships-223

www.ratemyapprenticeship.co.uk/search/jobs

www.apprenticeshipguide.co.uk/apprenticeship-vacancies (vacancies are pulled through from the Government portal above, but there is plenty of useful information on the site)

There are also companies that put students in touch with employers – like recruitment agencies. You could find these with a Google search, e.g. for IT and Technology apprenticeships, you could try www.archapprentices.co.uk

There may be funding available, depending on your circumstances. For more information, see www.gov.uk/career-development-loans or www.gov.uk/advanced-learner-loan/eligibility.

If you are considering leaving your course and would like to talk through your options, call 020 7882 8533 to book a 1-2-1 appointment with a Careers Consultant. Also see our updated handout: Changing or leaving your course

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QChallenge London – applications now open!

Are you interested in building your CV and professional networks by leading real change in a top London organisation?

QChallenge London is a brand new employability programme exclusive to QMUL undergraduates in partnership with Common Purpose, and applications are open now.

Successful candidates will work in a team to explore a major challenge for a London organisation with a focus on health, housing and transport.

This opportunity is ideal for students who are:

  • Interested in developing their skills in the working world
  • Keen to put their mind to a real life business challenge
  • Looking to network with leaders from business, government and NFPs

Participants will be offered the chance to present their findings to their organisation as well as receiving a £50 voucher for submitting a reflective essay.

QChallenge blog photo

The programme will run from 5 February – 13 April 2018. Applications are open until 3rd December for all QMUL undergraduates. Postgraduates may not apply.

Apply online here

If you’re looking for a unique challenge, which will not only expose you to an exciting range of networks and experiences but test your creative thinking, then apply for QChallenge London.

Student blog: Spring Week Success

Yesterday we heard from Arjun, who has just finished his 1st year studying Business Management. He shared his advice about the importance of Spring Weeks – read on for part 2 and his thoughts on what to do before applications open…

IMG_7310What should I be doing in the meantime?

Find what you’re interested in – are you interested in the fast-paced markets? Looking for an advisory or client facing role? Keen to work with numbers? Most firms will provide good insight into their respective business areas on their dedicated careers page – so I recommend checking it out and exploring the potential opportunities available to you.

Brush up on your CV – I cannot stress enough how much a clear and concise CV will be the make or break of recruiters taking you further in the process. On average, recruiters spend only a couple of seconds skimming a CV to know if they are interested in a candidate. So to ensure you make it through that stage, you must:

  • Ensure any past work experience and volunteering focuses on what you have contributed and/or achieved in a short bullet point or two per role
  • Make sure each job states the organisation, location, date and your job title
  • Make sure your formatting, layout and grammar is consistent and clear
  • Remove unnecessary details like gender, photo date of birth or personal ID numbers (oh – and that embarrassing and totally unprofessional email address you made when you were 13? Yes, get rid of it and replace it with a professional one!)

For business and finance, your CV should be no longer than 1 page – recruiters do not like long CVs, so play around with the margins, summarise your secondary school grades and remove things that add little value. Show your CV to a close friend, family member for their comments or why not book an appointment at the Careers & Enterprise Centre? I would thoroughly recommend it! I got advice and tips on my CV that helped highlight inconsistencies and improve my general layout.

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Student blog: The importance of Spring Weeks

Calling all First Year students: Let’s talk about the importance of Spring Weeks…

Arjun Jethwa - PhotoArjun Jethwa, 2nd year Business Management

If you’re interested in a career within Investment Banking, Asset Management, Accounting or Consultancy – this excellent springboard will give you the competitive edge when it comes to getting fast tracked into some of most prestigious internships in the city. I went through the process last year and gained a Spring Week and I thoroughly recommend you do the same!  Here’s some short tips and information I would recommend for fellow incoming first years…

What are they?

Some may already know about them, most probably do not, but every April a few hundred curious, ambitious and well-driven first year students enter some of the prestigious European and American banking institutions in the city, and leave having secured summer internships that will get them ahead of the competition and closer to their dream job once graduating.  Ranging from a week to a couple of days, many banking institutions provide students with the opportunity to experience what it is like to work for their firm through work shadowing, practical work and networking opportunities to some of the most senior individuals and graduates who were only just recently in your same position – they are hugely beneficial for anyone interested in this profession and makes your CV really stand out, especially when opportunities for first years are so limited.

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How and why to get work experience

So why is work experience so important?

  • It means you can earn money during your studies
  • You’ll gain skills valued by future employers (e.g. commercial awareness, initiative, team work)
  • You can build relevant experience for your future career
  • You’ll find out what an industry / job role is like in reality
  • It helps to build your network / contacts

What can I do?

It can be challenging to find part-time work that is linked to your degree or the sector you would like to work in after graduation. Many students combine their part time job with some volunteering and work experience (e.g. internships and work shadowing) to earn money as well as gain valuable relevant work experience.

For a wide range of part-time, internship and work experience vacancies visit careers.qmul.ac.uk/jobs

Roles on campus and in the local area

There are many part-time opportunities on campus, from Student Ambassadors and Library Shelvers, to residential, café, and bar staff. See the work experience hub to explore the variety of ways (paid and voluntary) you can develop your experience on campus. For jobs within the Student’s Union see: www.qmsu.org/jobs/

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The Basics: Job Hunting

Whether you’re trying to find part-time work, looking for an internship or getting a position after graduation, job hunting can be a bit daunting. But never fear! We’re here to help.

What is job hunting?

Ultimately we meaning finding work in whatever form – full-time, part-time, permanent, temporary, internships, work experience etc. Learn to job hunt effectively for one kind of work (say a part-time job) and you will be able to use the same skills for other types (when you are then looking for a job after graduation, for example).

You may also think that we mean looking at vacancy websites – but there’s so much more to job hunting than that. It’s about finding work opportunities wherever they might be.

Where do I start?

Know what you want to do?

Then you are effectively doing a targeted, specific job hunt. You need to develop your industry understanding (known as commercial awareness)- find out as much as you can about how the industry works, the key companies (big and small) and how hiring is generally done. For example, jobs in finance are usually advertised on company websites and jobs boards, whereas finding work in the film industry is more common through networking and word-of-mouth.

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QInsight: Civil Service Fast Stream

Read on to hear about an exciting new opportunity for QMUL students (studying any degree discipline) interested in working with a Top 5 Graduate employer…

where

QMUL are teaming up with the Civil Service Fast Stream this autumn to deliver a unique programme designed to increase your employability and commercial awareness.  You will learn decision making, collaborating and partnering skills which will help with your future career prospects.  Participants will:

  • Gain an inside knowledge and understanding of recruitment processes of one of the largest graduate employers
  • Benefit from practice assessment centres and insight sessions with recruitment professionals
  • Experience the environment and culture of the Civil Service. Participants will also have the opportunity to network with senior professionals and existing Fast Streamers

The programme consists of 5 sessions over the autumn term, lasting between 2-5 hours each, all led by the Civil Service.

QMUL_Careers_048If you’re thinking about a career with a large organisation with a variety of roles, this is an opportunity not to be missed. You will gain great inside knowledge of the Civil Service Fast Stream and assessment centres in general. 

For more information and to apply, see our application form.

Application deadline: 5th September at 10am. Email qconsult@qmul.ac.uk with any questions.

Please note this opportunity is only open to current undergraduate students at Queen Mary who have the right to work in the UK. 

 “The Civil Service aspires to be the most inclusive employer in the UK.  It is vital that we harness the talents of the widest possible range of people who can bring diversity of thinking and perspective to solve some of the most challenging problems the UK faces today”