What employers are looking for in an apprentice

What are the 5 things employers look for in an apprentice?

Written by: Danielle Davis (MAAT), AAT Accountancy and Payroll Apprenticeships Programme Leader at BPP


After studying the AAT myself, I now work with businesses who employ apprentices. But what exactly are the key attributes that these employers look for in the interview process and in the workplace? Here’s my top 5 thoughts:


  1. First impressions count.

Being well presented and appropriately dressed makes a huge impact. However it’s not just about dressing smartly but also being engaged, having the right body language, asking questions and genuinely showing real interest in the position. Employers are looking for professionalism from you right from the start.


  1. Knowledge is King.

There is no excuse not to come armed with information about the position and company you have applied for. The internet is a hub of knowledge at the end of your fingertips – so use it! Employers expect you to have done your homework and be eager to always learn more about different parts of the organisation.


  1. Understand what you are getting yourself in for.

Your employer will expect 110%. An apprenticeship is not going to be an easy option. You’ll be expected to work hard and study hard. Those that understand that, put the time in and have clear goals will get the most from the programme and in their careers.


  1. Go the extra mile.

Grab every opportunity that comes your way. Take on more work when you can, don’t see it as a burden but as a way to learn more and acquire new skills. Be a team player and put yourself forward for extra activities. Employers want to see apprentices that become advocates of the organisation and are liked by colleagues.

  1. Don’t give up when the going gets tough.

While it’s important to pass exams and to do well on all tasks – you’re still human! Your employer will understand that we can’t be good at everything. It is more important to be seen to be continually striving and putting in the effort in than being negative and giving up. Don’t be afraid to ask for help if you’re struggling and spend more time on the areas of work you struggle with to bring up your expertise and knowledge in these areas.


Finally, remember that if an employer has hired you as an apprentice they want to see you progress and grow within their company, if you’re committed to succeed and work hard you’ll get the support you need every step of the way.



Read more:

Apprenticeship Interviews: Do’s & Don’ts

Types of apprenticeships: Everything you need to know

Starting your apprenticeship: what not to do


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