Application deadlines for apprenticeships and other school leaver programmes may occur at any time of year. However, there are trends to keep an eye out for.
When it comes to selecting the best timings, employers tend to fall into one of three categories:
Having a year-long recruitment cycle
This involves setting a yearly start date for new apprentices to begin work and recruiting in advance. This approach is prevalent with large corporations that need A levels/Highers/the IB and provide higher apprenticeships, degree apprenticeships, and accounting-related school leaver programmes.
Typically, the date is in the early autumn, when classmates leave for university. Normally, applications are accepted between September (of the previous calendar year) and March. Closing dates are typically between late October and early May, so keep an eye out starting with year 13/S6.
Seeking apprentices to start as soon as possible
Some businesses only hire apprentices when they are required and expect them to start work straight away. This is a popular option for opportunities that do not need A levels/Higher Education/the IB (such as intermediate and advanced apprenticeships) and are with smaller companies or local branches of major chains.
It’s pointless to apply until you’ve completed school or college since you won’t be able to start working right immediately.
Continuous hiring process
Several recruiters describe apprenticeship recruitment as “ongoing.” This means that they accept applications at any time of year; however, there may not be a position available to start right away, so be prepared to wait. This approach is more likely to be used by larger corporations.
Employers sometimes fill positions before the closing date, so applying early is usually a smart idea.