Apprenticeships - Guidance for Individuals

Choose a career in the finishes and interiors sector and you could be working on anything from a state-of-the-art airport terminal or a cool hotel, to a multi-million-pound refurbishment of a Premier league football club.

What is an apprenticeship?

An apprenticeship is a job, with training. You are employed and paid an initially lower wage to perform a particular role, with an understanding that you will be trained through experience and qualifications to perform the role to a defined standard. Your employer will give you tasks to perform, and the training provider will give you the skills to perform those tasks.

An apprenticeship gives you hands on experience, training, a salary and the opportunity to gain qualifications while you work. The opportunity to combine work with study and earn while you learn.

Some projects might require fire protection or even bomb-proofing being built into the design. Often you will work alongside electricians, plumbers, heating and ventilation engineers and painters and decorators. You might even get to work abroad. Best of all is the choice of career opportunities open to you within the finishes and interiors sector. The skills you acquire as a trades person will help you progress right to the top. In fact, many successful managing directors of interiors companies started out as trade operatives first.

Apprenticeships across the UK

The way in which Apprenticeships are applied for and delivered, may vary depending on where you live in the UK.  For information specific to where you live click on relevant link below:

What apprenticeships are available in the finishes and interiors sector?

There are a wide range of apprenticeships available across construction. Those most specific to the finishes and interiors sector are:

Craft apprenticeships

  • Interior Systems Installer Drylining
  • Interior Systems Installer Ceilings and Partitions
  • Access Floorer
  • Ceiling fixer
  • Dryliner
  • Partitioner
  • Plasterer
  • Site Carpentry and Joinery
  • Shopfitting

If you are interested in a career in the Finishes and Interiors Sector, you can visit the FIS Careers Hub

How to register to become an apprentice

Becoming an apprentice can be the start of a career that can last a lifetime. To register for an apprenticeship or to find out more about how to become an apprentice visit GoConstruct 

If you have already approached an employer for your apprenticeship, you will need to add their details onto your application form. Your CITB Apprenticeship Officer will call them and get the arrangements for your apprenticeship started. The CITB Apprenticeship Officer will call if they find a vacancy that matches your skills, but you should also keep looking for an opportunity as well.

 

How to find an employer

Starting an apprenticeship is even easier if you have an employer who wants to take you on. This could be a small or large business, a local firm, a family member or a self-employed person.

If you haven’t got an employer yet, don’t worry. There are lots of ways to find somebody who wants to hire you as an apprentice:

  • Search online for vacancies in your area
  • Visit your local college, specialist provider or apprenticeship managing agency to register your interest, they may be able to help you find an employer
  • Search for local fit-out and finishes companies online and send them a CV and covering letter asking for an apprenticeship.
  • Ask around – maybe one of your friends, family members or neighbors has an opening at their place of work. You could even pop requests through people’s letterboxes on your street
  • Keep an eye out for local construction sites or vans and make a note of the details of the companies. Then send them your CV and covering letter asking for an apprenticeship
  • Check the local jobs pages for opportunities advertised by local employers

When speaking to employers let them know that, depending on their circumstances, they could receive up to £12,000 in grants from the government or Construction Industry Training Board (CITB) for taking you on. This will help them to meet the costs of employing you.

Send your details to info@thefis.org and we can also make enquiries.

Interview hints and tips

  • If you are offered an interview, do some research about the company and think of questions that you could ask them.
  • Dress smartly for your interview and aim to arrive at least 15 minutes before your interview time to give your potential employer a good impression.
  • If you’re successful in your interview, your CITB Apprenticeship Officer will organise your enrollment with a specialist college or training provider and coordinate all the other arrangements for your apprenticeship.
  • Remember, employers are looking for punctuality, reliability and having a real interest in the job, coupled with a willingness to learn. Any experience which you can bring to the work involved will be an advantage.
  • Talk to friends and family who might know something about the job and learn as much as you can about the work.

Graduate opportunities

Options for graduates wishing to work in this specialist sector are increasing. Young professionals, who would like to pursue a career in construction, should consider a general degree like building, quantity surveying or project management and then look into employment opportunities either on their year out in industry or as they leave university.

Apprenticeship success stories

George an Apprentice Design Engineer from Optima success story Click here

Two drylining apprentices for Errigal Contracts are on the road to Shanghai Click here