Laying foundations for jobs

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With an increasingly competitive job market and a wealth of career options, children in their final year of school are facing major decisions now which will affect their education, training and long term employment.

While many continue on the path to further education and attend sixth-form college a growing number of students are opting for an apprenticeship.

There are more than 200 different types of apprenticeships on offer, from horticulture to surveying, but the competition to secure a place remains fierce as an increasing number of youngsters are attracted by the chance to gain a nationally-recognised qualification while earning a wage.

So, how can potential employees stand out from the crowd?

Barratt Homes, one of the UK’s leading homebuilders recruits more than 300 apprentices each year and community liaison manager Anthony Dimmick says that doing your groundwork first will stand you in good stead for a successful application.

He advises that before applying for any job it is always good to see if there are any qualifications or certification you can do beforehand and to get some work experience under your belt to know you are suited to working on site.

He says that potential housing industry apprentices should take the Construction Industry Training Board’s (CIBT) Health, Safety and Environment test which can be completed online.

‘We accept online applications during the spring and summer months ready to start in September so the earlier you start looking at options and gaining experience, the better.

‘A good place to start to look is looking at the website of potential employers,’ says Anthony.

‘At Barratt we have our own recruitment website,

It gives all potential employees a good overview of what we have to offer and the chance to find out if the job you is right for you.

‘Present yourself professionally; set up a specific email address for your correspondence and job applications and remember that first impressions count so make sure all your spelling and grammar is correct when applying.’

He also recommends having a Plan B.

‘With the growing popularity of apprenticeships we cannot offer everyone a place, but there is sure to be other businesses in the construction industry that can and your local CITB officer should be able to put in you in touch with other schemes.’