Check these websites and forums at least once a week

Note: Some of these are aimed at students who have finished their GCSEs and some, for those who have finished level 3 qualifications (sometimes called school or college leaver schemes). ,

Social Media

Posting in your own social network groups that you are looking for vacancies is useful… who knows who you may reach! Just make sure your online profile and social media feed presents you in a positive light (no rude & crude comments or offensive memes).

“Real life” network

Don’t forget to talk to personal contacts (such as friends & family) to find out who they know and if they can link you up with potential employers you could speak to.


Many large companies advertise on their OWN specialist websites or social media, but require searching the internet with “phrase searches” to find.

E.g. “{insert name of company} Careers or {insert name of company} Apprenticeships

Some companies also use sector specific websites such as and to advertise vacancies.

Some of these websites can be found by searching the websites of industry training boards and at the end of each job profile at: If you require help finding these, speak to your nearest independent careers adviser.

Speculative CVs

You may wish to consider approaching employers with a CV. Speak to teachers, mentors or a qualified careers adviser if you need help writing one. Have a look at the following to help:

  • Take the CV and yourself to employers ideally in person or, email/ post with a covering letter to the manager or Human Resources officer at the company.

Some CVs will be read by a machine and others in person so tailor your CV accordingly. This link from a global recruiter will help you: You can find employers to contact via internet searches or on sites such as but think creatively when you do this.

E.g. those wanting to find an apprenticeship as a hairdresser, could contact large hotels and health spas, not just local hairdressing salons.

Don’t forget to search adverts in newspapers, shop windows and online such as and Remember to also search specialist recruitment agencies (for example those in the cruise ship sector):


Follow up every CV with phone calls and/or visits to show how keen you are! Take the time to research and also get to know the employers you are contacting; building relationships is important to potential success.

Consider offering to work for free (volunteer) for a week to show them how good YOU are! It may land you the apprenticeship but if not, will give you work experience for your CV (increasing your chances of finding work later). If you get that job interview, use this guide to help get you ready:

Back-up plans

Keep on trying but consider your time frame for backup plans. Some choose to take pre-apprenticeship options such as traineeships, princes trust programmes or work related schemes. Others attend sixth form or college or even travel; these are all different ways to build your employability skills. These links will help: , ,

Download this guide as a PDF.