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Information for potential apprentices

If you're serious about getting involved in our apprenticeship programme you'll
benefit greatly from firstly doing some research into the occupation that you're
interested in and find out:

  • If it's actually what you want to do
  • What will be required of you by an employer
  • Whether you've got what it takes to operate within your chosen industry
  • What employment opportunities exist
  • What your earning potential is likely to be, considering long term salary
  • Prospects

Where to find out more information

Job Centre

A visit to the Job Centre on Prospect Hill may be a good starting point as you will be able to meet with our staff to discuss your options and aspirations. Our professional Careers Advisers and Training Supervisors will assist in choosing a career that is right for you.

As employment is an integral part of your apprenticeship you'll also benefit as they can help you with producing a CV, applying for jobs and how to perform at your best in an interview. We will also keep you in the picture about any suitable vacancies which may arise.

Friends and other students

Talk to friends who are already in apprenticeships and ask them questions about
what they have done and how they have found their training. Check out the
College's online forum and learn from other peoples experiences.

Local Trades Fair

Every year, usually in November, the government hosts the Island's largest
employment, career & skills event. It is held at the Villa Marina and gives you the
opportunity to speak directly to potential employers from all over the Island.
Participating employers are keen to showcase the depth of opportunity within the

Open days

There are frequent open days which are held at schools and local businesses. Do
some research to gain a clearer idea of the course through which you can best gain the qualification which you will need to advance in your chosen career. Then, be pro-active and contact the company's within your trade for information.


I didn't do too well at school, should I bother?

People learn in different ways and it is possible that your appreciation of the real
value of learning will only emerge once you have left school.

In an apprenticeship you will spend time working with people of all ages and abilities so your confidence, communication skills and ability to work independently and as a part of a team will be enhanced and this will help you to develop the wider skills you will need in life.

Universtiy versus apprenticeship

If you've done well at school and have achieved really good grades, progressing on to a degree may seem to be the logical next step. However, choosing to pursue an apprenticeship may give you the option to fast track your career by getting straight into the world of work.

So, if your heart is set on a particular occupation, by embarking on an
apprenticeship, you'll get to do the job straight away. You will learn to do the job by actually doing it as opposed to just learning about it and so for you this could be the perfect balance of learning work-related skills, studying and earning money.

Immediate hands on experience will help you to decide if the trade you have chosen is really for you.


Qualifications will vary from apprenticeship to apprenticeship.

You can easily access information about these requirements by:

  • visiting the Job Centre
  • going online to the University College of Man website
  • calling one of the Training Supervisors at Training Services

Age limits

The Scheme is open to anyone aged 16 or older who has Isle of Man Worker status as defined in the Control of Employment Act 1975 or has been granted a work permit under that act and is open to all abilities and backgrounds. There is no upper age limit.

Apprenticeship scheme

Apprenticeship occupations

Apprenticeships cover a wide range of occupations including the traditional
construction trades, engineering, catering and hairdressing. However, you can have an apprenticeship in just about any occupation and the Training Services staff will be happy to discuss any ideas you have and, if necessary, assist your employer in putting together a bespoke package to meet your training requirements.


To be eligible for an apprenticeship, you'll firstly need to get a job in your chosen occupation with an employer who is willing to support you through your apprenticeship. You will then need to enrol on a suitable course – one which will give you the qualifications you need to complete your apprenticeship and this may depend on you having achieved a minimum GCSE requirement. However, there are many courses that do not require any prior qualifications.

What would give me an advantage in the selection process?

Any previous experience of working within your chosen occupation could prove to be beneficial. Otherwise, it will help greatly if you've done some research into what the job entails and are able demonstrate this knowledge to your interviewer.

Interview tips

Essentially, the person doing the candidate selection will be looking for you to be
confident and to demonstrate that you have potential and aptitude. Basically, you'll need to confidently demonstrate that you can do the job and are the right person for the role. Knowledge of the trade is a good start. If you have any project work that you have undertaken at school, bring that along with you.

Anything which can show your skills, enthusiasm and ambition will be of benefit at an interview.

Mature applicants

Being a mature applicant will not prevent you from gaining an apprenticeship. In fact you will already have a lot of the essential transferable skills which are gained through your years of experience in the working environment.

Don't let this put you off.

Limited number of placements

At present, the placements in the trades within the Construction industry, and some other areas, are limited to around 12 per class per year.

Additional requirements

You will need to have a job in your chosen trade in order to be accepted into the
scheme. JobCentre staff can give you all the help you need to find a job, create a CV and give you guidance and tips to help you with your interviews.

Support during apprenticeship

The structure of the scheme ensures that at every stage of your training you will be monitored by Training Supervisors from Training Services. They will be there to mentor and support you and to help should any issues arise between you and your employer or training provider.

Apprenticeship duration

This will, of course, depend on the type of apprenticeship you decide to undertake. Generally, your course will last between 2 and 3 years but there are some which can be undertaken over 1 or 4 years. It may also depend on the level of skills you bring to the apprenticeship.

Structure of training

This will depend entirely on the occupation you are in:

  • generally, the Construction trades will require you to do 3 or 4 days a week in the workplace with 1 or 2 days (day release) at the University College of Man
  • other occupations may be largely college based or entirely assessed in the workplace


There are core elements to your training in whichever area you choose. You'll acquire knowledge in a structured and relevant environment using industry standard tools of the trade and you will be asked to prove your competency by undertaking specific job related tasks. You will be assessed on these elements throughout your training to ensure you are succeeding to the standard required.

You may also need to keep evidence of your own progress in a portfolio.

Courses and study

Course start dates

Courses relating to most occupations will start in September each year but there are certain apprenticeships can start at any time during the year.

Location of study

The majority of apprenticeships will require you to attend the University College Isle of Man, generally on a day release basis.

However, some courses in areas such as scaffolding, welding, veterinary nursing and gardening will involve other training providers and may require you to travel off-island where elements of training in these occupations is not supported by local providers.

Salary and pay

As well as developing personal, vocational and educational skills you will be:

  • paid a salary
  • entitled to paid annual holiday leave.

You will earn while you learn.

Your salary will be agreed between you and your employer. Keep in mind that you will be in a training role and this will be reflected in your pay.

An apprentice who is 25 years of age or over will be entitled to receive the minimum wage. Should you not have reached your 19th birthday or if you are between 19 and 24 but within the first 12 months of your apprenticeship you won't be entitled to the minimum wage.

Employee rights

You will be entitled to the same employment rights as your established
colleagues and you will also have a 'Terms and Conditions of Employment'
agreement in place.

Completing your apprenticeship

Qualifications upon completion

Generally, the accreditation you will receive upon completion will be based on
National Vocational Qualifications (NVQ's), Vocationally Recognised Qualifications
(VRQ's), City & Guilds or equivalent achievements. Usually, an apprentice will train to NVQ level 2 or VRQ level 3 but this will be dependent on the occupation.

What to expect

When you finish your apprenticeship you will hopefully have full time employment
and a foundation onto which to build your Higher education and future development.

You will also be entitled to apply for Manx Craft Status where this is applicable to
your occupation.

Future employment opportunities

By already being employed you will have your 'foot in the door' so you may not actually need to find employment! 

It is likely that you will be retained by your original employer as studies indicate that more than 75% of apprentices who complete their training are offered permanent roles, commensurate with their new status as a qualified member of the team.

However, should you decide to move on to a new employer, because you have trained toward a nationally recognised qualification, any prospective employer will see that you can apply yourself and are committed.

Improve your employment opportunities

Why not send your CV to employers within your chosen occupation even when there doesn't seem to be a job available? Often, smaller employers will not advertise their jobs but rely on 'word of mouth' from friends and colleagues.

During your training you will also have had the chance to network and make contacts and this can be invaluable.

How to apply


  • the University College Isle of Man (UCM) Construction Secretary for all Construction trades with the exception of Scaffolding, Roofing, Tiling and Plastering
  • Training Services team to discuss all other occupations and queries regarding any apprenticeship in which you may have a keen interest

Contact information

The Apprenticeship Team

Hamilton House

Peel Road


Isle of Man


+44 1624 687156 – Training Services
+44 1624 685128 – Isle of ManCareers Service

For Construction industry enquiries (including Electrical Installation apprenticeships) as well as information about the selection process please contact:

The Construction Secretary 
Telephone: +44 1624 648205 
Email: Send Email

Alternately, you can simply drop into the Job Centre where Training Services staff
will be happy to answer any questions you may have regarding any apprenticeship matter.

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