How to apply for an apprenticeship

After you've found an apprenticeship role you’re interested in, it's much like applying for a normal job.

Step 1. Write your application

After you've found a suitable accounting or finance apprenticeship vacancy, you will need to complete an application form or send in a CV (resume).

For some tips download a copy of How to write a winning apprenticeship application from

Step 2. Tests

If the employer likes the look of your application, they may invite you to sit some tests to see if you’d be a good match. You may be invited to do these in person at an assessment day, or simply do them online at home. They could be psychometric tests aimed at identifying your personality traits, or knowledge tests.

Some employers skip this step and go straight to step 3.

Step 3. First round interview

First round interviews can be held on the phone or in person. They are a chance for the employer to get to know you and find out about your experience, as well as giving you more information about what the apprenticeship involves and how the organisation operates.

Step 4. Second round interview

At this stage, some employers will make a job offer to the most suitable candidate, but it’s quite common, especially if there’s lots of competition for a role, to be invited back for a second round interview. A more senior member of staff may be involved at this stage.

Step 5. Accepting an offer

If you’ve impressed during each stage of the application process hopefully you’ll be rewarded with a new apprenticeship role. Once a job offer has been made you need to submit all of your paperwork.

Your employer will then discuss the finer details such as a starting date, salary information and what exactly the role will entail. You should read your contract carefully.

If you're unsuccessful in your application

Competition for apprenticeships is high. If you have applied for many apprenticeship roles and been unsuccessful, there are a number of routes open to you.

Look into studying full time

You may want to think about studying for an AAT qualification full-time. If you are aged 14-19 your training will be fully funded. We offer a range of shorter bookkeeping courses. Or you could start the Foundation Certificate in Accounting, and once completed you could apply for an apprenticeship role at the next level.


If you're not quite ready to start an apprenticeship, you might want to apply for a traineeship. A traineeship is a course with work experience that gets you ready for work or an apprenticeship. They are designed to give you basic training in English and maths, as well as valuable work experience. They help to build your CV and to gain confidence so you’re ready to find the apprenticeship you want.

School leaver programmes

These schemes are aimed at students with A levels or equivalent qualifications, who could go on to university but have decided instead to start work. Increasingly more and more companies are offering school leaver programmes. Most programmes involve studying for professional qualifications, paid for by the employer. After 3-4 years you will be at the same stage as a graduate starting at the company, but without the debt.


We're here to help

If you are a student or an employee who would like to become an apprentice, speak to one of our helpful advisors on +44(0)20 3735 2434. Our lines are open Monday to Thursday 09.00–20.00 and Friday 09.00–17.00 UK time. You can also request a call back.