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Why do I need to attend college during my apprenticeship?

Whilst undertaking your apprenticeship, there are a lot of things to focus on. To begin with, you’re
suddenly spending most of your time working, which can be – trust us, we’ve been there –
exhausting in the beginning. Not only do you have long hours of work to get used to; there are
many other aspects of your new job to learn about. There’s the social aspect; getting to know your
co-workers, dealing with clients or superiors, or simply making small talk with people on your
work site. The fact that you’re mastering a new skill or skills, and all the while you’re being
bombarded with new information, is another hurdle to jump. There are things like safety procedures to
keep in mind, working hours, machinery and equipment that need to be mastered and maintained.
No wonder your brain can’t take in any more information by the end of the day, and the only thing
you want to do when you get home is binge-watch the latest season of Rick & Morty!

In addition to all that you’re learning on site, there is college… As much as you thought you’d
escaped studying by signing up for an apprenticeship, the subjects you take at college contain
valuable information that will be needed for your future career. Not everything can be taught at
your work site, so attending college is a must. Still not convinced? Consider these reasons to
get you back to the classroom.

Impress your co-workers with your new skills

Being the new kid can be tough, especially while working with professionals who’ve been in the industry for years. Sometimes it feels like you’ll always be the newbie, the one without any experience, and you’ll get tired of having to ask questions about everything. Even though being surrounded by experienced co-workers may be the best way to learn – a great compliment to this is being in the classroom, where you’ll learn the underpinning theory behind processes, and pick up other important information, which can further help you to understand the processes and procedures of your chosen career. During your next shift, you might impress your co-workers with some fun facts, or an innovative idea that you picked up during your college time!

Freshen up those safety procedures

Safety is key in the workplace, and you know that. But remember when you arrived for your first day on the new job, with your hands all sweaty, and so much going on in your mind that you barely paid any attention to all of the safety procedures? PPE, first aid trainers, emergency exits, and all the other safety procedures got bundled up and mixed together; leaving you with only a vague idea of what to do when something out of the ordinary happens and there’s an accident. Your college subjects cover a large part of these topics, so make sure you go regularly to stay up to date with all the work safety procedures on your site.

Ask your trainer anything

Trade trainers, unlike your co-workers, are the best people to ask for advice and tips when you’re feeling unsure. They understand the subject matter, and are able to explain things in a way that only trainers can. With a trade trainer, there’s no “yeah, just see how it goes mate…”, instead they can provide you with step-by-step tutorials that will guide you through processes you are still unsure about.

Prepare for your exams

Nobody likes them – those exams during your college time when you have to prove your knowledge. But even if you’re able to master the heavy machinery at work, you still need to write down all that you’ve learnt on a piece of paper to be able to get your trade certificate. Taking notes in class, and actively listening to what your trainer has to say, will often help in preparing you for your exams. Trainers give away a lot of answers in class; they will also help you understand which areas it is important for you to focus on while studying.

Provide your friends with moral support

You think your new job is the worst? You’re convinced your new boss doesn’t like you? Or you just know all your co-workers’ jokes are about you? Well, it’s likely many of your classmates have exactly the same opinion when it comes to their new job. Seeing them in class becomes a good opportunity to share stories and blow off steam with each other, and knowing that you’re not the only one always makes the pain that little bit more bearable. Seeing each other in class also provides a great opportunity to exchange tips on dealing with different work situations – ranging from dealing with an angry boss, to operating heavy machinery that is about four times the size of you!



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