As an apprentice, you will need to manage both work and study. This can seem daunting at first, especially if you are a recent school leaver. However, with the right strategies and approach, you can manage your workload effectively to stay in control and ensure success. Here are our top tips to help you on your journey.

Create a Schedule

Creating a schedule will help you manage your time effectively and keep track of key dates. You can use a physical diary or digital calendar for this – whatever works best for you. Schedule in all your assignment due dates, observations, classes and meetings. This will help you stay in control and keep on top of everything. 

Once you have all your important work and study commitments scheduled, you can then build your personal life around these. It’s a good idea to schedule time for study, so it doesn’t get left to the last minute. 

Break down your workload into manageable chunks

It’s sensible to work little and often, building regular time slots for coursework into your routine. Leaving everything to the last minute is stressful and may compromise the quality of your work. Perhaps schedule in an hour a day to spend on your coursework, with a full day off each week for rest and socialising. This will help you keep on top of your workload without becoming overwhelmed or falling behind. 

Make sure you use your 20% allocated time during the working week

The new apprenticeship funding rules state that employers must allocate 20% of their contracted working hours to on-the-job training. While it is likely that some of this will be spent learning your role or undertaking mandatory workplace training, you could ask your employer if you could spend some of this time completing your coursework. This will help to lighten the load outside of working hours. 

Avoid distractions

If you have scheduled time for coursework, be strict with yourself and avoid distractions during this time. This time should be solely focused on getting your work done, and you can reward yourself once it’s complete. The number one distraction is likely to be your mobile phone. Consider putting this out of reach and on silent while you are working so you can properly focus on the task. 

If you are likely to get distracted by social media on your computer while working online, consider signing out of your accounts, closing all non-work-related windows on your browser or installing a productivity app that limits access to certain features while working. 

Make use of all the available support

When undertaking an apprenticeship, you should be adequately supported by both your employer and training provider. Making use of the available support can help you stay on top of your workload. At the start of your apprenticeship, you will be allocated an assessor. This person will not only assess your work but also support you with anything related to your coursework or qualification. They are there to help you, so make sure you contact them whenever you have any questions or need support. If you don’t understand something, ask. This will help you get your coursework done easier and faster. 

Your employer is also there to support you. If you are struggling with your workload, talk to them about this. They want you to succeed, so they may be willing to lighten your workload so you have more time to complete your coursework. You will be allocated a workplace mentor, and this person is there to support you along your journey, providing pastoral support as well as helping you learn the job. If you have any questions or concerns, they should be your first port of call. 

Using all available support will help to lighten the load and provide the clarity you need to complete tasks with ease. Don’t suffer in silence – if you need help, ask for it! 

Wrap up

Following these tips will help you stay in control of your workload. Planning your time effectively and avoiding distractions will help you work more efficiently and productively, so you have more time for other things in life. Don’t be afraid to ask questions and take advantage of all the available support. This will ensure your apprenticeship journey is pleasant and stress-free – it should be challenging but not overwhelming.  

Oxford College of Apprenticeships is a main provider of apprenticeships and help a range of organisations to find suitable apprentices. If you are interested in undertaking an apprenticeship in marketing, project management or procurement, get in touch with our team to find out more about any current opportunities.  

 

Photo credit Zen Chung