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Which skills can be improved while on an apprenticeship?

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Alongside learning how to be technically competent in your particular role, an apprenticeship can help you develop a wider set of behaviours to help you thrive. If you’re ready to see how an apprenticeship can increase your skillset and improve your confidence at work, read on…

Functional Skills in Maths and English

Many people from all walks of life are held back because of a lack of numeracy and literacy skills. At Kaplan, we want to help you fulfil your potential. If you have not already gained your GCSE Grade 4/C (or other equivalent qualification) in maths and English, we support Level 2 apprentices to achieve Functional Skills.

These demonstrate to an employer that you can meet the expected standard of maths and English – and our team of tutors deliver one-to-one and small group tuition to help you succeed.

Digital skills

All our apprenticeship standards include digital skills appropriate to the role. We’re well known for our specialist Data and Technology Apprenticeships, but if your apprenticeship is in Banking and Financial Services or Accountancy and Tax, you can also gain the digital skills you need. It’s a useful string to your bow. Employer demand for digital talent is outstripping supply, so we’re helping to fill the digital skills gap and improve career opportunities for apprentices.

Soft skills

Technical and academic skills are not the only thing employers are looking for. As Jason Moss, Apprenticeship Development Director at Kaplan, explains, employers are also looking for people who are collaborative, logical thinkers, and effective communicators. Jason says, “As a technical person you need to be a bit more rounded than you used to be historically.”

So let’s explore some of the soft skills you can develop on an apprenticeship.

Team working

You might collaborate with colleagues to reach a target, join forces to solve a problem, or be part of a permanent sub team within a bigger department. Seeing first-hand how teams operate is invaluable, and your team working skills will evolve as you build up experience of working with different personalities, and learn the best way to liaise with others.

Ability to work on your own

On the flip side, it’s important to show you can be productive on your own. The rise of remote or hybrid working means employers are more reliant on employees working unsupervised. As your apprenticeship progresses you’ll be given more independence in your role – a chance for you to demonstrate you can be trusted to get on with the job.

Logical thinking

Logical thinking helps employees use facts in the decision-making process, rather than acting solely on emotions. So instead of developing a strategy because it “feels right”, you’ll gather information and draw conclusions based on your findings. Anytime you look at market research, review past results, or compare costs, you’ll be applying logical thinking.


Communication involves listening, speaking and writing. As an apprentice, you’ll get plenty of practice in all three forms. You can develop your ability to take in information, and learn how to express yourself clearly. Your role could mean you have to communicate with clients as well as your colleagues and superiors. By seeing how the effective communicators in your organisation operate, you can strengthen your own skills.

Time management

This starts with the basics of getting to work or a meeting on time, and spreads out to how you manage your workload. As you learn to cope with the pressure to get something done, you will improve your ability to manage your time more effectively.

Is an apprenticeship for you?

An apprenticeship gives you the opportunity to gain a full range of workplace skills – and get paid. At Kaplan, we’re here to help you make the most of the experience. As one of the UK’s largest vocational education providers, we have plenty of apprenticeship info for learners as well as straightforward careers information, advice, and guidance.

The skills you develop on an apprenticeship can apply to every professional role, company or industry you enter in the future. Why not browse our list of apprenticeship programmes in Accountancy and Tax, Data and Technology, and Banking and Financial Services to see where they could take you?