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Each work role has certain required or desired knowledge, skills, and abilities or behaviours that are essential for success on the job.

Knowledge is the theoretical understanding of a subject. It’s what you’ve learned through education or work experience. For example, in Human Resources you will need to know and understand legislation and regulation and working practices and in Freight Forwarding you will need to know where to find and allocate incoterms. 

Ability and behaviour are synonymous with capability, potential, or capacity. It determines whether or not you possess the means to do something. For example, stamina is the ability to exert yourself physically over long periods of time without getting winded or out of breath. It’s an essential ability for professions like firefighters, or waiters/waitresses, for example. A behaviour may include mindsets, attitudes or approaches needed for competence. Whilst these can be innate or instinctive, they can also be learnt. Behaviours tend to be very transferable. They may be more similar across Apprenticeships than knowledge and skills.

Examples of behaviours in Apprenticeships can be located here;

In the workplace, there are two kinds of skills: technical skills and soft skills. Knowing how to accomplish specific tasks like cooking, computer programming, or teaching, are called technical skills. They relate to a particular occupation. You may have learned technical skills from past work experience, school, or training. These skills are often included in job listings to describe the tasks of a position. Examples are:

  • Read an image
  • Operate equipment
  • Paint a portrait
  • Write computer code
  • Teach a lesson
  • Sell products to customers

Employers also want Employees who fit in and get along well in the workplace. That requires soft skills. These are so valuable that soft skills are often the reason Employers decide whether to keep or promote an Employee. Some soft skills can be taught. But most you learn in everyday life and can improve at any time. For example:

  • Good communication skills
  • Critical thinking
  • Working well in a team
  • Self-motivation
  • Being flexible
  • Determination and persistence
  • Being a quick learner
  • Good time management

All of the knowledge skills and behaviours required for your standard certification will be covered during the duration of your Apprenticeship and then assessed at the end point assessment, it doesn’t stop there though! As you progress through your career, change roles, get a promotion, you will continually develop these existing traits, but also gain new ones – exciting!

5 Tips for Career Growth and Development

Set goals and create a plan to achieve them.

People who are the most successful and satisfied in their careers have proactively determined what they want from work. Remember the acronym SMART from your apprenticeship.

Develop a timeline, including milestones.

Bringing your line manager and their sponsorship and mentoring into the picture will ensure that you have an internal mentor who will help you manage your career, they have been involved during your apprenticeship, continue to involve them now.

Utilise company programmes.

Some companies have formal programmes to help employees develop their careers. In others, you will need to informally pursue your career development. Companies with programmes generally focus energy on helping employees develop and follow a career path, ask them what your next steps are now your apprenticeship is complete.

Own your career path.

A career path can be discussed at several appraisal meetings with your boss. Some companies demonstrate a deep commitment to their employees by assisting where possible with resources of time and money. However, remember that it is your career path, ask questions, research further courses, apply for another apprenticeship programme if suitable, ask to shadow other teams and learn more about different roles. 

Write it down.

Career paths are recommended for the same reason that goals are recommended. They are the written plan that can help each employee take charge of what is most important to his or her fulfilment and success. Without a plan, you can feel rudderless and you have no benchmark against which you can measure your progress, you can use a development plan much like you would have done for your apprenticeship.

Further reading


Gemma Brown

Gemma Brown

Curriculum Leader and Designated Safeguarding Officer at SR Apprenticeships

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