ICYMI, Apprenticeships have gone mainstream and every industry imaginable is recruiting for them. It’s become such a big buzzword for 2015 because a wide variety of companies are now offering apprenticeships and allowing young people to get on-the-job training.

Take journalism – who’d have thought several years back that you can get trained AND work as a journalist at the BBC AND get paid for it? Now they’re offering young people the chance to do just that as an apprentice.

Truth is, there are thousands of apprenticeship opportunities to scour online, and while having a look at what’s on offer we came across some, let’s just say ‘niche’, apprenticeships to help you begin.

Sail Maker

People interested in sailing, water, engineering and textiles

Yep, this is exactly what it says it is. Babcock marine recruit sail maker apprentices to, well, make sails. Interesting fact: Babock is the UK provider of engineering and support to the Royal Navy, so that’s pretty cool. The actual apprenticeship involves working with materials and textiles to produce products for the ship and submarine refits, and rigging sails to boats. You’ll learn how to read drawings and transfer these to material, the operation of an industrial sewing machine, hand stitching, working with ropes and lanyards, as well as working on ships and submarines.

Crime scene photographer

People interested in CSI, crime programmes, photography, forensics, being a detective

Actually called a ‘Photo imaging’, this Level 3 apprenticeship focuses forensic photography – basically the photos at a crime scene which sounds very exciting and a little bit daunting. Doing this apprenticeship will help you perfect the art of producing a really accurate production of a crime or accident using photos. And it really does have to be accurate because it’s for the benefit of court, or to help an investigation – basically CSI IRL. And it’s really not about whipping out your iPhone at a crime and take a couple of snaps.


People interested in working with children, playing, organising, and with high patience

We say high patience because, well, you’re working with children and you’ve got to entertain them all the time. But the reason this is an unusual apprenticeship isn’t just because you’re working with children, but because you are organising ‘play’ and in actual fact, it’s not just for young children. Playworkers plan, organise (and even take part in) leisure activities for 4-16 year olds, so you won’t necessarily be stuck in a nursery; you could be at breakfast clubs, after school clubs, holiday schemes, etc.


People interested in chocolate, food, chocolate, baking, chocolate and art

Art plays a big part in a chocolatier apprenticeship because while unfortunately you can’t sit around eating chocolate all day, you will be making, crafting and packaging sweet delights. You’ll learn the art of chocolate tempering, be involved in the development of new chocolate ranges, and even making sugar decorations – check out Charlie Pears-Wallace’s experiences as she blogged about her chocolatier apprenticeship!

Equine dentistry

People interested in animals, most specifically horses, cleanliness, and, urm, teeth.

As an equine dentist, you’ll specialise in the health and wellbeing of - SURPRISE! - horse’s teeth. The role entails more than just cleaning them, but filing and rasping teeth, removing them, and working alongside equine vets. You’re likely to be working outside, and of course need an interest in horses. Interestingly to apply for the apprenticeship, providers ask you to have a good level of physical fitness, too… The British Horse Society advises you train as an apprentice with the British Equine Veterinary Association (BEVA). But if you don’t like teeth and still love horses, have a look at the range of equine apprenticeships here – there’s tonnes.

Radio Plugger

People interested in music, bands, and with a competitive nature

The music industry is, like many others, pretty hard to break into, so have you thought of an alternative route? How about doing a Level 3 radio plugger apprenticeship? It’s nothing to do with electrical or anything like that; in fact, it’s very much working with music every day. They’re hired by record labels to take new singles to radio producers and DJs to secure radio plays (hence the competitive streak), as well as setting up interviews with the bands.

Space engineer

People interested in astronomy, science, engineering, maths

This unique course is actually founded by the National Space Academy, which is even more exciting. It’s a higher apprenticeship and requires knowledge in maths and science above GCSE level. Lectures will even be delivered by some of the UK’s leading space scientists (I.e. you get to meet them IRL), as well as work experience placements in UK space companies. At the end you’ll qualify as a technician for the space sector. Take a peek at the National Space Academy’s course info.

Fish Husbandry-er(?)

People interested in fish, the environment, animals, fish’ welfare

A career in fish husbandry involves everything from fish breeding and production to fisheries management and fish biology. So if you’re not a fan of those little things you should skip this one. Doing an apprenticeship will equip you with the skills to join the angling industry as you’ll care for the fish, maintain their health and prevent disease.

Clay sculpter

People interested in art, cars, design

Combining cars and art, Aston Martin offers apprenticeships in clay sculpting where candidates work in the design department to, quite literally, shape the future of their cars. The apprentices get practical skills in moulding future generations of sports cars, so you have to be creative, enthusiastic and passionate about the Aston Martin brand.


People interested in art, imagery, printing, creating stuff and computer design

You’re unsure what a lithographer does, aren’t you? Well, it’s basically a method of printing from a stone or metal surface, so you can then print this text or artwork onto paper. It’s quite niche, but that’s exactly what we were looking for. To get hands-on training, most people seek an apprenticeship with an established printer where you learn the techniques, familiarise yourself with the manufacturing equipment and learn how to handle the printing presses, plate makers and binders.

Find out all the apprenticeship opportunities available to you now by clicking here and having a browse.

Want to find out more about apprenticeships? Come along to one of our free events in London on 9th March, Birmingham on 17th March, Leeds on 19th March or Manchester on 20th March.

If you liked this, you may also like…

Interested in doing an apprenticeship? Check this out…

Cool job alert: pyrotechnician

Revealed: the top 100 apprenticeship employers