How does it work

1. Get your application in

To apply online, click here.

Please ensure you fill in the sections with as much detail as possible and add documents when you are asked to.

Help writing your personal profile (personal info on your applicant profile)

There are four sections to complete.  These are: work experience, skills and hobbies. The information you provide here will be pulled into your CV for sharing with prospective employers.

Write in sentences and pay attention to your spelling and grammar.  If possible, ask someone to review what you have written.  You can ask the JTL recruitment team to do this with you when you have your telephone discussion with them.

We will communicate with you by email, so use an email address you will have regular access to. And remember, you don’t have to complete your application in one go. You can keep come back by using the web link here. Add this to your bookmarks or favourites so you can find it easily.

2. Being assessed

Once you’ve registered as an applicant with us, it’s time for you to take our online Entry Assessment.

We test you in two areas:

  • English
  • Maths

Help with maths

Do you need to improve your maths skills, either before you attempt the JTL assessment or because you didn’t score as well as you hoped when you tried it?  Help is available here.

The websites listed below are all free to access. Try to set aside some time each day to work on your chosen site.  If you find the style of one site isn’t working for you, try another.

National numeracy challenge will ask you to set up an account.  You will then answer some questions that help the site to recommend the best learning resources for you.  This helps you to focus on the areas that you need to work on.

learndirect This site will ask you to register and then do a maths level and skills checker.  The results of the checkers will be used to create an online course specifically for you.

BBC Skillswise has resources for adults.  There is no registration or sign up required.  The site has videos and downloadable worksheets organised into topics such as measuring and percentages and fractions.  You can choose a topic and work through.

Still finding it difficult or prefer to be supported by a tutor? There is information here on courses you may be able to access.  These will usually be free if you don’t have maths GCSE or equivalent.

Help with English

Do you need to improve your English skills, either before you attempt the JTL assessment or because you didn’t score as well as you hoped when you tried it?  Help is available here.

The websites listed below are all free to access and can help you to improve. Try to set aside some time each day to work on your chosen site.  If you find the style of one site isn’t working for you, try another.

learndirect This site will ask you to register and then do an English level and skills checker.  The results of the checkers will be used to create an online course specifically for you.

BBC Skillswise has resources for adults.  There is no registration or sign up required.  The site has videos and downloadable worksheets organised into topics such as spelling and grammar.  You can choose a topic and work through.

British Council this site is designed to support people who are learning English as a second language.

Still finding it difficult?  There is information here on courses you may be able to access.  These will usually be free if you don’t have English GCSE or equivalent.

A further three sections also need to be completed:

  • ICT
  • Colour Vision – screener
  • Starting point which asks about your experience of the building services industry (don’t worry if you don’t have any – that’s what our training is for!)

You can have two attempts per calendar year at the online maths and English tests, for a maximum of two years.

Once you have passed your online entry assessment, you will be required to have a telephone discussion with one of our team, prior to becoming an approved applicant.

3. After the application

We will email you regularly to confirm your interest in the Apprenticeship scheme. It’s important you respond as we need to know if you are still interested in being an apprentice before we put you on our lists for Employers to select from.

You can also expect us to update you on opportunities in your area you may want to apply for, or if we need anything more from you to improve your application.

Check your voicemail and think when you answer calls from unknown numbers.  A potential employer may be calling you and you want to make sure their first impression is a positive one.

To make sure you never miss a beat – follow us!





We post many of our live vacancies on Twitter & Facebook, so it’s worth checking these pages out first.

Finally, and most importantly, update us! If something changes, let us know. We wouldn’t want you to miss an opportunity because of an incomplete application.

4. Making the list

If you pass the online entry assessment, and once you’ve sent in your colour vision evidence, we’ll add your name to the approved applicant list that we send to local employers looking for an apprentice. If an employer thinks you’re suitable, they’ll invite you to an interview, so it’s important you keep your account updated.

But don’t just rely on us – you need to look for an employer yourself, too.



5. Looking for a job

Looking for the right employer can take time, so you need to start as soon as you apply for a JTL apprenticeship. We’ll do all we can to help you, but there’s no guarantee we’ll find you one. Really, it’s down to you.

Remember, your apprenticeship can only begin once you’ve found full-time employment.

When you start looking, get in touch with as many local companies as you can. Speak to your school’s career advisors. Ask industry trade bodies to help you, or use local papers and Yellow Pages.

The harder you look, the better your chances.

We advertise a lot of vacancies with our employers on, all of which can also be found on our vacancies page. If you register on we will alert you when a vacancy goes live in your area that we think you may want to apply for.

And remember, keep an eye on our Facebook and Twitter accounts.

On top of all that, some of the following websites might also help:


6. CV tips

Creating a great CV shows off what you do best! Think about what makes you right for the industry too – do you like using hand tools? Help a family member to repair their car/ motorcycle? Completed a work placement in a similar environment? Used to being outdoors? All these things can be helpful to show a future employer that you know what you are getting yourself into.

There are some things you’ll need to put your CV together:

  • A computer. If you don’t have one, go to your local library or use a computer at school/ a friends/ family member
  • GCSE (or Functional Skills) and A-level results, with the dates you passed. (you will need these certificates to evidence your English and maths qualifications – so have them ready or order replacements if you can’t find them)
  • Work experience details. What did you do while you were there? Did you get a reference from the company?
  • References. From an employer, a teacher, a friend or member of your family.
  • Lots of research. Get to know the company you’re applying to. Then you can tailor your CV to them.

Providing references to an employer

A prospective employer may ask you to provide a reference.  A reference is someone the employer can approach to ask for an opinion on your suitability for the job.  This will usually be your last or current employer.

Make sure anyone you choose as a reference is happy for you to share their information.

When giving reference details, make sure you include the person’s name and job title, how they know you and their contact details (telephone, email address).

If you don’t have a previous employer or would prefer not to use them. Other appropriate references include:

  • a teacher or college tutor who knows you well
  • a team leader from a volunteering group, a society or sports team
  • a faith leader from your place of worship

Remember to take a look at your friends’ and family’s CVs. They’ll give you a good idea of how yours could look. Also, remember:

  • Tell the truth. Don’t lie about what you’ve done. They’ll know at your interview.
  • Keep your CV short. It should be no longer than two pages, maximum.
  • Make it smart. Black print, white paper, using a legible font like Arial (size 12).
  • Be logical. Start with your name and address. Then school and qualifications. Then write about any work experience.
  • Proof read it. Make sure your spelling is spot on and that everything makes sense.

If you need more help, check out these websites:-


7. Preparing for the interview

A good interview means you’re smart, confident and honest, and the interviewer thinks you could become an important part of their company.

The key to success is to plan ahead.

First, check you know exactly where you’re going and when you need to be there. Find out how you’re going to travel and how long it will take  (prepare for traffic jams and train delays).

Read up on apprenticeships again so you know how it will feel to work in the building services engineering sector. There’s plenty on the JTL website.

Go online and find out everything you can about the company – who their customers are, how many people work there, and the jobs they do. They’ll like to see that you’ve done your homework.

Prepare some answers for common questions, and get ready to ask some of your own. Even do some mock interviews with someone to practise your presentation skills.

Here are some questions the company might ask you:

  • Why do you want to be an electrician, plumber, maintenance engineer or heating and ventilating engineer?
  • Why do you want to work for us?
  • Why should we employ you – what can you offer us?
  • What do you know about us and the JTL apprenticeship?
  • Describe yourself.
  • Do you like working in a team or alone?
  • Can you motivate yourself and act on your own initiative?
  • What do you want to achieve in your career?
  • What are your hobbies and other interests?

Here are some questions you could ask them:

  • What size is your company and how many people work here?
  • What would I be doing?
  • Where would I fit into your company structure?
  • Who would I report to?
  • What would you expect me to do in the first six months?
  • How would my attendance at college fit in around my job?
  • What level of performance would you expect from me?
  • How would you work with JTL to help me complete my apprenticeship?
  • What are your company’s plans for the future?
  • How much travelling would I need to do?
  • What would my hours be?
  • What is the pay structure?

Take everything you need:

  • Company name, address and contact details
  • A map
  • CV, certificates and references
  • Notepad and pen (in case they give you a quick test)
  • Any questions you want to ask

Make a good first impression

The first 5 minutes are very important.

  • Dress smartly
  • Get there early
  • Take out any piercings that seem inappropriate in an office
  • Don’t smoke before you get there
  • Turn your mobile off or put it on silent
  • Be polite
  • Speak clearly and make eye contact

Keep calm

Take the right attitude into your interview, relax and try to enjoy yourself. Nerves are natural. Just remember you’ve already impressed the company with your CV and assessments.

You’re there because they see value in you – so make sure you look like you want to be there.

  • Sit upright
  • Keep eye contact (but don’t stare)
  • Be truthful
  • Be yourself

The interviewer wants to get to know you and find out what you can do for their company. They’ll know you don’t have a lifetime of experience. Focus on the positives – like how much you like the industry and how keen you are to learn.

At the end of the interview, resist the urge to ask if you got the job. Instead, say thank you and remind them how keen you are to work for the company.

If you get the job, the employer will tell us and we’ll pass the news on to you. If they contact you directly, tell us as soon as you can.

8. Found a job

As soon as you get a job, speak to your JTL representative, call us on 0800 085 2308 or contact us here.

9. Starting work

Sorting paperwork

Before you start your apprenticeship, we’ll visit your employer to make sure their health and safety and other processes are up to scratch. We won’t let them take you on until we’re happy they can support you.

You also have to fill in some paperwork. You need to complete all your start documents so we can get your funding from the Government. Your training officer will help you.

Your employer will also get you to fill in some forms so you’re ready for your first day.

Looking the part

You might start in the office, so your employer can run you through rules and procedures. If so, dress in smart, comfortable clothes. But if you go straight to site, dress for site work (it could be dirty and oily on site).

If you need to wear anything specific, your employer will tell you. They might give you overalls or a uniform. If they do, they’ll give you enough sets so you always have clean, smart ones to hand.

Smart people with good personal hygiene reflect very well on a company.

Special footwear

Trainers and canvas shoes look good – but they’re not safe on site. You need to turn up with protective footwear. Your employer might carry out a risk assessment and give you boots with steel toecaps.

The right tools

You’ll just need basic tools to start. Your employer will tell you which ones. Then, as you do more and get more experience, you can invest in others.

When you do buy tools, go for quality. They’ll last longer and work out cheaper over the years. If you need specialist equipment, your employer will supply it. Though do always think about getting your own. You’ll feel more independent and have the chance to practice when you’re not at work.

Buy a lockable toolbox, too. And think about insuring your tools in case you lose them or someone steals something.

Staying safe

Your employer will be covered by the Health and Safety at Work Act 1974. It means they’re responsible for:

  • providing and maintaining safe working environments and ways of working
  • training you
  • giving you any specialist clothing and equipment
  • making sure the equipment you use is safe and used properly.

It’s your Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) that keeps you safe at work. That’s hard hats, safety boots and safety goggles, gloves, ear defenders, aprons, kneepads and overalls. You need to wear PPE at any construction site. Sometimes your supervisor or a colleague will know exactly what you need to wear. Make sure you ask them.

PPE – a lifesaver

Hard hats are very important. Make sure you wear one whenever there’s a risk of banging your head or falling objects.

You need to wear eye protection if you’re:

  • drilling or chiselling masonry surfaces or metal
  • grinding
  • driving nails into masonry
  • using cartridge-operated fixing tools
  • drilling any material above your head

You need to wear ear protection whenever you’re in a noisy area. If you don’t, you could damage your hearing. Permanently.

Wear safety gloves when you’re working with:-

  • sharp objects or surfaces
  • bulky objects that could give you splinters, cuts or bad scratches
  • corrosives and other chemical substances.

When you have to kneel for a long time, or take your weight on your elbows, your employer might give you specialist protection. For some tasks you’ll need to wear a facemask, safety harness or breathing apparatus.

For all this equipment to keep you safe, it needs to be in top condition. If you spot any problems with your PPE, tell your supervisor straightaway.

Don’t take any risks – look after yourself and the people around you.

Getting there

Make sure you know exactly where you’re going, what day you need to be there, and what time you start. Also, check roads or trains before you set off. It’s up to you to get in on time.

If something big comes up and you can’t start when you’re supposed to, speak to your employer as soon as you can. They might be able to arrange a new start date.

10. Starting college

Once you’ve filled in your start documents, you’ll be ready for your first day at college.

Getting there

Like when you go to site, make sure you know exactly where your college or training centre is, what day you need to be there, what time you start, and who you need to meet there. Either your employer or someone from JTL can tell you all this.

Again, get there 15 minutes early to show you’re keen.

Looking the part

Dress comfortably. Nothing too extravagant. During workshops, you’ll wear site clothing. Your college will tell you when that’s happening. If you don’t wear the right clothes, you can’t take part.

What to take

For your first few days, make sure you take:

  • Your National Insurance number
  • Proof of GCSEs and functional skills assessment
  • Pens, pencils, ruler
  • A calculator
  • An A4-lined writing pad
  • An A4 ring binder

Settling in – your first day at college

Before you get stuck in to any physical work, your college will talk to you about how an apprenticeship works and where it could take you.

You’ll find out about:

  • The JTL apprenticeship scheme
  • Qualifications
  • Further Education courses, like City & Guilds and BTECs
  • Government funding and the role of the National Apprentice Service
  • Joint Industry Board (JIB) grading

Your employer will also talk to you about subjects we’ve asked them to cover.

Your first few weeks

To start, you’ll find out about how the industry works:

  • A brief history
  • Different sectors: installation, maintenance and manufacturing
  • How main contractors and subcontractors work
  • Industry and employer bodies
  • Trade unions
  • JIB
  • Engineering services and their national working rules
  • JTL’s role

You’ll be taken through processes and trades:

  • The work of electricians, heating engineers and plumbers
  • Working with other trades
  • How clients, architects, consulting engineers and others are involved in site organisation
  • Rules, regulations and responsibilities

They’ll cover conditions of employment:

  • Wages
  • How working hours, overtime and timesheets work
  • Taking holidays (and getting holiday pay)
  • Trade union membership
  • JIB registration
  • Sickness benefit
  • Redundancy pay
  • Contract of employment
  • Income tax
  • National Insurance contributions
  • Health, safety and welfare

They’ll give general information about how employers do things:

  • Company structure
  • Who does what
  • Rules and regulations
  • Sickness and other reporting systems
  • The customer

And they’ll talk you through your training and education:

  • The different stages of our apprenticeship
  • How the course works and how long it takes
  • What you’ll study
  • Functional skills
  • College and centre rules, like what time to turn up for classes, what to do if there’s an emergency
  • Health and safety regulations, workshop policy and so on

Functional Skills

During your first year, you’ll cover these skills:

  • Maths level 2
  • English level 2

You’ll learn more about Functional Skills during your first session.