How an Apprenticeship can benefit your equine career
As specialist equine recruitment consultants, we see the good and bad outcomes of many an unstructured career pathway and the results of the “rooky errors” grooms can without correct information and guidance. We’re passionate about the part we can play in improving the choices available to an equine groom by offering choice and credible career pathways.
Many equestrians join the equine industry by making a blind leap into it, accepting the first job available to them. Needless to say, this isn’t often a constructive foundation for a fruitful career in the equine industry. Many grooms then resort to “job-hopping” in search of the training and opportunities they crave, without realising the damaging effect this has on their CV and future career prospects.
By contrast, an Equine Apprenticeship makes the you focus on what you would like to achieve within your career and how you can achieve it. You can then source meaningful employment as an Apprentice Groom, enabling you to earn while you learn, laying the foundation of a promising career – and ultimately become one of the best professional grooms in the equine industry.
As specialist equine recruitment consultants, we offer you 8 considerations you need to take before deciding how much an Equine Apprenticeship can benefit your equine career.
1. Receiving support and guidance helps prevent “rookie” career moves and mistakes
With an Equine Apprenticeship you will receive work-based guidance and training from people who have chosen to invest their time – and often money – in nurturing your career ambitions. Rather than learn in the classroom/college environment, you will receive scheduled, prioritised training directly within real employment, overseen by an independent Training Provider.
With this, you have direct support and guidance on industry specific career planning and good working practices, laying the foundation for structured career development in the years to come. By receiving supervised, structured work-based training and experience, you can avoid making costly mistakes under the misguided belief that you’re building your CV or closing in on your career goals! Simultaneously gaining qualifications, receiving a salary and building positive work history is an effective, legitimate route to achieving this, like no other!
We have a great article about the value of a formal equine apprenticeship, written by a former trainee groom – do have a read 👉🏼 Ultimate Equestrian Apprentice Startup Kit.
Read more about what to expect when swapping horses as a hobby for horses as a career here.
Read 5 top reasons why the equine industry NEEDS apprentice grooms here.
Read more about the impact of job longevity in the equine industry here.
2. Education, experience and qualifications without debt
For grooms aged 18 or more, an Apprenticeship is one of the few opportunities available to gain invaluable training and nationally recognised qualifications without cost to you or your parents/guardians. 2017 saw changes to the law regarding the National Minimum Wage for Apprentices, meaning you are no longer tied to the lowest hourly rate throughout your work-based training.
The minimum hourly wage an Apprentice Groom must receive varies depending on your age and the stage you are at in your apprenticeship course.
- Aged 16-17 years an apprentice is paid £3.90 per hour (April 2019-April 2020)
- Aged 19 and over an apprentice in their first year of an apprenticeship can be paid at least £3.90 per hour
- Aged 19 and over an apprentice in the second year of an apprenticeship must be paid at least the National Minimum Wage for their age.
An Apprentice Groom can be paid a higher hourly rate, but this is at the discretion of the individual employer. Read more about the National Minimum Wage here.
To be able to earn while you learn AND have your training fees fully funded rather than take on debt, is undoubtedly a great opportunity!
Read more about the unrivalled benefits of an apprenticeship here.
3. Valuable hands-on, paid experience for your CV
An Apprentice is an official employment status, therefore all such positions count towards your employment history and are valid entries to your CV. Future employers will appreciate that, as a potential employee, you not only have relevant qualifications but have genuine, credible work experience which can be backed up by references from the employers you have trained with.
Learn more about writing an equine CV here.
4. Ongoing training and employment opportunities
Whether you start your Equine Apprenticeship via a Traineeship or via a Level 1, 2 or 3 Equine Apprenticeship, the scope for further training and career development is great.
There are a number of Equine Apprenticeship “pathways” and you can decide to train and gain qualifications in more than one of them over the years:
- Sporting Excellence Study Programmes
The duration of each level within each “pathway” will allow you to gain experience with the same, or a variety of employers over the years and still maintain a good CV with a positive employment history.
Read more about Traineeships and Apprenticeship course options here.
5. The opportunity to take your own horse
Whilst it isn’t a necessity for Equine Apprentices to have their own horse, having a horse of your own will not prevent you from getting a job. Many employers will livery an Apprentice Groom’s horse free of charge, some will charge a livery fee. When you accept an offer of employment, ensure you are clear on this and that you have an agreement in writing as to the financial arrangement for your horse’s livery and keep.
You can read more about taking pets or a horse to an equine job here.
6. For school leavers it’s a stepping stone from school or college into working life via work-based learning
Since 2016, in the UK it is compulsory for school leavers aged 16-17 to stay in full-time education, and this includes 6th form, college and Apprenticeships. Unlike 6th form or college, Apprenticeships enable you to venture into the real world of your chosen profession whilst remaining in full-time education.
If you are 18 or older and it’s no longer a legal requirement to remain in full-time education, an Equine Apprenticeship is a means of continuing specialised training at no cost to you or your parent/guardian. This is especially relevant in an industry that is not catered for through mainstream education, such as the equine industry.
Transitioning from a mainstream classroom environment into such a working environment can be a huge step for young people, and an Equine Apprenticeship can ease that transition with a hugely positive effect.
7. The opportunity to leave home
Many Apprentice Groom vacancies are live in, and some employers will provide rent-free accommodation as part of the job. Frequently, entry-level job roles come with accommodation that is shared with another young groom working on the yard. This allows you to experience your first taste of independence by flat/house sharing without the financial pressure and with the support of your employer in the background.
If you are aged 16-17 years you can accept a live in Apprentice role with the written consent of your parent/guardian.
Read more about taking a job with accommodation here.
8. Future career contacts and career prospects
Because Equine Apprenticeships are employment opportunities you will be embarking directly into a valid, salaried career and with it comes all the associated benefits and opportunities. Many Equine Apprentices will stay on as permanent team members with the employer they have trained with. Apprenticeships are now available to learners of any age, so you can always follow another Apprenticeship “pathway” later on.
Throughout your career you will be able to come back to The Grooms List by Caroline Carter Recruitment time and again as the years pass for free, no-obligation careers advice and to find the best equine job opportunities available to you as you work your way up the equine career ladder.
Read more about how we help job seekers here.
If you are interested in finding out more about becoming an Apprentice Groom see our: