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Your Options after leaving school: Apprenticeships

Leaving school?

Have you just finished your school exams? Not sure what your next step are? Overwhelmed by your options?

Read Francesca’s story to get some inspiration about apprenticeships!



“I wanted to work with animals or deaf children, but I had no clue where to start…”

At college, Francesca had adults who would help her in class and take notes for her.

But, “there were very few deaf people, and I never really got to meet them..”

Francesca meet one deaf person at college but they were in their last year. When Francesca got to her second year, she didn’t have any deaf friends.

“I didn’t have any deaf friends. And later on in my second year I struggled a lot, then I quit college.”

If you are scared about going to college and not sure what help you can get, check out our communication support page to see the ways you can get help.

See our video about Ahmad chatting about making his college deaf aware:


Finding an Apprenticeship

After leaving college, Francesca was looking for jobs. Francesca went onto a website called LinkedIn which shows different jobs that are available in companies.

She clicked on NDCS’s page in Linkedin and found the apprenticeship – “a strange place to find it!” Francesca was keen to find out more as it meant she could work with children.

See more information about LinkedIn

“The best thing was that it was in NDCS, which meant lots of deaf children!” Francesca could go for something she wanted to do!

Find out about apprenticeships and what they are on our NDCS website

Going for the Apprenticeship

When going for the apprenticeship, Francesca clicked on the link and got the form to go for the job. When going through the form, Francesca found it hard.

“They had asked me questions like, why do you want this job, how would this help you, etc.”

WATCH: If you don’t know if you should say you are deaf when looking for a job, watch this video for tips and advice:



“I was shocked when they emailed me, asking me to come over for the interview day.”

There was lots of different bits of the interview including team work, chatting about herself and being asked lots of questions.

“The interview was really interesting and challenging,”

NDCS made sure that there was an interpreter and plantatypist  in the interview to help follow everything that was going on.

Interpreter: If you use BSL you can ask for an interpreter who will make sure you know what is being said. It can really help to calm your nerves knowing that you will have no issues with communication.

Plantatypist: They type up everything (or nearly everything) that is being said in a classroom or meeting as a ‘live feed’ using a special keyboard. This live feed will often be shown on a laptop, projector or iPad screen to help follow what is going on.

Francesca did so well in her interview, she got the apprenticeship!

On the Apprenticeship:


Francesca on her first day “felt excited and a little bit nervous.”


If you are feeling like this, it is ok to feel worried as there are lots of new things to take in. But you will be ok, people want you to do your best so will support you and make sure you are getting the right help.


Francesca’s has being doing lots of different jobs. She has done some amazing work like:

  • Supporting the planning for the youth advisory board residential
  • going to a youth advisory board residential to do a presentation about her life as a deaf young person – chatting about the challenges and opportunities she has had
  • at the NDCS London office, Francesca did a seminar about her experience as an apprentice and how important it is to give opportunities to young people
  • she has looked at technology for deaf young people as part of a panel, selecting two young people to present their tech ideas to experts in London!
  • Francesca has looked at important information about online safety and created workshops to help deaf young people be safe online
  • she has also looked at helping to get sessions about key apps that young people are using and how to use them safely.

Francesca’s tip

If you are thinking about doing an apprenticeship, Francesca has said:

“If you find one that you really like, then research more about the company, and email them for more information.”

More Stories – WATCH: Watch Fraser’s story about his joinery apprenticeship and how he chats to others on site

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National Deaf Children's Society

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Helpline: 0808 800 8880

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