Adult Apprenticeship Advice

Written by Calvin Bowers

If you’re exploring apprenticeship options as an adult, there are a few things you need to be aware of. Our guide is here to help.

Can Adults Take Part in an Apprenticeship? 

The short answer is yes, adults of any age can take part in an apprenticeship. There is a stereotype of apprenticeship being only for school leavers. But in reality, there is no maximum age limit for apprenticeships. Anyone in England over 16 can do an apprenticeship. The increasing need for skills-based jobs means that more and more employers create apprenticeships for those later in their career.

There are multiple levels of apprenticeships, meaning that adults with any qualification background can learn from an apprenticeship. They begin at intermediate Level 2, which is equivalent to 5 GCSE passes, which would be an excellent option for an adult who wanted to learn an essential skill. They then progress up to Advanced, Higher and Degree Level. Degree apprenticeships are a brilliant way for adults to go back to university.  You don’t have to forfeit a salary and you avoid pay considerable amounts in tuition fees.

Speaking to Your Company About an Apprenticeship 

If you are interested in an apprenticeship as an adult, but you are already employed, you have options. Employers have the option to place somebody who is already employed in an apprenticeship. This would mean that you would no longer do your job 100% of the time. Instead, you would spend at least 20% of your time training.

If you want to stay with your current employer, but you no longer want to work in your current role, you could speak to your employer about training for a new role through an apprenticeship. This would allow you to stay working in your industry and learn new skills and develop your current knowledge of the field.

Here are some tips for speaking to your employer about starting an apprenticeship as an adult:

  • Tell them that you feel you need more of a challenge and want to try new things but don’t want to leave the company. By taking you on as an apprentice, they don’t need to hire somebody new, and you get the training you need.
  • The government offer intensive payments to encourage employers to hire apprentices. Research funding options like this that are available to employers when taking on an apprentice. The more information you have to give them, the more convincing you are going to be.
  • Show your employer the benefits of an apprenticeship to the business or organisation as a whole. Having a staff member doing an apprenticeship is an excellent way to stay up to date in an ever-changing world. You will bring your new training and fresh perspective onto projects and into your work to ensure that the company is at the top of its game.

 Finding an Apprenticeship as an Adult

May school leavers find apprenticeships through their school or local college. This can mean that many adults interested in apprenticeships don’t know where to look. It’s important to remember that an apprenticeship is just like any other full-time job. Employers advertise them the same as a standard job. Keep an eye out on job boards for apprenticeship roles.

Another great way to find an apprenticeship as an adult is to research the employers you would like to work for and find out if they offer apprenticeships. As you are later on in your career, you will have a better idea of what industry and career you want to have. This will be hugely beneficial for searching for an apprenticeship, as you will already know which employers and businesses to research.

For more information on apprenticeships, have a read of our guide to who can start an apprenticeship.

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Last Updated: Sunday August 20 2023
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