It’s never too late to start an apprenticeship…

Often when we think of apprenticeships, we think of 16-18 year olds leaving school and starting an apprenticeship in their desired field – typically in engineering, quantity surveying or something similar.

However, anyone over the age of 16 can apply for an apprenticeship and there is no upper age limit. So, there’s nothing stopping someone who is in their 20s, 30s, 40s or above from pursuing an apprenticeship! Anyway, who said there was a time limit on our development?

If I’ve already been to college and/or to university – can I still do an apprenticeship?

Yes – there is a range of levels which apply to apprenticeships. This means that people at all different capabilities can find a path which suits them.

For example, you can apply for a Level 2 apprenticeship which provides a qualification equivalent to GCSEs, or you can go up to a Level 6 or 7 apprenticeship which is the equivalent to a bachelor’s or master’s degree. This means that if you already have A Levels or even a degree, you can get an apprenticeship in the same field by applying to a specific level.

If you already have a degree in biology, for example, you can apply to a masters-equivalent apprenticeship to develop further in this field. Alternatively, if you have finished your degree and want to switch fields, you can apply for any level apprenticeship in a new sector!

So, not only is age not a barrier when applying for apprenticeships, but neither is your experience or education. Depending on your areas of interest, desired level and career aspirations, there will be apprenticeship that will work for you – you just need to find it!

Did you know that between 2018 and 2020, one third of Digital Innovators Skills Programme students went on to secure apprenticeships, degree apprenticeships or traineeships? Find out how our Skills Programme can lead to an apprenticeship opportunity here.

Why should I consider an apprenticeship?

Now we’ve established that it’s never too late to start an apprenticeship, you may be thinking… should I do an apprenticeship?

Well, there are many other positive aspects associated with doing an apprenticeship…

  • You are able to learn and develop at a new skill whilst earning a consistent salary (which is the equivalent to the National Minimum Wage or National Living Wage depending on your age and location).
  • Apprenticeships revolve around hands-on experience – you will study for 20% of your working hours, meaning that more of your time is spent learning on the job.
  • Apprenticeship length can differ between 1 and 6 years.
  • Job security – whilst an apprentice, you are a contracted employee on a pay roll, who is entitled to paid holiday and bank holidays, etc.
  • Some employees will pay for you to complete a degree whilst doing your apprenticeship.
  • According to recent surveys, after finishing their apprenticeship as many as 85% of apprentices will stay in employment, with two-thirds (64%) remaining with the same employer.
  • And much more…

What’s next?

A good first step is to visit the official government website for apprenticeships here to find out more about how to become an apprenticeship, what’s on offer and discover apprentice success stories.

Additionally – from 8th-14th February, it is National Apprenticeship Week! So, keep an eye out for #NAW2021 on social media as there will be events, webinars and celebrations throughout the week to highlight the impact and advantages of apprenticeships. You might just find the right apprenticeship for you!

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This article was written by Bronia - Communications and Business Development Assistant.

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