It may surprise you to learn that apprenticeships aren’t just for 16-24-year-olds. They are open to anyone at any age, and they can be instrumental in helping people change careers later in their adult life. 

Due to the combination of learning on the job and studying, apprenticeships are perfect for people who want to retrain without giving up their income.

Apprenticeships can be a great way to change your career as the specialist training involved will equip you to excel in a specific role. This is ideal for career changers with limited knowledge in their new field as it will teach you everything you need to know, starting from the beginning.

They can also be great for people who want to increase proficiency in their current job or change roles within a company. Adult apprenticeships are available to people of all ages making this a great option for anyone interested. Additionally, for many people, retraining to pursue their passion can vastly improve their enjoyment of work.

Employers aren’t allowed to discriminate based on age meaning that by law you cannot be turned down for an apprenticeship simply because you are older. There are some employers and apprenticeships which are better suited to an adult than a school-leaver.

For example, degree apprenticeships are highly skilled roles aimed at building experts in an industry; with both work and life experience, adults are in a great position to apply for these roles.

What is an Adult Apprenticeship?

An adult apprenticeship is a training program that allows adults to learn a trade while working. These typically last from one to five years, and participants can choose from a range of different fields.

Much like any other apprenticeship adult apprenticeships vary vastly from company to company. They can also vary significantly based on the type of apprenticeship.

Where successful, apprenticeships may even lead into roles at the company. Most importantly, once you’ve completed your apprenticeship, you don’t have to stay with the employer. If no permanent role is presented to you, you can take your new skills and apply for any company that interests you!

Popular Apprenticeship Options:

While there are many different types of apprenticeship, here are some of the most popular choices that adult apprentices decide to pursue:

  • Business and administration
  • Childcare
  • Engineering
  • Hairdressing and beauty therapy
  • IT and digital media
  • Manufacturing
  • Retail

These choices are popular due to the practical nature of these skills. Additionally, once the apprenticeship has been completed, these skills can be applied to a multitude of different roles, giving you a lot of flexibility in the future. This list is not exhaustive by any means, and there are other types of apprenticeships you can consider.

What Qualifications Will I Receive?

The qualifications you receive from an adult apprenticeship will vary depending on the trade you choose to pursue. However, in general, adult apprenticeships lead to a nationally recognised qualification that will help you stand out in the job market and increase your chances of finding employment after completing your training.

In most cases, adult apprenticeships lead to a Level-Two or Level-Three qualification. However, some adult apprenticeships can lead to a higher level of qualification, such as a degree or diploma.

It’s important to do your research and make sure you know what level of qualification you’ll be getting from your chosen apprenticeship.

The Benefits of an Apprenticeship

One of the biggest benefits of apprenticeships is the apprenticeship levy. The levy is a fund that large businesses (£3 million-plus wage bill) pay alongside a 10% supplement from the government, which can then be used to hire apprentices. This scheme was created to incentivise employers to set up apprenticeship schemes.

As mentioned, one of the main benefits of adult apprenticeships is that they will equip you with the knowledge and skills to thrive in a specific role. This is great if you are looking for a career change or want to develop your skills further within your own career. While it’s important to do research first, by participating in an adult apprenticeship for a new career you haven’t tried before, you may discover that you have a natural flair for it!

The Costs of an Apprenticeship

Some of the potential drawbacks of an apprenticeship include:

  • There is no guarantee that the apprenticeship will lead to a job.
  • Apprentices may not be paid as much as other employees.
  • There can be initial costs associated with starting an apprenticeship. For example, you will need to cover travel, food, and potentially accommodation if you cannot already commute to your apprenticeship. There can also be tuition fees for higher-level apprenticeships.

However, when weighed against the benefits, these negatives are minimal. Additionally, if you feel like it is no longer working for you, you can leave an apprenticeship at any time.

Depending on how long you’ve been there, you might need to give notice, but you do not have to complete your apprenticeship once you’ve started.

So, if you’re looking for an affordable and hands-on way to learn a new trade, adult apprenticeships may be the perfect option for you!

To find out more about the benefits of adult apprenticeships, visit our specialist website Employing an Apprentice. Take a look at our jobs board for apprenticeship opportunities tailored to your needs!