Despite the misconception, 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 their dual status of study and work, they are perfectly suited to those who want to re-train but are not able to lose a salary. When taking on an apprenticeship as an adult, you can keep the security of a reliable income, holidays, and sick pay, while also being introduced into a new and exciting environment to develop your skills. Education shouldn’t be exclusive to young people. Continuing learning throughout your life is essential in supporting your work and personal growth, and adult apprenticeships allow this to happen.

You may be choosing to change your career because of dissatisfaction with your current job; a recent global study suggested that of the one billion full-time workers, 85% do not feel engaged in their work. This shows there needs to be more opportunities for career movement later in working life to ensure more people are happy and satisfied within their job roles.

Adult apprenticeships can facilitate a career change, allowing you to transition into a job that suits you better. Whether that be one you simply enjoy more, or it accommodates for a recent change in your health and or lifestyle. We alter so much as we grow older, both physically, and mentally, so why do we assume we can continue in the same career forever?

Adult apprenticeships are the same as any other apprenticeship. They are offered from intermediate (Level 2) up to degree and masters (Level 7). As long as you live in England and aren’t currently in full-time education, you can qualify for an apprenticeship. Each apprenticeship is different because the parameters are decided by the employer, meaning it could last anywhere from 12 months to five years. Do not be put off enquiring about an apprenticeship if you do not have any formal qualifications. There are many options available, for more information on this, visit types of apprenticeships.

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. As well as this, 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 that industry; with both work and life experience, adults are in a great position to apply for these roles.

The other reason you might be well suited to beginning an adult apprenticeship is because of something called The Apprenticeship Levy. In short, the Levy is a fund that large businesses (£3 million-plus wage bill) pay into 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 well as entire career changers, many adults want to up-skill within the same company, which might require extra training. Have you always felt like there is another role in the company that would suit you better? Or are you interested in training in another field with your current employer? Adult apprenticeships allow people to be supported by their employer when training for a new role, hopefully developing their skills enabling them to work in a more productive and fulfilling way.

For more information about apprenticeships, visit our dedicated webpage Employing an Apprentice.