Adult apprenticeships - I thought apprenticeships were just for 16-year olds?!

I thought apprenticeships were just for 16-year olds?!

This is a common misconception, many people today believe that apprenticeships are for school leavers 16 -18 year olds only. However, this has changed, apprenticeships are for anyone over the age of 16. In fact, they are fast becoming a great way for people to upskill, retrain and change careers at all ages. It provides a perfect solution for many mature people as it provides an opportunity to work and earn a wage whilst learning a new skill or earning a qualification, leading to a job change, promotion or increased salary.

Does this mean I need to change careers/companies?

No not necessarily speak to your current employer about an apprenticeship. Many companies offer apprenticeship schemes for current employees as training programmes to upskill their current staff. You don’t need to change your contract to become an apprentice you can remain in your current employment status. Your employer will work with a training provider and you will have to take part in off the job training.

What does the reality of an apprenticeship look like?

This will be different for everyone depending on the route you take. Whether you stay with your existing employer, change career or just move companies. Employers are often happy to recruit mature apprentices who may bring their own set of skills, experience and knowledge from working life. The length of your apprenticeship will depend on the level, apprenticeships are available in levels 1 – 6 the equivalent of GCSE to Masters, all apprenticeships will last a minimum of 1 year. Whilst most apprenticeships are full time you can work a part time apprenticeship if the hours are agreed between your employer and training provider, however it will take longer to complete. As an apprentice you are an employed worker so will still be entitled to workers rights such as annual leave and a contract of employment for the full length of your apprenticeship.  As an apprentice is an employee you will have the same rights as an employee, as such you are entitled to ask for reasonable adjustments for a disability.

What about the pay?

Many apprenticeships now pay a competitive rate. An apprentice over the age of 19 must be paid minimum wage after the 1st year, however some employers may pay more from the start of your apprenticeship. The pay will vary according to the sector and level of apprenticeship, a higher-level apprenticeship such as degree or masters is likely to offer a higher wage. Many companies now try to offer competitive wages for their industry, you will also benefit as you will not be responsible for any of the costs of training or earning qualifications.

How do I apply?

You can find an apprenticeship through a training provider such as a college or university or apply directly with an employer. Search on Find an Apprenticeship to find an apprenticeship suitable for you.


NHS - Apprentice

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