Am I Too Old for an Apprenticeship?

Am I Too Old for an Apprenticeship?

Is there such thing as being too old for an apprenticeship?

This question is one of the most frequently asked by those who are looking into apprenticeships for the very first time.

The answer is simple: apprenticeships can be a great fit for everyone, no matter their age!

In fact, you might be surprised to learn that adults make up the largest percentage of apprentices, and that only about 20% are under 19 years old.

For those who may be thinking they are too old for an apprenticeship, here are some more interesting facts you should know.

Over 40% of apprentices are over 25 years old

One of the most persistent myths surrounding apprenticeships is that they are only for school leavers, but this couldn’t be further from the truth!

Older apprentices make up a large percentage of apprenticeship participants.

In 2021/2022, a whopping 47% of apprentices were 25 years old and over, while 30% were between 19 and 24 years old.

There is no upper age limit for becoming an apprentice, so anyone aged 16 and over has the legal right to apply to a scheme of their choice, not only to train but to upskill too!

Full-time employees can also be apprentices

Upskilling is, in fact, one of the main reasons why older apprentices decide to apply for apprenticeship schemes in the first place.

In many cases, employers provide training opportunities as part of their CPD offer, so you will come across plenty of adult full-time employees who are getting extra qualifications and all-important skills for their careers.

Apprenticeships are a great way for employees to improve their existing skill set, and they are also crucial for improving retention and motivation in any company.

Returnerships’, which combine Apprenticeships, Skills Bootcamps and Sector-Based Work Academy Programmes (SWAPs) are also on the rise. Providing a smooth road back into the world of work and encouraging employers to hire older workers, this retraining pathway is a promising new initiative to watch out for!

Age can be an asset

Apprentices with more work and life experience have a lot to offer to any industry, and plenty to gain from training too.

Thanks to your experience, you might have a clearer idea of what you’re setting out to learn and what specific skills you need to develop.

Older apprentices tend to know their strengths and weaknesses well, resulting in a greater drive, a deep desire for knowledge, and bigger results.

Too Old for Apprenticeships? Think Again!

Whatever your reason for training may be, whether you’re in your 20s or 50s, you can apply to and succeed in your apprenticeship.

Taking on a new challenge may feel scary at first, but it can also be one of the most rewarding experiences in your life. It’s never too late to do anything you want to do, including learning new skills or even a complete career change.