Apprenticeships aren’t just for school leavers - they're also suitable for adults! There is no upper age limit for apprentices. You may be looking for a career change or have been promoted within your company and need to learn new skills. Apprenticeships help you gain hands-on experience, learn new skills and gain a qualification whilst earning a wage.
There are benefits of apprentices to employers too as they help them to develop their existing workforce, plug skills gaps within the company and attract and train new recruits.
What apprenticeships are there?
You do need to be employed to be considered for an apprenticeship – this needs to be for a minimum of 30 hours per week. You may already be employed and be looking to improve your skills with that industry, or you may be looking for an employer to take you on as an apprentice so that you can re-train. You can search for apprenticeship vacancies on the government’s “Find an Apprenticeship” website.
Apprenticeships are available in a wide variety of industries. They are not limited to the traditional trades such as Electrical Installation, Plumbing or Engineering - they can also be undertaken in areas such as Accountancy, Human Resources and IT to name a few.
What apprenticeship level am I?
Four levels are available depending on the subject area chosen, and your current qualifications:
Intermediate (Level 2): equivalent to GCSE
Advanced (Level 3): equvialent to A level
Higher (Level 4 and 5): equivalent to HNC/ HND/Foundation Degree
Degree (Level 6 and 7): equivalent to Batchelor’s Degree
Higher level and degree apprenticeships are perfect for those looking to progress in their career into an advanced, technical or managerial role. They allow you to gain a qualification at Level 4 or above, such as an HNC/D or Foundation degree, and in some areas you can progress up to full degree level. Completion takes between one and five years with part-time study at College or university (usually day release).
The worry for most adult learners looking to complete an apprenticeship is how much it will cost. Apprenticeships are funded partly by employers (via the apprenticeship levy) and partly by the government – there is usually no cost for the student apart from perhaps travel and equipment expenses. It can be a great way for an adult to gain a higher level or degree qualification without the traditional university route, which can be expensive.
The benefits of completing an apprenticeship as an adult include:
1. The ability to earn as you learn
2. Achievement of valuable work-related skills
3. Improved confidence
4. Great career progression opportunities
5. Increased earning potential.