Adult Apprenticeships are a bit of a myth really, the term "Adult Apprenticeships" started cropping up in recent years to refer to apprenticeships for adults.
Why are the myth? Apprenticeships were originally thought of only for 16 - 24 years to support their further education requirements whilst receiving on the job training and a wage. There was a huge push by the government to encourage the younger generation to take up apprenticeships, even more so now as they are legally required to stay in education until 18 years of age. However people neglected to realise that apprenticeships are for people of all ages, not just the youngsters.
If you are living in England and are not already in full-time education and have the desire to learn new on the job skills then an adult apprenticeship might be the best route for you to become an apprentice.
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History of adult apprenticeships:
It was back in 2008 (approx.) when it came to light that the majority of people starting apprenticeships were actually aged 19+ but more importantly over 25,000 apprenticeship starts in that year were over 25 yrs of age. By 2010 this figure had grown to 180,000 apprenticeship starts and in the same year 54,000 (of the 180,000) were over the age of 45 yrs.
These adult apprentices (because they are not teenagers) were part of the Train2Gain programme for existing employees but had been transferred across to the apprenticeship programmes when the Train2Gain programme had been closed, hence the dawn of the Adult Apprenticeship.
For many years apprenticeships have been considered only for school leavers or young people entering the world of work, however this is a myth as apprenticeships are for all ages and since the introduction of adult apprenticeships more and more older people are opting for this route, rather than going back into full-time education.
Doing an adult apprenticeship can open up more possibilities to develop your career aspirations and develop you as an individual. Whether you are considering a career move or like the opportunity of developing in your current employer then studying further education to learn new skills through the apprenticeship route is a great alternative to other further education options.
In recent years "Adult Apprenticeships" are becoming more and more popular with employers and they are looking passed the funding options and focusing on quality and giving people of all ages the ability to be able to take up their apprenticeship opportunities.
If you’re thinking of starting an Adult Apprenticeship and you are over the age of 24 currently in employment then why not speak to your current employer to see what options are available. Since the introduction of the apprenticeship levy many larger employers have to pay a levy to the government to help fund apprenticeships, not just in their own organisation but for smaller SME’s. This fund is there to encourage employers to help develop both new and existing employees through the apprenticeship route.
Adult Apprenticeships may be able to offer other funding to help pay for childcare or travel which is related to your training course. Your employer should also be able to provide you information on how to enquire for this funding through the Advanced Learner Loan scheme. However in most instances employers may cover these extra cost, after all your development will benefit them in the long run.
During your apprenticeship you will still receive all associated benefits such as salary, holiday and healthcare.
The benefits are countless depending on how you want to progress or change your career. Be sure that before choosing your apprenticeship option it fits with your requirements and how you want to develop your career moving forward. You can use the apprenticeship route to study for a degree such as a Bachelors or Masters or you may simply want to study business administration at an NVQ level, either way apprenticeships are their to give you the opportunity to add another string to your bow.
An apprenticeship is a form of further education which offers on the job training for you to gain a nationally recognised qualification whilst studying part-time with an apprenticeship training provider, college or university through workshops or classroom training.
Apprenticeship training has to be delivered by a registered apprenticeship training provider which can also be an employer-provider, where the employer you are training through are on the register of training providers to be able to deliver their own training requirements. If an employer acts as an employer-provider they will usually employ a number of people such as Apprenticeship Assessors, Mentors and Managers to support you through your apprenticeship programme.
During your apprenticeship you will receive a salary and all the other benefits permanent employees receive. An apprenticeship job is only for a specified time as stipulated at the beginning of your apprenticeship training which can last anything from 12 months to 5 years.
To find our more about apprenticeships please refer to our What is an Apprenticeship? guide.
Why should you start an apprenticeship?
If you are considering your post 16 options you probably wouldn't have considered an apprenticeship a few years ago and would be struggling or worrying what to do when you leave school. It is a legal requirement for you to now stay in some form of further education until the age of 18 and you now have three options A-Levels, College or an Apprenticeship.
You can start an apprenticeship at the age of 16 through the Intermediate or Advanced level apprenticeship programmes across many industry sectors from Construction, Technology or even Marketing. There are no entry requirements for the intermediate apprenticeship, however you will need at least 5 GCSE's at grade 4 (previously C grade) or above to qualify for the advanced apprenticeship. On completion of the intermediate you will gain the qualifying criteria for a level 3.
The best reason for starting an apprenticeship is on completion of each level you will receive a nationally recognised qualification from an NVQ all the way up to a degree level apprenticeship such as a Bachelors or Masters.
How can you become an apprentice?
There are a number of ways to become an apprentice so we thought we would list them for you:
- Register with websites like ourselves, there are others available.
- Apprenticeship Job Fairs are great for meeting employers and training providers.
- Contact training providers in your area, a simple Google search "Training providers near me" will give you the information you need.
- Contact your local colleges or universities or visit their websites to see if they offer apprenticeship training.
- UCAS promote apprenticeship opportunities on their website on behalf of employers.
- Do some research on apprenticeships and find a topic or industry that you would like to start an apprenticeship in and then research local companies in those sectors and visit their websites to see if they offer apprenticeship training and apply directly with them.
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